Avoiding Probate #2 – Privacy Matters

The second part in our series, Reasons to Avoid Probate, deals with the very Public nature of Probate Court proceedings, and why the lack of Privacy can cause harm to your family.

Unlike with a Living Trust, which must only be shared with those named in it after the creator has died, the Probate process is an open, public forum.

All of your bank account numbers and locations, birth dates, social security numbers and other Personally Identifiable Information become a matter of Public Record, which almost anyone can access.

In short, it becomes a one-stop-shop for would-be identity thieves.

Two or three decades ago – before Identity Theft became a household word – the Public Nature of the Probate Process was not ideal, but it didn’t represent the risk it does today.

Today, many Probate Courts in California allow much of the information from a Probate proceeding to be published online.

No longer do you have to go down to the Probate Records department and furnish identification.

Now you can stay at home and access a treasure trove of Personally Identifiable Information over the internet.

Reason enough to Avoid Probate entirely.