VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
352-436-4333

What's ancillary probate and do I need to care?

Florida is a very popular place, attracting visitors from all over the U.S. and the world. Many of those visitors purchase real estate in one form or another, allowing them to take advantage of the temperate climate in Florida when the weather at home is too harsh to tolerate.

A non-resident Florida land owner can enjoy the benefits of the out-of-state property ownership, but their remaining family members may eventually face challenges in the context of estate administration in the event of their death. For example, Florida law states that when a non-resident property owner dies and probate is filed in his or her home state, a similar proceeding called ancillary probate may be necessary in Florida. Skilled counsel will handle any potential complications with ease. Be sure to discuss your particular needs when it comes to ancillary probate and contact attorneys who handle these matters every day.

Ancillary probate type options

It is possible with adequate estate planning for a nonresident property owner to avoid probate. Potential steps include either placing the property into a living trust or establishing right of survivorship for an intended beneficiary by creating joint ownership with that person through retitling or enhanced deed. If the property is a rental home, it could avoid probate through transfer to a business entity.

The value of the Florida property can influence what form of ancillary probate to pursue. For example, if the value of property is below a certain threshold, Florida rules make it possible to seek a simplified, or summary probate. Summary probate may be possible under other circumstances, as well. If formal probate is required, it likely will require more time and result in increased costs.

What becomes clear is that many options for protecting property are available. Finding the right one for you requires working with experienced and trusted attorneys in your home state and in Florida.

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