Are you a confirmed “snowbird” who flies south to Florida every year? Do you have property in more than one state?
If so, you may need to prepare your executor, heirs and beneficiaries for the ancillary probate process.
You can only have one home state
Even if you split your time fairly evenly between one state and another, only one can be considered your actual residence. Whether that’s where you eventually die or not, that state is said to control the “domiciliary” estate process.
An “ancillary” probate process is required to address the assets in any other state. It’s generally required when:
- You have real estate in multiple states. This could be a condo, a vacation home or any other piece of real estate located outside your home state.
- You have other kinds of real property titled outside of your home state, such as a car, a boat or a camper that you titled in Florida.
- You have business interests in another state. Maybe you have invested in a friend’s business here in Florida or you’re someone’s silent partner.
Why is this necessary? It has to do with the fact that each state has unique rules and procedures when it comes to how the probate process works. Your heirs won’t be able to take a free and clear title to any of your assets without going through the proper steps.
Good estate planning looks ahead at all these kinds of issues so that you can make sure that your plans are complete. Ancillary probate isn’t as complicated as it sounds, but you will need to make certain that your loved ones are prepared.