Probating an Estate with Real Estate in an Additional State: The Ancillary Probate Process

Often loved ones are confused about the process of probating an Estate. It complicates matters when the decedent had property in another state than the state they resided in while alive. Many people do not realize but real estate is governed by the state it is located in, not the state that the owner lives in. Because of this, there may have to be an ancillary probate process.

One of the biggest drawbacks of having an ancillary estate is the cost. Some solutions for an ancillary estate is to simply put a house in a simple living trust, use a transfer-on-death deed or add a co-owner to the title. Additionally, many states offer a summary probate procedure that will simplify the process for small estates. This is called “summary probate.” There is often a waiting period, but it is not as long as a normal probate process.

Overall, having an ancillary estate proceeding will complicate matters but should not be as time consuming as a full estate. If possible, it is best to structure your affairs ahead of time to prevent the executor of your Estate from having to deal with this further complication.

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