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Did you know that Probate proceedings are public?

I came across an interesting site the other day. It appeared to be an Excel spreadsheet of all of the decedent’s probate cases filed in the state of Colorado on a particular day.

The wordpress site on which this information is kept is password-protected, but I was able to find it just with a Google search for one of the personal representative’s names.

Since probate cases are public records, I assume the person who compiled this list just went through all the probate filings for the day in each county.

What will they do with this information? Probably try to sell something that would be useful to people administering an estate. Maybe estate sale services? Maybe they’ll be combing the real estate records as well and offer to list the deceased’s property for sale.

Just another reminder that probate, while it doesn’t have to be the nightmare some make it out to be, is not a private proceeding. Those who want to keep everything out of the public eye should consider probate avoidance techniques such as living trusts and beneficiary designations. Keep in mind, though, that some probate avoidance techniques, such as beneficiary deeds, are also going to be public record.


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