Connecticut Ancillary Probate Lawyer

Most people are familiar with the probate process, which helps ensure that wills are valid and that assets are properly distributed. Yet far fewer people are familiar with ancillary probate, a secondary form of the probate process that is required under certain circumstances.

Let’s take a closer look at ancillary probate, the situations where it applies, the challenges of going through the process and how the right attorney can help.

Ancillary Probate Explained

Many people choose to own property in more than one state. You might be a lifelong Connecticut resident who buys a vacation home in Florida, or someone who owns investment properties in multiple states.

In cases such as these, the normal probate process is supplemented by a second probate court proceeding in the state where the additional properties are located. This means that if you live in Darien but purchase a condo in Miami, the inheritors of your estate will need to complete the primary probate process in Connecticut and the ancillary probate process in Florida.

Ancillary probate proceedings may differ from primary probate proceedings because they are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the property is situated. If you own vacation property in Florida, that property is subject to Florida probate rules and may require an ancillary probate proceeding before it can pass to your heirs upon death.

While real estate is the most common type of asset that leads to an ancillary probate proceeding, other forms of tangible assets held in other states may also require an ancillary proceeding. Examples of this would be drilling rights or a mineral claim held outside the decedent’s primary state of residence or vehicles titled in another state.

The Challenges of Ancillary Probate

Navigating the ancillary probate process does come with some drawbacks. It requires more time; you may have to find a second attorney if yours is not licensed to practice in the ancillary probate state and additional court costs and filing fees may need to be paid.

There are methods that can be used to avoid the ancillary probate process. However, nearly all of these steps must be taken prior to the property owner’s death. Creating a living trust may help inheritors avoid the probate process. You may also choose to re-title property to include inheritors.

While 23 states allow residents to use transfer-on-death deeds to automatically transfer property to beneficiaries, Connecticut does not allow this option.

Without taking active steps to avoid the process, ancillary probate may be a necessity. If this is the case, it’s imperative to speak to an attorney who is experienced in probate proceedings. The right attorney can help speed the process, keep costs down and ensure that everything is handled properly.

How Brickley Law Can Help

Probate proceedings can be drawn out and challenging, particularly if a will is being contested. Ancillary probate adds another dimension to the challenge, as it requires you to complete a second legal proceeding in an unfamiliar state with a different set of laws.

Brickley Law is here to help you get through this process. Our deep experience in probate law allows us to handle even the most complex and challenging cases, and we have the necessary sensitivity and client-centric approach to help you navigate difficult legal terrain.

Please call or visit us today for a free consultation.

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