For any college football fan, Penn State graduate, or anyone else interested in the life and death of Joe Paterno, it now appears as if the details of his last will and testament will always remain a mystery. According to the Wilkes-Barre Citizen’s Voice newspaper, a Pennsylvania probate court judge has ordered that the Will be sealed.
The petition requesting that the Will be sealed, as well as the courts order granting the petition, are also sealed. Pennsylvania probate attorneys have stated this move is very uncommon and the Citizen’s Voice reports that the Paterno Will is the only one to have been sealed in Centre County, Pennsylvania for at least the past 18 months.
It is unclear which of the five probate court judges issued the order. The Citizen’s Voice reports that a call made to both the Paterno estate’s attorney and the presiding judge of the county were not returned.
Paterno died earlier this year at the age of 85 after suffering from lung cancer. He was removed as Penn State’s head football coach shortly before then after allegations of child sex abuse were discovered involving retired former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Mr. Sandusky is currently on trial for charges of child sex abuse.
In the vast majority of probate cases, a person’s Last Will and Testament becomes part of the public record and is available for anyone to view it. In cases where a high profile or public figure has left behind Will, courts will sometimes order the documents sealed.