Is Your Will a Private Document? NO!
In Florida, a Will must be filed with the Clerk of Court in the county where you are residing at the time of your death. A Will is a public record. Other documents that must be filed during the probate process are the Inventory and Accounting-documents which contain very specific information about your assets.
This issue was recently in the news when The New York Times filed a lawsuit seeking access to the sealed Will of Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. The Times argued that “Ms. Lee’s privacy concerns were no different from those of others whose wills are processed through the court system.” The Times won, and Harper Lee’s Will is now a public record.
You can avoid this public process and keep your affairs private through the use of a Revocable Living Trust. Like a Will, a Trust’s main purpose is to control the disposition of your property at death, But, unlike a Will, one of the advantages of a Trust is that there is no Probate and no public airing of your assets in a filed Inventory.
With a Revocable Living Trust, your property and their values remain private.
Questions? The Law Office of Debra Simms is here to help. Call us today 386.256.4882