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Showing 1-10 of 90 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 179 reviews
on August 10, 2008
I don't have a huge estate, and thought this would work for me. I am shocked to see that SENSITIVE INFORMATION, your SS number, account numbers, date of birth, address, EVERYTHING, is stored on some server somewhere in cyberspace! Hackers would find this server a TOTAL GOLDMINE!! I selected the option not to save my data to the server, but to export it to my own computer, and import it next time I used the software. After filling in a good deal of sensitive information, I found no option to save it, and ended up exiting and losing it all. Throughout the use of this software, I had to click on a disclaimer, and warned to have a lawyer look at the documents it produces to be SURE they are complete, etc. I looked on the CD for "help" files, and found that the entire "program" consists of four tiny files, just enough to get you online. EVERYTHING is done online. There's nothing on the box that explains this. I would never have bought this had I known it's vulnerability. I can't believe someone with the status of Suze Orman would allow her name on this software. I've lost my respect for this lady.
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on September 2, 2003
I am a Certified Financial Planner licensee, and I can not believe the value and quality of this book and CD. I used the Estate Planning module for myself and my mother. It seems very easy to use, is updateable, and comes with audio discussion by attorneys on the different forms. A wonderful, practical product. I highly recommend this to anyone.
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on March 15, 2014
The product was good. It takes work. I am still in the process, and am happy the notary at my bank has patience. The only reason I didn't rate it excellent is upon registering it on line, I was recommended to use a free upgraded product. The online upgrade sells
for half of what I paid for this version. I live in Nevada, where all wills have to go through probate, so a revocable trust is a must.
I figure using this saved me at least $1500. If you have the patience and a printer, the product has verbal and written directions
that walk you through the process.
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on July 2, 2012
I spent over $2,000 on lawyers doing this and it seems that the lawyers were more concerned with billing hours and what they would make after my death! If they wrote themselves into your documents as an executor, that may mean they are looking for more billing hours than your interests! So, I noticed some lawyers wrote that they were disappointed with this kit. That maybe a contrarian indicator! I found this this will and trust maker superior to all the books on the subject, and I wasted my money on all of them! This is very easy to use and the product is better than the lawyers I over paid for. If you are redoing your will I would STRONGLY advice using this kit and save all the money wasted on going to a lawyer. Most lawyers get all their documents on the internet so why should you pay a premium on a document that a lawyer down loaded off the internet for a buck! Remember, the practice of law is about billing hours. The more you stay away from them the better. Suzy Orman's will kit saved me a lot of money and the unpleasantness of dealing with a lawyer! By the way, when the books written by lawyers talk about the need to consult a lawyer that is in their interest NOT yours!
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VINE VOICEon June 8, 2007
It is more fun to eat live snails than to sit down and do trusts and wills, not to mention the dreaded Advanced Directive.

Everyone puts off this very necessary chore because they know that going to an attorney is expensive and that all this is necessary because of death, a subject we avoid when possible.

Now there are many software programs that promise to make it possible for many people to do this work at home and without the expense of an attorney. Be aware, though, that attorneys say that people trying to do it themselves can make expensive mistakes and that the fee for professional services is money well spent.

I suspect that many people with uncomplicated estates can probably do ok with a software program, but that complicated estates really need an attorney. The question of what is fairly simple and what is complicated can only be answered by the individual.

Even if you have doubts about doing it yourself, it makes sense to get a program and do it anyway. You will know the kind of questions you have to answer and generally get an idea of the process. Then you can go to an attorney with some backround that will make the process easier, maybe saving an hour or three of expensive attorney time.

The Orman program is heavily advertised and Suze herself is kind of a celebrity. It is also reasonably priced and the advertisements seemed realistic. I went with Suze and successfully filled everything out, got the appropriate forms witnessed and notarized and copies sent to relatives, doctors and hospitals. Felt a lot better afterward as I am sure most people do.

A will is like having a colonoscopy. Everyone knows they should have one, but put it off as long as possible. I was forced into action because I was facing a serious time in the hospital and thought that if I left feet first, that my wife and kids would have a terrible time dealing with stuff a will would make easier. All turned out well, but I am really glad I did the paperwork and do not have to think about it unless things change.

The advanced directive, in case some people don't know, is a legal document that allows a hospital to cut off life support when you are brain dead in case your spouse is not available to give the word. This is not an uncommon occurrence as you could both be dead or incapacitated in a crash, for example. You can be free to go without interference from politicians who think they can raise the dead or from relatives who can't make the decision. Doctors know when it is time.

The Orman program is probably about as simple as it can be, but it deals with legalities, life and death, money and real estate and other property. That is all hard stuff. Attorneys will likely charge close to $2000 to do this because it takes hours of work. So, it is not an easy even for professionals. I managed to complete everything in about five hours. Those that have used tax software will find the process familiar.

Suze gives you stuff to read and also does a voice-over in some cases. Other experts also chime in now and then. I thought this was going to be annoying, but actually found it to be useful. I do suggest earphones or decent speakers if you are forced to operate in a noisy environment.

