Owning property in other states complicates your estate plan.New York residents who own property outside New York should carefully consider how to leave these properties to their heirs after their passing. If you own a second home, business, condo, or timeshare in another state, your beneficiaries may be unable to take possession, transfer title, or even sell off the properties without going through a secondary (or ancillary) probate process.

Your Beneficiaries May Need to Go Through Ancillary Probate in Another State

New York courts only have jurisdiction to administer an estate that is located in the state and owned by a New York resident. They do not have the authority to administer a New York resident’s real property located outside of New York. 

If you own real estate in other states and have not included these properties in your trust or estate plan, your heirs will have to file for an ancillary proceeding in the state where the real property is located. This is in addition to New York probate proceedings and is required for the sole purpose of administering the out-of-state real property.

Ancillary probates vary by the size and complexity of the estate. Depending on where the property is located, beneficiaries may be forced to contend with:

  • Time delays. The type of probate proceeding will depend on the number and value of assets. Small estates may take one or two months, while proceedings for larger estates can take six months or longer.
  • Costs and fees. Some states require estate administrators to be represented by a local attorney. For example, filing for ancillary proceedings in Florida will require an executor to hire a Florida probate lawyer. This can result in increased attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Lack of privacy. Probate is a matter of public record. Even if the New York portion of the estate is protected in a trust, any property that goes through probate in another state may have the details of the amounts, owners, and other private details available for anyone to see.

As ancillary probate can add a significant amount of stress and expense for loved ones who will administer your estate, it is well worth exploring your estate planning options to avoid the need for probate. At Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, our estate planning attorneys can ensure that all of your assets—even the ones out-of-state—are held in a way that is most beneficial to your heirs. Contact us today through our online form to learn how we can help.

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