In order to make sure that the standing and dignity of the Queen is protected to the fullest extent, the Will of the late Prince Philip will be kept secret for a period of 90 years. For more than a century, it has been standard procedure for the Wills of the senior members of the Royal Family to be held in secret. Most Wills that go through probate are open for public inspection, but that will likely not be the case with this one. In 90 years, there will be a private process held to determine if it can be unsealed.
The goal is to make sure that royal Wills are held separately, and not to the same standards, as the Wills of the common people. That adds to the protection the royals have over their private lives. It also reduces speculation and makes it easier for the royal family to continue operating in ways that keep their best interests at the forefront. The Queen’s dignity is a big part of that, as she’s kept from any kind of scrutiny in the public eye. Any issues she faces are private, and kept out of the headlines as much as possible.
There’s general curiosity around the Wills of any members of the Royal Family who pass away, but keeping those Wills private keeps with tradition. Additionally, the hearing on whether to keep the Will private was also private, so it didn’t stir up any questions or speculation into what was in the Will, or why privacy was needed. Even after 90 years, it’s possible that Prince Philip’s Will won’t be published anywhere at all, in whole or in part. The 90-year deadline is only to examine the Will to make that determination.
At The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center, we assist people of all walks of life to create thoughtful, deliberate estate plans and documents designed to ensure their goals and wishes for their assets will be carried out. To learn more, contact us today!