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What Happens if the Decedent Owns Property in Another State Besides New York?

New York Surrogate’s Court will not accept real property that is located in another state as part of a New York probate estate proceeding. The property will need to go through ancillary probate in the state where the property is located. The opposite is also true – the heirs or beneficiaries of a decedent who was a resident of another state and who owned property in New York can file ancillary probate in New York. Ancillary probate is necessary to transfer the property to the heirs or beneficiaries and/or to approve the sale of the property.

New York Ancillary Estate Proceedings

In a New York ancillary probate proceeding, a personal representative will need to be appointed and approved by the Court first. If an executor is named in the will and qualifies, that person will be the personal representative in New York. Typically, a personal representative is a surviving spouse, child of the decedent, grandchild, parent, sibling, grandparent or another relative. The personal representative is in charge of overseeing all matters pertaining to the property maintenance, repairs, transfer of title and/or sale of the property, including hiring a realtor or attorney in New York to assist with the property title transfer and distribution the property sale proceeds to the beneficiaries under the will or the statutory beneficiaries under New York probate law if the decedent died intestate, without a will.

A Trust Avoids Ancillary Probate in New York

Read this if your estate is still in the planning stage. Ancillary probate can be avoided when a person makes a revocable or irrevocable trust while they are still living. The real property can be transferred to the trust. This facilitates the distribution of the asset after the decedent’s death to the heirs and beneficiaries and saves the family costs of filing a probate proceeding. Any assets that are not into the trust and that are held in the sole name of the decedent will still need to be probated. That is why many people choose to make a trust to avoid probate and also to save on estate taxes. Keep in mind that it is important to transfer any real property acquired after the trust is made to the trust to avoid probate or ancillary probate.

Ancillary probate and New York probate matters can be complicated. It is recommended that the estate’s personal representative seek the representation of an experienced and knowledgeable New York Probate Attorney who is familiar with the New York probate laws to assist with all New York probate matters.

If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at 718-509-9774.