Ancillary ProbateAncillary Probate

Ancillary probate is a type of secondary probate that some may find necessary. In this article, we will go over what an ancillary probate is and how they work.

What is an Ancillary Probate?

An ancillary probate is a secondary probate proceeding. This is in addition to a primary probate proceeding. One is necessary when a decedent owns real estate or other titled property (i.e. car, boat, or trailer) in a state other than their state of domicile.

This is mandatory since each state has its own set of laws on how to handle a decedent’s property. Additionally, a state only has jurisdiction over property within its lines. One state does not have the power to distribute or give orders regarding property that is in another state’s jurisdiction.

The Process

The first step is to make sure you have an active probate open in the decedent’s state of domicile. Once that is complete you will need to file the necessary paperwork in the state where the additional property is located. Each state has different rules and requirements for ancillary probate proceedings. However, these secondary proceedings are usually shorter. This is because the validity of the probate is proven by the initial probate. Both proceedings must stay open at the same time. Once the ancillary probate is complete, then the initial probate can be closed.

Avoiding Ancillary Proceedings

These types of probates can prove to be extraordinarily frustrating. This is due to the additional attorney and court costs, complications, and time delays. However, with the proper foresight and planning, probate can be avoided altogether. This can be done by titling all property, even out of state property, into a living trust. This can save your beneficiaries the cost and headache of dealing with any type of probate court proceedings.

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