Ancillary probate is a legal process that may be necessary when a person dies and owns property in multiple states. It is a separate probate proceeding from the primary probate process in the state where the deceased person had their primary residence. Ancillary probate comes with additional costs and can delay the distribution of assets.
Ancillary probate is necessary when a person dies and owns real estate or other assets located in a state other than the one in which they were domiciled. For example, if a person lives in Texas but owns a vacation home in Colorado, ancillary probate may be required in Colorado to transfer ownership of the property.
The purpose of ancillary probate
The purpose of ancillary probate is to ensure that the deceased person’s assets are distributed according to their wishes and in compliance with the laws of each state where they own property. This means that the executor or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate will need to initiate a separate probate proceeding in each state where the deceased person owns property.
The requirements for ancillary probate can vary depending on the state where the property is located. Some states may require the appointment of a separate executor or personal representative in that state, while others may allow the executor of the primary probate process to handle the ancillary probate proceeding.
Ancillary probate can be costly and time-consuming, requiring additional legal fees, court costs and paperwork. However, failing to complete ancillary probate can result in legal disputes and delays in distributing the deceased person’s assets.
Unless you place your property in a living trust, ancillary probate may be necessary for your estate. The requirements for ancillary probate can vary depending on the state where the property is located and doing your due diligence can ensure your wishes are met without issues.