If you think that going through probate is bad, think about having to conduct two probate proceedings in two different states for the same decedent. If you are wondering how this is possible? Read on to find out.
Ancillary probate is a second probate proceeding in another state than the original probate proceeding. Usually, ancillary probate is necessary where a decedent owned real estate or other tangible property, such as cars, and boats, in a state other than the one they resided in. For example, a California resident who died in California may have left a house in another state. For the house in the other state, there may need to be a different probate proceeding from the one in California. The reverse is also true. If a resident of another state who died in that state left a house or other tangible property in California, there might need to be a second probate proceeding in California. This is because, after a person dies, usually real estate and other tangible property physically located in another state are governed by the laws of that state.
There are two common ancillary situations in California. The first is “California domiciliary.” This is when a California resident dies in California but with property in another state. The second ancillary situation in California is “foreign domiciliary.” This is when the individual died a resident of another state but with real estate or other tangible property in California.
When it comes to deciding who a resident is or where a decedent resided, several things are considered. For example, where did the decedent actually live? Where were they registered to vote? Where did they receive their mail?
How Ancillary Probate Works
After a person dies in California, for example, the executor is required to petition a probate court in California to begin the probate process. As already mentioned, for real estate or other tangible property in another state, a different probate proceeding, known as ancillary probate, may be necessary. The executor of the decedent’s estate can contact or visit a probate court in the other state to begin the second probate proceeding.
Fortunately, some states offer a shortcut. Some states allow executors who had already been granted authority as an executor in another state to file the other state’s letters testamentary and copy of the Will.
Drawbacks of Ancillary Probate
One drawback of ancillary probate is the additional cost. For example, the estate may need to hire another probate lawyer who practices in the second state. However, if your loved one resided in another state and you need to hire an attorney in California, for example, because your deceased loved one left real estate or other tangible property in California, you should remember that hiring an attorney is usually worth it in the end. Generally, failing to hire an attorney might cost you more than you think.
Another drawback of ancillary probate is that it might take longer for beneficiaries or heirs to get their inheritance.
Contact The Probate Guy for Help
To learn more about ancillary probate or to get help with the probate process, feel free to call the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – to schedule a telephonic consultation.