A probate court judge in Centre County, Pennsylvania has ordered that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s last will and testament be permanently sealed, making it unavailable to the public. The will was submitted to the probate court on April 5th, and the order sealing it was issued four days later, according to the Wilkes-Barre Citizen’s Voice newspaper.
The newspaper reports that along with the will, the original petition asking the court to seal the document and the court’s order granting the request have also been sealed. The county in which the Paterno estate was filed, Centre County, has more than one judge, and it isn’t clear which judge issued the order.
Estate planning attorneys in the area have described the court’s sealing of the Paterno will as strange. Probate documents are typically open to the public after filing, and there is apparently no record of a will being sealed in Centre County for at least the past 18 months. A family spokesperson told the press that the request is “not an unusual request for high-profile individuals.” He also stated that “Sue Paterno has also reiterated her commitment to support charitable causes connected to Penn State and the State College Community. These efforts will continue.”
Paterno died earlier this year several months after he was removed as Penn State’s football coach. The removal came after allegations of child sex abuse arose surrounding former assistance coach Jerry Sandusky.