Most people think of probate as a private process. However, since Wills are filed at the courthouse, probated estates become a matter of public record. That means your nosey neighbor Nellie can simply go down to the courthouse or hop online and find out about your probate and know exactly what’s in it, who will receive and how much!
It’s Not Just Nellie That Has Access…
After a death, most states require that whoever has possession of the deceased person’s will must file it with the probate court – even if there is not going to be any probate court proceedings. While Nellie may be an annoyance and have no other reason to view the information other than curiosity, others can get access to your public records and make your beneficiaries’ lives miserable, such as:
Avoid the “Nosey Nellie” Factor with A Trust
Trusts are never filed with a court, either before or after your death. Probate courts are not involved in supervising your trust administration. So, you can avoid busy bodies and predators by creating a trust. Did you hear that, Nellie?