Many people in Florida design their estate plans with the specific goal of keeping things private – between family members only, in many cases. However, if your estate plan is crafted in such a way that the probate court will come into play in the process, the reality is that some of your private matters may be open to the public’s view.
So, are probate records public in Florida? In general, the answer is yes, but there are many exceptions to the type of records that are public. For example, specific inventories and accountings that are filed in probate court cases are confidential. Medical information that might be pertinent in these cases is confidential as well, as is paternity information, marital status information and even the cause of death on certain forms.
Besides these exceptions, many other documents in probate cases should be considered to be publicly available. That is a key consideration to keep in mind when drafting your estate plan. If privacy is one of your main concerns, then you may want to consider options that can generally avoid probate court, such as trusts and life insurance policies.
Efficiency in probate court
Many people get bogged down in the probate process when they try to go it alone. These types of court cases simply seem to take forever, in some situations. Experienced attorneys can help clients draft estate plans that take probate into account and, when necessary, usher these cases efficiently through the probate courts. For more information, please visit the probate and estate planning section of our law firm’s website.