You might think that the disposition of your resources would be handled in a private manner after you pass away. In fact, if you choose to use a Last Will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer, the general public would have access to all the details.
This is because your estate must be probated when you use a Last Will. Probate exists partially because of the fact that there could be interested parties that have a rightful claim against the estate. Creditors, claimants, and/or individuals who may want to challenge the will are afforded the opportunity to step forward and seek satisfaction during probate.
The probate or surrogate court records are accessible to the general public, so anyone who wanted to pry into your final affairs could do so with no resistance when you use a Last Will.
There are those who would like everything to remain confidential for personal reasons, and this is quite understandable. And even if you do not fit into this category, you may feel a bit uncomfortable allowing anyone and everyone to know who you have left inheritances to and other details that could be contained within the probate records.
How can you make sure that your final business is conducted privately? One option would be to work with a good San Jose estate planning lawyer to execute a revocable living trust. These legal instruments can be utilized to direct the distribution of your remaining assets to your heirs outside of the public process of probate. By simply choosing this different asset transfer vehicle, the problem is solved.