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What executors (may) need to know about ancillary probate

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Probate And Estate Administration |

If you’re the executor of a deceased loved one’s estate, you likely hope that they took steps in their estate planning to minimize the need for a lengthy, complicated probate process. The last thing you want to discover is that there may be yet another probate proceeding that needs to be conducted outside of Ohio. That’s what can happen if your loved one had assets located or registered in another state.

When probate is required in a state other than the deceased’s state of residence, it’s called “ancillary probate” (as opposed to “domiciliary probate”). State probate courts have no jurisdiction over property located or registered in another state. That’s why a probate court in the state where the property is located or registered needs to deal with it. Such property can include anything from a vacation home in Florida to a boat docked in Michigan to a share of a business in Chicago to some horses in Kentucky.

The good news is that if your loved one developed a sound estate plan here in Ohio, it’s likely that a probate court in another state will accept that estate plan. As a result, ancillary probate doesn’t have to be a long, complicated process.

Ancillary probate is avoidable

In fact, your loved one may have even taken steps to avoid ancillary probate completely. This goal can be accomplished in various ways, depending on what kind of asset is being affected. If it’s a home, for example, they may have added the person whom they intended to inherit it to the title. They may also have placed it in a revocable living trust (in the state where it’s located or registered). These steps can allow an asset to bypass probate.

These are all things to think about if you also have assets outside your home state (but within the U.S.). It’s also wise to make sure that whomever you choose as your executor – when you’re drafting your own estate plan – knows about them and is able and willing, if necessary, to take on that additional responsibility and travel.

Right now, you need to deal with the estate you’ve been chosen to administer. It’s always wise to have legal guidance as you handle all of the responsibilities that being an executor entails. If there’s out-of-state property, that guidance will likely be even more crucial to help ensure that the estate in question is handled efficiently and according to the law.

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