Property in More than One State
When a decedent passes away and the person owned property in their sole name at the time of their death in another state besides the state where they permanently resided, a separate probate action will need to be filed in the state where the property is located. This is referred to as an ancillary probate. So for instance, if your dad still owned a co-op in New York City at the time he passed away, but was retired and established residency in Florida, a probate would need to be established in Florida and a second probate or ancillary probate would need to also be established in New York.
Until the ancillary probate is filed and the sale or transfer of the New York property approved by the New York Surrogate’s Court, the executor or personal representative of the estate has no legal authority to transfer or sell the New York property and cannot complete the winding up of the estate, distribution of assets to heirs and beneficiaries or close the estate matters in Florida. Selling estate property, especially real estate is complex and requires the expertise of a NY estate law firm who is familiar the New York probate and real estate laws.
The executor of the estate or other family members will typically hire an experienced New York probate attorney to file the ancillary probate with the New York Surrogate’s Court, attend court hearings and handle the legal aspects of the sale of the property. The attorney can also assist the executor with accountings and recommend other professionals such as a Realtor, property appraiser, property manager and an accountant or CPA.
Many times, estate matters involve properties in several states
Also, since many times family members have a hard time dealing with the sale of their loved one’s personal or real property, emotions can run high. Disputes may arise even in closest of families when it comes to money matters. Beneficiaries may not be able to make decisions. For instance, one beneficiary may want to hold out for a higher sales price or may not even want to sell the property because of sentimental reasons. Or an heir may be unhappy with their portion of their inheritance and believe that they are not being treated fairly. Saint Pre Law Firm – a neutral third party – can step in and help resolve these issues so that everyone is happy and the sale and ancillary probate proceedings go smoothly.
Avoiding an Ancillary Probate Proceeding
If a trust has already been established prior to the decedent’s death and the property is held in the name of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries or property is held jointly, then an ancillary probate proceeding can be avoided in New York because the property is exempt from probate and automatically transfers to the beneficiaries. This saves the family time and money.
Benefits of Hiring a New York Probate Lawyer
To make sure that the ancillary probate process is handled properly and the sale of New York property goes smoothly, it is recommend that you hire a New York probate and estate attorney to assist you with these matters. When an attorney is used, it is beneficial to everyone because the attorney can resolve any disputes, handle any estate litigation matters that may arise and help the family make the right financial and business decisions so that the estate can be wound up quickly and the beneficiaries can receive their maximum inheritances.