You've probably heard that one of the main reasons why people decide to get a revocable living trust as part of their estate plan is to avoid probate. Did you know that a huge benefit of avoiding probate is protecting your family's privacy?
In his article "Addressing Client Privacy," attorney George H. Lovett points to statistics from the Federal Trade Commission showing that in 2011, agencies registered 1.8 million scam complaints, costing the victims over $1.5 billion. Consider these numbers along with the fact that Ohio has one of the strongest open public records laws in the country, and the stage is set for scam artists to take advantage of unsuspecting Ohio citizens.
If probate is not avoided, then an accounting of all the probate assets that the decedent owned will be made public record through the probate process. That reason alone motivates many widows to get a trust, so that their assets are not on public display.
When a trust is used as part of an estate plan, the probate process can often be bypassed if the trust is fully funded. By keeping your personal and financial information out of probate court, you are protecting your family from unnecessary risks arising from easy access to public information.