When it comes to estate planning, many of us have heard about the basics: a last will and testament, trust agreements, and probate proceedings.


While many people create their estate plan with the intention to avoid probate proceedings, did you know that there is a certain type of probate proceeding that your estate may be subject to if you own out-of-state property?

Ancillary probate is a type of probate proceeding that is required if you own real property, livestock, or mineral rights that are owned in a state outside Florida.

This can be a complex and multifaceted area of probate, which is why we want to share with you a few tips you need when it comes to ancillary probate.

1. Consider your last will and testament.

When preparing your estate plan, you may consider creating a last will and testament to detail your wishes for the distribution of your assets after death. Did you know that your last will and testament only covers your in-state property? Unfortunately, this is true. If you own property outside of your home state, your last will and testament will likely not protect it.

2. Certain trust agreements can cross state lines.

When creating your estate plan, it is important to know that, unlike a last will and testament, certain trust agreements can cross state lines. We know this can be complicated, so understanding the basics is key. As long as your out-of-state property is titled into the trust agreement, the trust can govern your out-of-state property and keep you out of ancillary probate.

3. An experienced estate planning attorney is one of your best resources.

When it comes to ancillary probate and the protection of your assets, talking to an experienced estate planning attorney is one of the most effective ways to help keep you out of probate. There are no uniform rules about ancillary probate, as different states apply different laws. Discussing your specific needs, including any newly acquired out-of-state property, with your local estate planning attorney can help provide you with peace of mind.

We know this can be a difficult topic to understand and to prepare for. Ancillary probate, however, can best be avoided with appropriate planning and preparation. Do not wait to ask us your ancillary probate and other estate planning related questions. We are your local community law firm here to help you and your loved ones in the state of Florida.