In California, at least, some of the forms need to be witnessed and notarized. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries, so you have to get two strangers to sign some ominous documents for someone they do not know. I was lucky to find a couple in the hair salon next door to the notary. This is not the fault of Orman, but still you have to line people up. You might call the notary for advice. Stupid requirement.

There are multiple forms, several pages each. You need to make copies for relatives, your doctor and hospitals. That adds up to a lot of copies and a lot of paper that needs to be accurately collated. I suggest you get a stapler and a bunch of manila mailers that are addressed.

You also need cover letters. For example, the copy of the advanced directive that goes to your doctors should have a cover letter explaining that you are sending the directive so it will be in their files in case the need should arise to use it some day.

I also emailed my relatives and told them their will and directive copies were coming and what my general expectations were. I guess it is more traditional to keep it a secret until the end. Depends, I suppose.

Oh, and one of the forms is a narrative that details the disposition of your property. For example, you could say that aunt Mary gets your collection of pornographic statues, Uncle Bill gets the tv and so on.

So, it took me all day to complete the program, get witnesses and notary, collate and mail everything. That is about as fast as possible I think. Afterward, I felt relieved and accomplished. I had more than one drink in celebration.

There is nothing as nice as getting nagging odious tasks done. And the colonoscopy saved my life, so there.

I gave Suze five stars. I have not compared her program to any of the others. The legal requirements are the same and I figure Orman is in a position to hire competent legal and technical people. There is no way to know if everything will go smoothly for my heirs. One could hire an attorney to look it over and that shouldn't take too long.

The program does a good job of guiding you through a complex procedure. You still have to make decisions, of course, but the fact that this all went smoothly and everything printed was very impressive. This was done on a Mac, which is good since programs like this are usually ported to Windows first. Now that Macs also run Windows makes it even more likely to work for you on any computer.

I am impressed with this program and recommend it. I doubt that there is any way to make a will/trust/directive program any easier and I trust that the people behind it are competent. So, five stars.
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on February 27, 2011
I bought this product as used. I was able to run it but it did not allow me to make changes because I did not have certain codes that were sent with the disc (per the software instructions during use of the program).
I sent an email to the seller and was told the codes came when it was interacting with the website, this did not happen so I deinstalled the software and purchased a different package from Quicken.

Overall, I liked the software I was able to use and favor the S.O. Kit more than the one I now have because it was much easier to use and not as involved in so many details.
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on November 29, 2005
I love Suze, beleive me I do but this will/trust kit is a bit too simplistic. It's dosen't take into account that perhaps your significant other does not live with you so when I entered the name only my addess would come up. I went through and completed all the wills and trust etc.... but have not gotten around to getting them notorized. Her information about having to "fund" a trust was invaluable a lot of people I know who had trusts did not realize this either. I wish the kits gave the user more ability to change certain things and not be limited to setting up a will or trust in just the way Suze says. For example I could not figure out how to leave a percentage to some people and an exact dollar amount to others. It might be in there but I could not find it.
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on July 9, 2014
wonderful everyone should get this! very important and she makes everything easy for anyone to follow she is absolutely the greatest and she deserves the sucess that she has had a blessing to us we had an inheritance and were absolutely clueless this showed us how to protect iit
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on May 23, 2014
Having had to deal with end-of-life issues on a number of occasions I want to say that while the number of recommended documents in this kit may appear overkill/overwhelming, my very strong advice is JUST DO IT!

On a personal basis I do not care for Ms. Orman, but she is, AFAICT, perfectly competent, and my wife likes her. Frankly, given what she has to deal with in terms of financial ignorance and foolishness, I'm willing to cut her some slack for being annoying. (Aren't I so nice? :-) )

This kit has a lot of information and has a decent user interface but lacks flexibility.
Your are instructed that if you have more than $2? million in assets (don't remember the exact number) that this is not for you. But no explanation of why.

Going through this kit, creating all the various documents that are recommended, is a good exercise to engage in before going to a lawyer. Depending on your state many of the documents may be perfectly valid. But even if they aren't valid for your state, going through their creation helps you think about what you need to think about.

This kit by itself is pretty close to infinitely better than nothing. At a bare minimum it will provide guidance as to your wishes. That said, once you go through it you really should go to a lawyer in your state to make sure everything is legally valid.

As noted elsewhere there are plenty of self-help sites on the web. I've never looked at any from an overview perspective, but those I've looked at while researching some detail or other of a legal issue have generally appeared legit. The advantage of this kit is that everything is in one place and I trust Ms. Orman and her lawyer not to screw up too badly.

If that doesn't sound like an overwhelming endorsement, it isn't. But if you don't have a lawyer you know, if you aren't pretty good at going through self-help websites and separating the wheat from the chaff, if you just like Suze and want her to hold your hand (no shame there, this is kinda scary stuff), this is a reasonable starting place.
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on June 11, 2016
It's a very detail informational great book! I sure enjoyed. Thank you.
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