A Pennsylvania probate court judge has issued an order sealing Joe Paterno’s Will, making it unavailable to the public for inspection. The will was apparently filed into probate on April 5th, and the order sealing it was issued four days later, according to the Wilkes-Barre Citizen’s Voice newspaper. The petition that asked the court to seal the documents, as well as the courts order granting the petition, have also been sealed. The Citizen’s Voice has also been unable to identify which of the five judges in Centre County issued the order.
Joe Paterno died in January of this year as the result of lung cancer. His death came shortly after he was removed as Penn State’s head football coach by the university’s Board of Trustees. The removal came after child sex abuse allegations arose against Jerry Sandusky, a retired assistant Penn State football coach. Mr. Sandusky is currently on trial for criminal child sex abuse charges.
Local probate attorneys have stated that the court’s decision to seal the will is very strange. Probate court documents are usually available to the public, and though many people have a desire to keep these documents private, courts only very rarely choose to seal a will. The Citizen’s Voice reports that it could find no record of another will in Centre County being sealed in the past 18 months.