When it comes to providing for your loved ones after you’ve passed on, you want to make things as easy as possible. This means, among other things, avoiding the lengthy and burdensome probate process. But even if you take the proper steps to protect your property, if you own a vacation home or another house in a different state, you may be subject to ancillary probate—otherwise known as double probate. Taking the proper steps to avoid this unpleasant situation will ensure a smooth and worry-free estate plan.


What is Ancillary Probate?

Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s will is validated and administered. After a person dies, a probate court will review their will and assets, ensure that everything is in order, and oversee the distribution of the assets. If you own property in another state, however, it may subject to a second probate process, known as ancillary probate. This is because each state has its own laws when it comes to administrating estates and the state where the decedent lives doesn’t have legal jurisdiction over property in another state.

Because of this, a separate probate process must take place in the state where the person’s vacation home or other second property is located. While courts in different states will usually work together to ensure an easy process, double probate means more time, money, and headaches for everyone involved in the estate.


How to Avoid Ancillary Probate

There are several ways to avoid ancillary probate. Assets that are placed in a trust are not subject to probate. Whether or not you choose to put all of your assets in a trust, you can at least set up a trust for your vacation home. That way, even if you have to go through the probate process in your home state, you will not be subject to double probate.

Another way to avoid ancillary probate is to strategically title the deed to your out-of-state property. If you list both yourself and your intended beneficiary of the property as co-owners, then that beneficiary would automatically be the sole owner of your property once you pass on. This transfer would not be subject to probate.


Contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center

The probate process can be both tricky and burdensome and having to deal with double probate only enhances this aggravation. Luckily, it is easy to avoid having to go through ancillary probate for your vacation home if you take the right steps.

If you have any questions about avoiding probate or estate planning in general, the attorneys at Deliberato Law Center are here to help. Give us a call today at 216-341-3413 or fill out the form below to find out more.