When people develop their estate plans, one of their goals is often to avoid having their estate go through probate – or at least a long, complicated one that can take months or even longer.
Placing valuable assets like real estate, cars and financial accounts in a revocable living trust can let people maintain control of these assets while they’re alive. Then they can pass to their beneficiaries after they’re gone without having to go through probate.
Understanding ancillary probate
If someone owns property in another state, they’ll also need to include it in a trust to avoid “ancillary probate.” That’s a probate proceeding that needs to occur if a decedent owned property in a state besides the one where their “domiciliary” probate proceeding (if there is one) takes place.
That would apply to vacation homes, businesses and any other property like a boat that is located in another state. Besides placing their out-of-state property in a living trust, a person can also avoid having it go through ancillary probate by including someone else on the title.
If you’re an executor of an estate, it helps to know about property outside of Texas beforehand. That way, you can be better prepared for dealing with it and for any additional travel it may entail.
If the property does need to go through ancillary probate, the good news is that probate courts typically work together and recognize estate plans from other states unless they involve laws that are unique to one state. As an executor dealing with out-of-state property and potentially with ancillary probate, it’s a good idea to seek legal guidance early in the process to help things go as smoothly as possible.