Did you know if you own a home or a car in another state, besides the probate process in your home state, your beneficiaries might need to go through another, ancillary, form of probate to receive it?  Having your assets transferred to your heirs after you pass away can be something that you want to think through and plan for carefully because you want to do it the right way for your family.

Without advance planning, the laws of the state where the property is located may determine how it is divided and distributed. You can, however, plan forward for this property. For example, you could fund it into your own trust agreement which can guide the process across state lines.

Let us share insight and tips with you right here on estate planning with a possible ancillary probate in mind.

Typical Ancillary Probate Procedures

The domicile state is where you have a last will and testament filed for property in the state where you live. The laws of your home state will determine how your property will be divided. This is where all probate procedures start.  

Though you might have listed out-of-state property in that will, the probate court where that property is located will have jurisdiction. The out-of-state court may also accept this will or have its own independent process for admitting a will from another state.

The ancillary probate process is often shorter than the one in the primary state. The executor or personal representative of the primary last will and testament, however, will most likely need a lawyer in the second or third state to handle the procedure. The executor will need similar powers and responsibilities in each state for authority over the property. This could include selling or transferring it according to the will instructions and additional state’s probate laws.

Ancillary probate might not be required, however, if you plan ahead through your estate plan.

This means working with your attorney to take measures to transfer ownership before you die. For example, together you may discuss the pros and cons of adding one of your heirs on the title of your out of state property. Remember, state regulations differ. It is always best to talk to your estate planning attorney to determine how they apply in the locations involved.

If you need help, feel free to contact us.  We’d be glad to answer your questions in a consultation and help you to ease the difficulties of your estate planning throughout multiple states.