Joe Paterno’s Will

After Joe Paterno's death, in an unusual move, the probate court entered an order sealing his Will from being released to the public. This was very unusual because when a Will is filed with the probate court it generally becomes part of the public record. Anyone who wants could march down to the court and review the Will and even make a copy. However, the court later rescinded its order and opened it up for public inspection.  See an article on this here.

From this article is appears that Mr. Paterno did his planinng around a revocable trust. The Will provided his wife was to receive all tangible personal property such as furnishings, artwork, and similar items. However, the Will provided that all other assets were to pass to his revocable trust which remains private. A trust typically does not have to be filed with the probate court and thus will not be made public. We do not know who the beneficairies are of the trust but we can surmise Mr. Paterno set up a plan to reduce estate taxes and provide for his wife and children.

If you value keeping your affairs private consider using a revocable trust as part of your planning. Trusts are not necessarily for everyone and you should seek competent legal counsel to decide if a trust would benefit you and your loved ones.