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Understanding the ancillary probate process

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2023 | Probate, Trust & Estate Administration

After a loved one passes away, dealing with their estate can seem overwhelming. If they owned property in more than one state, you will have additional considerations. Ancillary probate will facilitate the estate settlement process when there are out-of-state assets to consider.

Understanding ancillary probate helps you prepare for the process ahead.

What is ancillary probate?

Ancillary probate is a legal process that addresses any property located in another state after someone’s death. The primary probate process handles assets within the state of residence, but cannot administer the out-of-state assets. Ancillary probate ensures that the out-of-state assets receive proper handling.

Why is ancillary probate necessary?

Every state has unique laws and regulations about the handling of probate and the distribution of assets within the state. Property located beyond the state’s borders is subject to the jurisdiction of its physical location. Ancillary probate ensures that this process occurs properly.

What happens during ancillary probate?

When you file an ancillary probate case, the first step is assessing the out-of-state property. This process validates the ownership records, determines the property value and identifies the proper distribution of the property according to the state’s laws as well as the wishes of the deceased. The court considers the deceased’s estate plan and will as part of this process.

The average inheritance in the U.S. is just over $46,000. When it comes to administering estates and distributing property for those inheritances, probate matters. If you are the executor of an estate with out-of-state property, prepare for the ancillary probate process in addition to your standard probate case.


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