This post is meant to be educational, and should not be read as legal advice.
Friday, August 12, 2011
What To Do With A Will That Contains SSN?
This month a client came to my office; her husband had died and she needed help updating her will and powers of attorney and wanted advice on "closing out matters" related to her husband's death. They were married, and his probate estate was less than $50,000. However, a will existed, and needed to be filed with the probate court (under Wisconsin Statutes, Section 856.05) a will must be filed with the probate court within 30 days of death....even if probate is not needed. The problem in this matter was that the drafting attorney (not me) included the decedent's Social Security Number. A will, once filed, becomes a public document. And it is not wise to have a SSN in a public document. After speaking with the court, I will file the will along with a letter requesting that the file be sealed. Altering a will is not acceptable practice. Always seek advice from legal experts!