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An Ancillary Estate: What Is It?

Let’s Explore What An Ancillary Estate Is…

An Ancillary Estate is property, often real estate. Although, it can also be tangible property such as vehicles, boats, or airplanes. They key is these items are owned in a state other than the state in which the owner resides.

The Ancillary Estate and Property Owned In Another State

Such property, upon the owner’s death, goes into a process known as ancillary probate. Technically speaking, this is the administration of a decedent’s estate. Specifically, for the purpose of disposing of property owned in another state. Legally, ancillary probate administration is required for the assets to pass ownership to the beneficiaries.

Today, many people own vacation homes in states that are not their home states.  Ancillary probate can also be necessary if the decedent owned rights to livestock, oil, gas, or minerals attached to a piece of real estate owned outside of the home state.

As is commonly understood, probate is a lengthy and expensive process.

Everyone tries to avoid probate. Ancillary probate is even more expensive. Furthermore, it can take longer because you are dealing with the Court in a different state.

There are ways to avoid ancillary probate,  just as there are ways of avoiding probate when everything you own is in your home state.

The most common and effective way to avoid probate is to create a Living Trust within your estate plan.

Assets and property owned by a Living Trust can pass to your beneficiaries directly without going through probate.  If you move your property into a Living Trust before you pass away, you won’t have to worry about that property going through probate or ancillary probate.

When it comes to the ancillary estate, there are other strategies that can be used to avoid ancillary probate.

If you own property in a state other than your primary residence state and need to update an existing estate plan or create one to avoid probate, give my office a call at (470) 235-7868. Let’s make sure your beneficiaries do not have to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of probate of any kind.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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