After a Pennsylvania probate court took the highly unusual move of sealing the late coach Joe Paterno’s Will, his estate has now released the documents and made them available to the press and the public.
We’ve blogged a couple of times about Mr. Paterno and his estate, most recently reporting that a judge in Pennsylvania had granted a request made by his estate to seal the Will. This was highly unusual, as all probate court records are public information and sealing them is almost never done. However, the Pennsylvania probate court decided to seal the Paterno will and even decided to seal the request asking the court to take the action.
After a local newspaper reported the sealing of the Will, speculation began circulating as to why the Paterno estate would want the document to remain private. The estate has now reversed itself and decided to reveal the Will and it’s amendment, known as a codicil.
Now that the documents have been revealed, the reason why the estate asked to have them sealed in the first place is even less well know. The documents contained no secrets, revelations, or anything damaging about Mr. Paterno. The will is simply what is known as a “pour over” Will, meaning it transfers Mr. Paterno’s property to a living trust he had already created. These types of Wills are very common whenever someone creates a living trust as they serve as a safety net to transfer any property that wasn’t previously covered under the terms of the trust. Trusts, unlike Wills, are private and do not have to be reviewed by a court.
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