FAQs About Ancillary Probate and How to Avoid It

  • Estate Planning
faqs about ancillary probate and how to avoid it | estate and probate legal group

Distributing your property after your death can be an emotional process for your loved ones. Probate court is needed when a person dies and has property or assets only in their name. But it can complicate things when that person owned real estate property or assets in another state. Maybe you have a vacation home in Florida that you want to pass on to your nephew. In this instance, your beneficiaries will have to deal with ancillary probate.

What is Ancillary Probate?

This probate proceeding is required in addition to the primary probate court and is necessary when properly or assets are located in a state other than where the owner died. The ancillary probate process can be complicated but is made worse if the deceased person does not have a will (also called intestate).

Let’s answer a few Frequently Asked Questions:

In short answer – what is ancillary probate?

  • Probate proceedings that happen at the same time due to property located in a state other than where the owner lived and that property is subject to the probate rules of that state. 

Which probate court has jurisdiction over the property or assets?

  • The state where the property is titled will govern what happens to the property (not where the person lived). Thankfully, the probate courts often work together to help ease the process.

Does this only include property?

  • No, assets can also include cars, boats or airplanes that are titled and registered out of state. It can also include livestock, oil, gas or mineral rights.

Who begins the ancillary process?

  • The attorney for the deceased will likely need to work with an attorney licensed in the state where the property is located to begin the ancillary process with the other state. 

Ancillary probate can be a costly process for your beneficiaries. There are additional court costs, account fees and attorney fees. One final question people often ask is; can ancillary probate be avoided? And the answer is Yes.

How to Avoid the Ancillary Process

An estate planning attorney can help you establish your estate plan for everything to work together. When planned and established correctly, you can help your heirs avoid the hassle of ancillary probate.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorneys

Call us for more information on setting up an estate plan specifically designed for you, especially if you have assets or property located somewhere other than Illinois. Contact one of our lawyers today and schedule an appointment at 630-864-5835. 

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties