Ancillary probate is necessary for situations where a decedent had real property, such as a house, in a state other than Florida. The same is also true if the deceased lived in another state but owned real estate in Florida. The legal process that occurs in the state where the decedent resided is the primary, or domiciliary, proceeding. Those that take place in the state in which property was owned, but the deceased was not domiciled, are supplementary, or ancillary, proceedings. Ancillary probate allows the real estate to be distributed to designated beneficiaries.
The petitioner or personal representative of the decedent is required to open ancillary probate in each state where the property is located. When filing for this type of proceeding, they must provide the court with specific documents, which are collectively called an authenticated transcript.
If the decedent had a will, certified copies of the following are required:
- The will
- The petition for probate
- The order admitting the will for probate
- Letter of administration or other authority of the personal representative
However, if the deceased did not leave a will, the petitioner does not need to provide a copy of that form nor the admitting order. They would still have to submit the petition for probate and the letters of administration.
To get these documents, the petitioner must contact the Clerk of Court in the state where the domiciliary proceedings took place. Generally, certified copies can be provided for a nominal fee.
After the petitioner has filed all required documents, ancillary proceedings can commence. The process should follow the regular rules of probate.
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If you or a loved one anticipates having to open ancillary probate proceedings, contact our skilled team for legal help. Whether the decedent lived in Florida and owned property out of state or they resided elsewhere and had real estate here, we can discuss the best way to move forward.
Our Fort Myers lawyers are ready to guide you through the complex probate process. Call us at (239) 970-6844 or contact us online.