Anyone Can Find Out About Your Probate. Really.
Most people think of probate (the process of collecting, managing, and distributing a deceased person’s money and property) as a private process. However, because Wills are filed at the courthouse, probated estates become a matter of public record. That means your nosy neighbor Nellie can simply go down to the local courthouse, such as the Cleveland County Courthouse on 200 S. Peters Avenue, Norman, OK 73069, or hop online, and find out about your probate. Really.
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 won’t be any probate court proceedings. While Nellie may be an annoyance and have no 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 “Nosy 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 intrusions by busy bodies and predators by creating a trust. While some state laws require a total or partial disclosure of information regarding the trust to beneficiaries, it is still the best way to keep your legal affairs private. Did you hear that, Nellie?
Contact us today and let us help you create a trust to avoid probate and keep your family and financial affairs private. We are available to speak with you via telephone or through video conferencing if you prefer.
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