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Estate Details Go Public

We are all accustomed to getting information through the internet. We can research virtually anyone and anything in a matter of minutes online. On top of this easy access to research is the ever-increasing desire to learn intimate details about celebrities and people we know through television shows like TMZ and magazines we see in grocery store lines.

Online Access to Estate Plan Details

What does any this have to do with estate planning? Whenever an estate goes through the probate process, whether an individual does or does not have a will, the court documents, including the last will and testament, become part of the public record. There are internet sites now which post celebrity last will and testaments in their entirety for free. For a fee some internet sites offer court documents which include affidavits from people making claims on the estate as well as creditors’ claims. The intimate details of the documents become available for the general public.

Keeping Your Estate Private

While the average person’s will is not likely to be posted online for the general public, it is important to realize friends, family members, or just nosy neighbors can access public court records when a will goes through probate. The best way to keep family details of an estate plan private is to create trusts which dispose of property without the use of a will and without the need for probate.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman can help you create a plan which protects your privacy, your assets, and your loved ones. Call us today at 973-841-5111.


Posted in: Estate Planning, New York Estate Planning