Clients frequently come into our office needing assistance with out of state probate issues that must be settled when the owner of the property passes away.
In general, when a person passes away, their assets—be it a home, boat, or bank account– become part of the estate. If these assets are located in multiple states, they will require a separate or ancillary probate proceeding to administer the out of state property. No matter the situation, families who face out of state probate proceedings often need guidance, as each state has different rules and regulations.
The main issue Sacramento County probate lawyers encounter when dealing with an out of state probate is cost. There are multiple court fees that must be paid in each state where there is property ownership. You may even need an attorney in both states. When this is the case, our Sacramento County probate attorneys will often refer the client to an attorney in the state where the additional property is held and work collaboratively with that attorney to ensure all bases are covered.
Of course, it is always more difficult to settle an out of state probate when a Last Will and Testament was not drawn up before the passing of the estate holder. If there is no will, the courts get to decide on the distribution of all assets, most likely through the laws of intestacy. Again, because the laws vary from state to state, a situation may arise where the heirs are different in each state or they may be entitled to different percentages of the estate.
Avoiding probate is certainly attainable, and planning can be done during the property holder’s lifetime to help heirs avoid dealing with the courts. If you are worried that your loved ones could get stuck dealing with multiple probates after your death, the time to plan to help them avoid such headaches is now! For help getting started, contact one of our offices located throughout the state of California by calling (800) 244-8814 to schedule a consultation.