© 2013 Robert L. Shepard, Professional Law Corporation
Are Probate documents public record?
Yes, everything filed with the probate court is openly assessable to anyone wishing to view it. This will include a copy of your will, along with an inventory and appraisal of all the probate estates assets and debts. Not only is it filed with the court, it must be mailed to all the beneficiaries, family members and all reasonably ascertainable creditors. Often just the receipt of such a notice is seen by some as an invitation to challenge the will in one way or another. On the other hand, a living trust avoids probate and remains confidential as long as no one contests or otherwise challenges the terms of the trust.