Probate and Loss of Privacy

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses probate and the loss of privacy that occurs for those involved with a will in probate. Since a will in probate is made a matter of public record, anyone can find out what the will says, the names and addresses of the beneficiaries, and an inventory of the estate. While you may not want everyone to know your business, it’s even worse when scam artists get the information.

Probate and Loss of Privacy


Hi, I’m Wes Coulson, and this is your Elder Law Minute.

One of the overlooked disadvantages of probate is the loss of privacy that’s involved. When a will is probated, not only is the will made a matter of public record, but also things like the name and address of all of the beneficiaries and an inventory showing exactly what the estate consists of.

Now, not only is that the sort of information that you want to keep away from nosy neighbors and relatives; it also raises a real concern about scam artists. In fact, the probate records are one of the main places that they look for victims. If you knew that, for instance, Mary was about to inherit $250,000 and you had her name and address, those are great leads in separating Mary from the money. That’s why we favor the use of living trusts for most people who do estate planning. Thanks!

For more information on Estate Planning, visit these articles:

“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”

Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.