Wills Are Public Documents

A lot of people ask our office what the difference is between Wills and Trusts. There are several key advantages to trusts, depending on your estate planning needs. One advantage to our readers who value privacy is that a well-crafted Revocable Living Trust, if properly written AND funded, can avoid the probate process. By avoiding the probate process, your written instructions, hopes, wishes and legacy have a better chance at being kept private. In contrast, a Will always enters the probate process, and thus, becomes a public document. All you have to do is google "Jackie Kennedy Will" to see what I mean. Anyone can access the former First Lady’s Will! Sure, the chances of your Will leaking all over the internet are slim, but the point remains–your Will is available to all those that want to see it, whether or not you want them to see it. Living Trusts can never guarantee complete privacy. However, qualified attorneys can craft Living Trusts to better protect against intrusions. Remember that if you currently have a Will as the foundation of your estate plan, you CAN "upgrade" to a Trust.