Probate Basics: Ancillary Probates

by | May 5, 2021 | Business Planning, Formation and Management, Estate Planning, Insights, Media

In our third article of our Probate Basics series, we’re providing an overview of ancillary probates.

In today’s age, it is very common for individuals or couples to own real property in multiple states.  Whether you own a timeshare, rental property, or vacation home, if it is located outside of Idaho, your estate may be subject to an ancillary probate upon your death.

What is an Ancillary Probate?

A probate is started in the state where the decedent resided when he/she passed away.  If that person owned real estate, the personal representative named in the probate will then have the power to transfer title to real estate owned in that state.

If the real estate is owned outside of Idaho, and the decedent did not transfer the property to an Idaho trust, an ancillary probate will be needed in the state where the property is located before the property can be transferred.

In short, an ancillary probate is a secondary, smaller probate that is usually initiated by the personal representative named in the main probate.

Generally, the main purpose is to simply give the personal representative the power to transfer property owned by the decedent in a state other than where they lived when they died.

This may mean hiring another attorney in the state where the property is located to assist with the ancillary probate as it will be governed by the laws of the state where the property is located.

How to Avoid an Ancillary Probate?

Although there is nothing inherently wrong with needing an ancillary probate, it does create additional costs and expenses for your estate, and therefore, a reduction in the inheritance intended for your heirs and beneficiaries.

If an ancillary probate is needed, your estate must pay for two probates, rather than one or even none.  If you own property in another state, you can avoid the need for an ancillary probate through proper estate planning.

Madsen Beck can help you create a customized estate plan that will address your needs.

Typically, this is easily done by transferring your assets and out-of-state property to a revocable (or living) trust.  Your trust will “own” your assets and property, but you retain all the beneficial interests.

Since your Idaho trust is the “owner”, your trustee will have the power to transfer the out-of-state property to the beneficiaries of your trust, without the need of a probate.

If you think you may need an ancillary probate, or if you’re hoping to avoid one, Madsen Beck can help you.  Please contact us at (208) 321-6384 to schedule a consultation.

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