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Joe Paterno's family releases will

Associated Press Modified: June 15, 2012 at 12:46 am •  Published: June 15, 2012
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BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Joe Paterno's will left his personal property to wife Sue and established a trust for the remainder of his estate.

The documents released by the family Thursday to The Associated Press include the original seven-page will filed in 1997. The material didn't state how much Paterno or his estate were worth.

The Hall of Fame football coach died of cancer in January at age 85, less than three months after being ousted by university trustees in November as part of the fallout over the arrest of retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges. The family released the will the same day Sandusky's trial wrapped up its first week in Centre County court.

The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice reported Sunday that Paterno's will had been sealed by a county judge in April upon request of the estate.

"The request was entirely appropriate and totally consistent with the actions of other prominent individuals," the family said in a statement issued through a spokesman. "The only objective was to preserve a measure of privacy for Sue Paterno, their five children, 17 grandchildren and other family members.

"In an effort to ensure maximum transparency and eliminate unfounded speculation, the family has decided to make the will publicly available," the family added. They said they would petition the court to unseal all future filings.

Sue Paterno was named "personal representative" of the will. The family also released a two-page codicil — or amendment — filed in 2010 that named the Paternos' daughters, Mary Kay and Diana, in that order, as the personal representatives if their mother was unable to do so.

There is a "clamor of transparency" anytime public documents are sealed without cause or explanation, said Larry Holeva, managing editor of the Citizens Voice and the (Hazleton) Standard-Speaker. "This wasn't about Joe Paterno, simply about ensuring that public documents remain public."

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