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Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎04-23-2010

Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem

I purchased Susies kit a few years ago and proceeded to make a trust and will.  Later on I was asked to do one for a relative.  This person died recently and our lawyer went before a judge, the wording in the document wasnt correct for our state .  Now we are fighting relatives who are taking the opportunity to protest the will.  I have since been reading up on this will kit and it seems that the forms are cookie cutter and do not take into consideration the differences between states.  Now I am going to do what I should have done in the first place and get a lawyer.  My advice to any who have used this kit, please dont think that your estate is safe.  I have had to learn the hard way and I wouldnt want anyone to be going through what my family is going suffering now.   Take it to a lawyer ASAP, before anything happens.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 41,540
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem

This one size approach will negatively impact many people.

 

An example is in her “Wills and Trusts kit” which she says contains “all the estate planning documents you need”. “It’s like having your own financial planner and personal trust attorney at your finger tips”. Neither of these statements is true. It’s the kind of language that salespeople use to hype their product and I’m sure it sounds good for those that are buying the kit.

 

The kit states that the information provided is of general nature and for specific advice see your attorney. Yet the CD allows the buyer to produce legal documents, which to me is “very specific”.  The instructions also say to take the forms that are produced to your attorney for review. Yeah like that’s going to happen. People purchase the kit because they believe the kit is a way to get out of paying for legal advice.

 

Estate planning documents can be very complex and should be prepared by an attorney. The layperson has no way to understand the potential legal problems with faulty or incomplete documents.

On the “test” forms that were produced for me, the notary block on each document were incorrect for California and it would be illegal for a notary to notarize such a document.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/feeonlyplanner/2011/06/08/the-good-the-bad-but-the-never-ugly-suze-orman...

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"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein
Contributor
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎01-24-2016

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem


@nanatothree wrote:

I purchased Susies kit a few years ago and proceeded to make a trust and will.  Later on I was asked to do one for a relative.  This person died recently and our lawyer went before a judge, the wording in the document wasnt correct for our state .  Now we are fighting relatives who are taking the opportunity to protest the will.  I have since been reading up on this will kit and it seems that the forms are cookie cutter and do not take into consideration the differences between states.  Now I am going to do what I should have done in the first place and get a lawyer.  My advice to any who have used this kit, please dont think that your estate is safe.  I have had to learn the hard way and I wouldnt want anyone to be going through what my family is going suffering now.   Take it to a lawyer ASAP, before anything happens.  


I'm so sorry that this happened to you.   I was always leery of this kit as I have heard Dave Ramsey talk about Trust and Will kits and that they have to be state-specific.   With such an important issue as this, one should always go to a lawyer who specializes in this.  Buying a DYI kit for this just isn't worth saving money.  

Contributor
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎03-31-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem

Thanks for the heads up!  I believed everything Susie Orman said when she sold it on the Q. My husband and I bought the kit, filled out all of the paperwork, had it notarized and thought everything was a-ok. We'll be seeing an attorney asap.  

 

Nanaofthree, I am so sorry your family is going through such a diffult time.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,580
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem

[ Edited ]

I work for a law firm and we handle estate planning.  From the first time I saw Susie presenting this kit I posted that I thought this was a very bad idea because there was no way it was going to be specific to the laws of every state.

 

We get estates in our office constantly where people have attempted to do their own estate planning papers in an effort to save money.  9 times out of 10 it ends up costing more money in the long run to correct what was wrong and it's a complete headache to fix the mistakes. 

 

It's really not all that costly to get simple estate papers drawn up.   

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,457
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem


@Lipstickdiva wrote:

I work for a law firm and we handle estate planning.  From the first time I saw Susie presenting this kit I posted that I thought this was a very bad idea because there was no way it was going to be specific to the laws of every state.

 

We get estates in our office constantly where people have attempted to do their own estate planning papers in an effort to same money.  9 times out of 10 it ends up costing more money in the long run to correct what was wrong and it's a complete headache to fix the mistakes. 

 

It's really not all that costly to get simple estate papers drawn up.   


It's about $3,000 here to have papers drawn up comparable to what is in this kit.  I'm sure this is the draw for people paying $60 to do it themselves this way.  But very good point that it might not be suitable for all states.  Has anyone with the kit addressed this with QVC or Susie Orman?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,580
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem


@sueinsf wrote:

@Lipstickdiva wrote:

I work for a law firm and we handle estate planning.  From the first time I saw Susie presenting this kit I posted that I thought this was a very bad idea because there was no way it was going to be specific to the laws of every state.

 

We get estates in our office constantly where people have attempted to do their own estate planning papers in an effort to same money.  9 times out of 10 it ends up costing more money in the long run to correct what was wrong and it's a complete headache to fix the mistakes. 

 

It's really not all that costly to get simple estate papers drawn up.   


It's about $3,000 here to have papers drawn up comparable to what is in this kit.  I'm sure this is the draw for people paying $60 to do it themselves this way.  But very good point that it might not be suitable for all states.  Has anyone with the kit addressed this with QVC or Susie Orman?


It wouldn't even cost $1,000.00 in my firm to have all those papers drawn up.

 

And contrary to what Susie says, no not everyone needs a Trust.    

Honored Contributor
Posts: 41,540
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem


@Lipstickdiva wrote:

I work for a law firm and we handle estate planning.  From the first time I saw Susie presenting this kit I posted that I thought this was a very bad idea because there was no way it was going to be specific to the laws of every state.

 

We get estates in our office constantly where people have attempted to do their own estate planning papers in an effort to same money.  9 times out of 10 it ends up costing more money in the long run to correct what was wrong and it's a complete headache to fix the mistakes. 

 

It's really not all that costly to get simple estate papers drawn up.   


 

 

we have a family/business lawyer that we use for pretty much everything. we have had a relationship with him for over 25 years now. he charged us NOTHING for the consultation and nothing but the filing fees only for the paperwork. i would never think to do this by myself or with a "kit."

********************************************
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein
Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,019
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem

When these kits were being peddled on Q, I remember my mom getting upset because I said no to getting one.

 

She has a tendency to believe anyone she perceives to have worked their way up in the world and made something of themselves. When watching someone give financial or estate advise, I think the only good thing is that it starts the conversation, gets one to thinking about it and motivated to act. I think the next step is not to buy some kit or book, but see a good lawyer and a good financial planner in your state, who is familiar with the laws that will cover you.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,581
Registered: ‎08-19-2010

Re: Susie Orman Will and Trust Kit, serious problem

Didn't cost that much for husband and I . Course, we are childess, so, nobody will be fighting over what's left over. We just got 'mirror wills'. Named a person and his wife as 'executors' in case we both cloark at same time in airplane, etc. Stated who was suppose to get what. Pretty much straight down the line. Don't think it was over 300.