WillMaker Contributors

Over WillMaker's long history, hundreds of people have worked to create the program and keep it effective, up-to-date, easy to use, and accessible. Here we list and give thanks to those who currently work on WillMaker and to those who were integral to its creation.

Current Contributors

Book Production

  • Jaleh Doane, Production Director
  • Michele Nelson, Production Coordinator
  • Susan Putney, Senior Designer



  • Almalyn Basana, Customer Support Representative
  • Andre Franklin, Customer Support Director
  • James Medina, Customer Support Representative
  • Maricar Solito, Customer Support Representative
  • Marriane Cordova, Customer Support Representative
  • Neptali Espolita, Customer Support Representative
  • Trina Chequillo, Customer Support Representative



  • Sharon Hu, Product Design Intern
  • Wil Teran, Senior Product Designer


  • Zoe Feng, Developer
  • Jay Masilamani, VP of Technology
  • Michael Sexton, Lead Developer


  • Jessica Gillespie, Research Editor
  • Betsy Simmons Hannibal J.D., Lead Legal Editor



  • Elvis Yong Wei Keong - Software Engineer
  • Chan Ming Hao - Software Engineer
  • Halah Abuateeq - Software Engineer
  • Hwang Hsien Shiung - Software Engineer



  • Matt Kanaly, Director of Business Operations
  • Jerry Plumb, Product Manager

Project Management

  • Mike Anders, Project Manager - Store
  • Will Su, Project Manager - NCMS
  • Tjoe Tiah Oon, Project Manager - Portal
  • Ming Hao Chan, Engineer - Forms 4


  • Fernanda Gonzalez, QA Engineer
  • Yessica Leyva, Associate SDET
  • Alex Milanez, QA Engineer
  • Duc Nguyen, QA Intern
  • Elliot Park, QA Engineer
  • Kayleen Ponce, QA Engineer
  • Mary Cris Navarro, QA Engineer
  • Chase Yasuda, QA Manager
  • Jayden Yu, QA Engineer
  • Yana Zaynullina, QA Intern


  • Mark Mihelitch, Sales Consultant
  • Simone Odom, Trade Book Manager

Original and Key Contributors

Nolo's lawyers and programmer friends created the first version of WillMaker over 35 years ago. In the following decades, a handful of smart and dedicated lawyers and developers continued to nurture the program that has become America's best-selling estate planning software. Each of the following people—and many more—made meaningful contributions to the integrity and success of WillMaker.

Authors & Editors

Steve Elias received his law degree from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco in 1969. He worked in California, New York, and Vermont as a legal aid lawyer and in Vermont as a public defender. Steve wrote and edited Nolo books on a wide range of topics, including wills, special needs trusts, criminal law, legal research, patents, trademarks, bankruptcy, and foreclosures. Steve lived in Lakeport, California, where he provided legal advice to people doing their own bankruptcies and cohosted several radio programs with his wife on community radio.

Betsy S. Hannibal specializes in estate planning content at Nolo and is the managing editor of WillMaker. She also edits several popular Nolo books, including Plan Your Estate, Get It Together, and Make Your Living Trust. She received her law degree from the Honors Lawyering Program at Golden Gate University School of Law.

Shae Irving was a Nolo editor and author for more than 20 years, specializing in health care directives and powers of attorney. She received her law degree from UC Berkeley Law in 1994. For many years, Shae was the managing editor of WillMaker. In addition, she wrote or cowrote many Nolo products, including Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting Contract, Living Wills & Powers of Attorney for California, and Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor and lives in Fairfax, California, with her husband.

Mary Randolph was Nolo's Editor-in-Chief for many years before leaving to work at a nonprofit environmental organization, Seacology. She earned her law degree from UC Berkeley Law. In addition to working on much of the material in WillMaker, she is the author of several Nolo estate planning and administration books, including The Executor's Guide: Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust and 8 Ways to Avoid Probate.

Ralph "Jake" Warner founded Nolo with Ed Sherman in 1972. When personal computers came along, he became a pioneer of self-help legal software, cocreating the first version of WillMaker in the early 1980s. In addition to running Nolo for several decades, Warner was an active editor and author of many books. Warner holds a law degree from UC Berkeley Law and an undergraduate degree from Princeton.


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