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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