Ancillary probate is required if a person lives in one state but owns real property in another. The Personal Representative or Executor files the ancillary probate where the decedent’s assets are. Depending on the circumstances, the court can appoint a Personal Representative to administer the assets in that state, even though the decedent did not live there. Below is an overview of ancillary probate in California.

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Multi-State Probate

Strategic estate planning helps reduce extra steps for family members to go through to complete the probate process. First and foremost, creating a living trust can help avoid probate altogether. In spite of this, when a person dies without a will or planning their estate, probate will most likely have to be filed. With this in mind, when a decedent has property in more than one state, probate is first recorded in the state where they lived. In other words, the primary probate state is the state of residency.

Filing Ancillary Probate in California

Once a Personal Representative or estate Executor is appointed and issued letters by the court, he can open probate in each state the decedent holds title to real property. The Personal Representative files the probated will as a foreign document in the out-of-state court. More specifically, the Personal Representative submits an exemplified copy of the will in the ancillary probate case with the secondary court. This exemplified copy is merely a copy of the original will that is uniquely “certified” by the court clerk. The court clerk certifies the document as being a true and correct copy of the filed original.

Each state has different probate laws. Keep in mind, the probate court may hold over order on real property in ancillary proceedings until probate in the home state finishes.

Carlos was a resident of Nevada. He frequented San Diego, California regularly and purchased a condo there after winning big at a Nevada casino. Carlos passed away shortly after buying the condominium. His last will designated his best friend Rene to serve as the Executor.

Rene filed for probate in Nevada because that is where Carlos resided. However, after received Letters Testamentary and appraising all of Carlos assets, he filed another petition for ancillary probate in California. Carlos petitioned the court in California to approve the transfer of the condo to Carlo’  son. The court accepted the ancillary petition and allowed Carlos to close the probate case in the Nevada court.

Ancillary Probate Considerations

Take into account that legal issues may arise in regards to where the decedent resided (residency) at the time of death. For example, depending on a state’s probate laws, interested parties may try and argue in favor of one state’s jurisdiction over the matter (the decedent’s state of residence). Furthermore, ancillary probate may increase the costs of probate overall. Contact A People’s Choice and work with a legal document preparer. Using our services can save you thousands of dollars in attorney fees. We have helped many people file ancillary probate petitions in other states requesting the court to transfer or sell real estate.

Filing Ancillary Probate Without a Lawyer

Despite common misconceptions, you can file ancillary probate in California without hiring an attorney. Unfortunately, ancillary probate in California proceeding takes just as long as regular probate and is the same amount of work. As has been noted, the cost of filing probates in multiple states is high. Don’t spend money unnecessarily and take a vacation with the money saved by using our probate services. Don’t take our word for it. By all means, use our online probate calculator to see exactly how much you will save! Then call us at 800-747-2780.


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