A People’s Choice has worked with many clients who own real estate in multiple states. This may include a second home, a vacation home or property rentals. Multiple properties usually do not have an adverse effect on the probate process; however, if a person passes away with property in more than one state, this often will require the filing of multi-state probate proceedings. In other words, the Personal Representative or Executor must probate the estate in multi states. In California, these probate proceedings are called California ancillary probate proceedings. In some cases, the same Personal Representative may not be used. Read on to learn more about multi-state probate proceedings and how A People’s Choice can help you file a California ancillary probate.

“A People’s Choice helped us file the ancillary probate case in California and we saved quite a bit of money since California allows attorneys to charge very high statutory fees. ” P. Johnson
“My brother owned property in Idaho and California. We filed probate in Idaho but that court could not distribute the California property. We had to file a probate in California.” P. Johnson

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Martha was appointed to serve as the Personal Representative of her grandmother’s estate. Her grandmother Laurel, lived in Colorado but held title to property in Colorado, California, and Texas. Martha must open probate in each state. Martha will need to file an ancillary probate proceeding in California to act as administrator for the California property and to administer and distribute the estate property in California to the decedent’s beneficiaries.

Multi-State Probate | California Ancillary Probate Overview

It is important to execute proper estate planning documents to ensure properties do not have to go through probate in each state. If the decedent has property in multiple states, probate must first occur in the state in which he/she resided at the time of death, also referred to as the Primary Probate state. As mentioned above, the first step in the process is to appoint a Personal Representative or Executor of the estate. The Executor will be named in the will. If the will is silent, the court will appoint a Personal Representative.

Once the Personal Representative or Executor is appointed, he/she will be required to open probate in every state in which the decedent holds title to property. If the decedent owned property in California, a “California ancillary probate” will need to be filed. If the will was previously filed in the decedent’s state of residence, it will likely be accepted as a foreign will in each subsequent jurisdiction. Each state will have different laws for opening and administering probate. Most states will wait until probate issues have been resolved in the decedent’s home state prior to making final orders.

Fortunately, you can avoid the probate process altogether. This can be accomplished by doing one of the following:

• Owning property with another person as a joint tenancy or as community property with a spouse.
• Putting the property into a revocable trust
• Recording a transfer-on-death deed for the property

Contact A People’s Choice if you need to file a California ancillary probate proceeding or for more information on how to avoid multi-state probate proceedings. You do not have to hire an attorney to represent you when filing a California ancillary probate. A People’s Choice can prepare all required probate paperwork as well as instructions on how to probate real estate and other assets in multi-state probate proceedings. Our probate services are, however, limited to filing probate in California.

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