Probate is a public process. A notice of the estate being opened is placed in the newspaper. The court’s file is open for public inspection. While some states limit the information available to the public, many do not. The available information includes a number of things you and your family would like to keep private, like value of your estate, your beneficiaries and who you owed money at your passing.
As an alternative to the public nature of probate, you may wish to consider a revocable living trust. Structuring the estate plan in a revocable trust, with a pour-over will, can keep details of the plan private at the client’s death. Using a fully funded revocable trust can avoid disclosure of assets in probate proceedings.