Keep Your Most Private Decisions Private

James Brown’s will is a public record. CNN reports here and now everyone knows he disinherited his partner and youngest child. This is no one’s business but James Brown’s, but he made it a news event because he didn’t create a living trust which, unlike a will, does not become a public record.

This is how Clark Allison of Allison Consulting begins his well-written post, “Another Reason for a Living Trust – Privacy.” Its also a great example of the intrusion allowed by certain legal processes that a trust can avoid.

Privacy isn’t always a principal concern of my clients when deciding to form a trust. Oftentimes its for greater control of the disposition of their assets after their death – the “hand from the grave” – but privacy, or the potential lack of it, should never be ignored when chronicling how your clients want to divide their accumulated wealth at death… These are details that most won’t tell even their children. But they will tell their estate planner and we have a duty to hold their confidence, inviolate, to the greatest extent possible. A trust is usually the best way.

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