When a person passes away and their estate goes through probate, the records of the probate proceedings become a matter of public record. This means that anyone can access the records, including the deceased person’s will, inventory of assets, debts, and distributions to beneficiaries.
Access in the Surrogates Court
In New York, probate records are maintained by the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the deceased person lived. The records are generally available for public inspection, although some records may be restricted due to privacy concerns.
While probate records are public, there are some situations in which they may be sealed or restricted from public access. For example, if the deceased person’s will includes sensitive or confidential information, the court may order that the will be sealed or redacted to protect the privacy of the deceased person and their family.
In addition, if the executor or administrator of the estate is concerned about the privacy of the deceased person’s beneficiaries or the distribution of assets, they may petition the court to keep certain information confidential or to limit public access to the records.
In summary, probate records in New York are generally public and can be accessed by anyone. However, some records may be sealed or restricted from public access to protect the privacy of the deceased person and their family. If you have concerns about the privacy of your estate or the distribution of your assets, it’s important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. They can help you understand the implications of probate and advise you on strategies to protect your privacy and ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.
Contact us today at (631) 518-3093 to discuss how to navigate the probate and or estate administration process
Sheryll Law is an award-winning firm with many satisfied clients on Long Island. Call us at (631) 518-3093 today or fill in a short form to schedule a consultation with one of our New York State estate attorneys.
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