Customer Review

334 of 346 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit (CD-ROM)
Hello, I am the Trust and Wills attorney that worked with Suze Orman to create the Suze Orman Will and Trust kit. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to a user whom posted concerns here.

* He expressed concern that there is a lack of clarity in a section of the will that could cause confusion. The sentence in question is:

"I nominate Mary Smith to act as my executor. If Mary Smith cannot serve then John Smith is to serve as the executor of my will."

The questions is whether the second sentence requires the insertion of a comma to avoid any confusion. This section, as written, is clear and correct. There is no confusion about who is being named as executor. And that is the guiding principle for the courts; is the intention of the person making the will clear to the reader. As written this program I believe you the reader can see that it is absolutely clear.

The poster also pointed out a grammar error in an instruction letter. We thanked the fellow for pointing out that there is a change of tense in the letter. This has been corrected and recently posted in a free update that is included with the program. But rest assured the letter's intent was clear even with the tense issue; I have complete confidence in the content of the letter. The cover letter provided in the program is a courtesy letter, much like a fax cover sheet and has no legal significance. To view the letter please go to: [...]

* The same person expressed concern in his original post to the help website, about the use of what he called "boiler plate" language and the inability to delete text from the will document. The specific concerns were two passages dealing with children and minors. The specific wording and inability for users to alter the text was a very deliberate decision I encouraged Suze to make. After much research and consultation, I decided the language with respect to children and minors is absolutely necessary to protect the users of this program. After reviewing countless wills people created using other programs I saw so many errors and omissions due to the changes and additions made by the program users. By making changes, inconsistencies and errors were written into the documents. Those mistakes were enough to make the will invalid. To protect users of Suze's program, and to ensure that the final will that is created would be judged valid, we created a program where the user made selections and answered certain questions that then automatically inserted the correct legal language in their will.

That is why when you select "no children" in the user profile, your document will nonetheless include the sentence: "I intentionally leave nothing to anyone claiming to be child of mine regardless of the validity of their claim." Without such a sentence, if you had a child you did not know about, then that child would be able to take a large part, or even all of your estate upon your death. Sound far-fetched? Well, there have indeed been many famous cases where unknown children have surfaced and made successful claims on estates. I realize this will not pertain to most users, but Suze's focus was to create a program that gives everyone the best legal protection; so that is why it is included.

* There was also concern about the inclusion of a phrase addressing the right for the executor to retain the inheritance of a young person in a custodianship UTMA account. This phrase can save an estate a great deal of time and money. Because of this phrase, the executor will not need to create a guardianship for the minor in the courts which can easily cost $5,000. The provision allows the executor to protect a young person beyond age 18, in some states covering up to age 25. Even if you don't name a minor child as a beneficiary, this phrase can be important. If one of your beneficiaries dies before you, or with you, that person's child or children will often become the beneficiary as a result of the death. Because of this, I encouraged Suze to include the phrase in the program. Again, our goal is to protect everyone from as many possible scenarios based on our extensive real life experience.

I thank you for your concern. Please know that I worked with Suze for months creating and vetting this program to make sure it would truly deliver a valid will to all users. The issues you raise were indeed discussed during the development of this program. The wording we chose was very intentional to ensure that all users had the utmost protections, and that there was no possibility that any user would inadvertently make a change that could render the document invalid.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 16, 2011 8:51:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2011 9:01:07 AM PDT
D. Boss says:
Please I have to say I am concerned about the Paragraph that represents the spendthrift area and how it is worded for people under 30 only. This has created issues for the disabled children over 30 who are NOw NOt eligible for spendthrift options. Please help

Posted on Apr 16, 2011 5:50:17 AM PDT
I need to create an IRREVOCABLE Trust in addition to a revocable Living Trust. Will this software kit allow me to do that?


Posted on Sep 5, 2012 10:45:59 AM PDT
T. Kalamaras says:
People are foolish to use these kits rather than hiring an estate lawyer to do the job start to finish. Just think: if you screw it up, you wont be around to fix it. Penny wise, pound foolish as the adage goes.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 4:51:29 AM PST
Kitchen king says:
two grammatical errors in the first two sentences. Should be "I am the attorney......who..." not "that". In the second sentence the choice should be "who" and not "whom".

Posted on Aug 24, 2013 9:34:01 PM PDT
my mom found these documents of a made up will,but they weren't there something we are supposed to be looking for to find the signed copy or what?she is so confused.he told her there was a will before he passed but all we have found is 3 unsigned copies

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2013 9:28:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2013 9:29:58 AM PDT
T. Kalamaras says:
Gee, here we have a good example of the typical problem for a do it yourself will job. Just as common a problem for legalzoom dot com jobs or rocketlawyer or any of the other cheap shortcuts people take on a serious task suitable for lawyers. Sorry to hear about that Ms Palacios, but you need to call a lawyer in the county where your dad lived when he died and ask your question from someone who can provide you legal advice. A will kit on a computer can't do that nor undo any mistake that was done.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2014 7:47:33 PM PST
The grammatical errors later in the review are much worse.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2014 12:03:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2014 12:04:58 AM PST
D. Boss says:
Repeat. Warning. Using Suze Orman trust has no overall spendthrift to protect all beneficiaries assets from creditors nor allows for spendthrift for all which should be a standard as it is in 99 percent of all trusts written. A family member used this templates whom was uneducated and assumed the protection Was included as this was our parents sole reason for wanting a trust. I would hate others to daal with this same issue. If parent does not want assets to be at risk to creditors or x spouces then do not use this trust or reword it !

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 2:06:50 AM PDT
Mary W. says:
Here's my take. Suze's goal is to simplify challenging subjects so everyone understands her advice. As an attorney, I make sure that my writing is crystal clear. Your writing resembles that of a person who speaks English as a second language. I don't believe that Suze would employ subject matter experts who aren't at the top of their game, and you may be. However, if your command of the subject matter is superb, but your writing is not readily understood, you fail. HIRE an editor! Your writing--boilerplate or not--is unnecessarily confusing, and your attempt to defend poor writing to those who question your choice of language is pitiful and reinforces the opinions of those who believe that lawyers are unintelligible.

Posted on Feb 17, 2015 7:37:10 PM PST
J says:
Suze Orman's "Protect Your Tomorrows Today" CD has errors in the Living Revocable Trust section. I even requested a new disc and same errors. The narrator steps you through 10 or 11 line items to complete... but the actual document stops at like item 7!! Has this CD defect been corrected?
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