Friday, February 16, 2007

Keep Your Estate Private

Have you read Anna Nicole Smith’s Last Will and Testament?

I have not read her will, nor do I intend to. For me, the noteworthy aspect of her will is not the contents of the document, but the fact that it is front-page news on the CNN website (This is not meant to be a criticism of CNN, as I expect it is likely to be widely publicized by countless other media outlets).

For those of us who are not celebrities, there is little danger of our will being published by the national media. But if you do not make arrangements to avoid probate, your will, or any other probate proceedings, are public record.

Probate proceedings are less burdensome then they were in the past, but there are still many good reasons to avoid probate, including to protect your privacy. As an attorney who spends a significant portion of my practice dedicated to estate planning and administration, probate avoidance is one of the most common goals of my clients, and there are more options then ever to help clients achieve that goal. To avoid probate and protect your privacy, contact your trusted estate planning attorney.

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