In regards XXXXX XXXXX Estate Tax law in Iowa is it possible to "seal" the will when filed so the public cannot review the details?
State/Country relating to question: Iowa
Thanks for asking your question! I'm sorry to hear about your tax issue and I'm going to try my best to help you understand or resolve it.Thank you for your question. I would love to help you today.The whole purpose of filing a will is so that there is public notice of a death of an individual so that those who believe they have a claim against the estate will have a chance to make such a claim. Therefore, there's not a way to make this information private, as it is public information. If one is worried about privacy, they should discuss the issue with an estate lawyer who may suggest a living trust as a method to side-step probate at death.Thank you once again for your question. I realize the answer isn't probably the answer you wanted to hear. Please keep in mind that I have no control over how things must be reported to the public. Please rate my response based on my professionalism and not how the answer makes you feel. Please take a moment to rate my response as "Great Service" so that I can be compensated for assisting you today.
This is an article from which I get the idea wills CAN be sealed: Please explain discrepency:
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — The last will and testament of Joe Paterno was ordered permanently sealed from public view along with all related court filings at the request of a family attorney, a newspaper reported Sunday.
Even the judge's order and the petition by a Paterno attorney requesting the action were sealed, The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizen's Voice ( ) reported. County records indicate that Paterno's was the only will sealed in the county in the past 18 months, the paper said. http://bit.ly/MwPEO1
For one, Joe Paterno is a high-profile individual, and the family has valid privacy concerns. There is some aspect where the family may suffer harm from the public knowing the extent of his estate. There was a great deal of disclosure on the part of Paterno's wife in terms of his salary and severance packages, and terms of his entire estate. In the case of Paterno, all the parties to the will agreed to the terms, and there was no dispute or controversy over the terms of the will. The court considered the harm that could come to the family by leaving the will open to public record. However, for instance, if Joe left all his estate to the Humane Society and his surviving children fought his will, it would not have been sealed. (this is an extreme example, but there are people out there who leave their entire estates to charity to the shock and outrage of their descendants). If there was a controversy, the will would remain public record at least during the court proceedings. It's possible to do, but it rarely ever happens, and when it does it's only reserved for high profile and high wealth individuals. Also, there cannot be any controversy surrounding the will, and all heirs and descendants need to be in agreement to the will's terms. So, the average Joe won't get their will sealed. there has to be a reason. Hope this helps. If you're concerned about your privacy when you pass on, consider having an estate lawyer draw you up a living trust, which will help you avoid court filings and probate after you pass away. Thanks!
Graduate Accounting Degree from Ole Miss