Do You Own Property in Another State?

Having a property in another state is often a great pleasure. Often the property is a vacation get- a- way  and it offers the opportunity to enjoy a different part of the country, enjoy the snow (or a warmer climate) and create new experiences.

But, what happens when the owner(s) of the property dies and the property becomes part of the probate system?

The answer in many cases is …ancillary estate. Yes, there is a process where the property might become part of the probate system of another state – in short, going through probate twice. To put it simply, states and their probate courts do not necessarily have legal authority in another state.

There are ways to avoid this situation, and setting up your estate plan to include out-of-state property could be the best advice you read today.

Here in Colorado there is a process – ancillary filing. Below is just a small portion of the information required if you have property within the state of Colorado (and do not live in Colorado) and are going through the probate process in another state; for example the deceased resided in Florida and had a mountain retreat in Colorado.

A portion of the ancillary estate documents of the Colorado court:

“There must be a probate case open in another state. Through an ancillary filing, the Colorado court acknowledges an appointment by another state and gives that person the authority to act in Colorado.”

The person who was actually appointed as Personal Representative/Executor/Administrator by the other state must be the same person asking to be given authority to act in Colorado.

If you are opening an ancillary estate in Colorado in order to transfer real property, you should know that you will need to file an ancillary estate proceeding in the court for every county where you need to transfer property.

The court will need certified, authenticated, or exemplified copies of the documents from the court in the state where the original probate was filed, including the will, if there is one.”

The above is just the start of the process.

If you have questions about ‘ancillary estate’ or other property issues, please feel free to contact me via the contact information on my website.

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About Attorney Barbara Ann Dalvano

Attorney in Denver, Colorado with extensive practice experience in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Business Succession Planning, Probate, Contract Law.

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