Although probate has the reputation as something that should be prevented or avoided, the reality is that is process is often needed. In some cases, it is the only way to properly distribute assets from an estate in Florida and elsewhere.
Still, the probate process can be complicated. One common complication involves the deceased owning property in multiple states. In these cases, it might be necessary to go through ancillary probate.
The term “ancillary probate” refers to cases in which more than one probate process goes on simultaneously for the same estate. It becomes necessary in cases involving out-of-state property because of a conflict of laws between the two states.
The state where the decedent lived at the time of their passing cannot apply their laws to property located in another state. The laws of the state where the property is located will govern what occurs when the owner dies. Therefore, an additional probate process must occur.
Avoiding ancillary probate
Probate is already considered a costly and lengthy process even when it’s a relatively simple case. When additional probate is added, it adds to the costs and time it takes. Cooperation between the states could lessen the time it takes to complete.
The best way to avoid ancillary probate is to title the out-of-state property so that it can pass directly to beneficiaries without the need for probate. When property is placed in a living trust, probate isn’t necessary. Thus, you can title your in-state and out-of-state property in the name of your trust.
Probate can be a complex process and an even more challenging one to avoid. Therefore, it is important that you understand the purpose and process of probate, as this could help you with the drafting of your estate plan or navigating a loved one’s estate after their death.