Legal Advice To Help Build Your Future

Out-of-state real property: Florida ancillary probate explained

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Estate Planning

As you may know, probate is the court-supervised process of settling an estate after its owner dies. If the decedent owned property outside their state of residence, it can introduce the need for ancillary probate.

For example, if a New York resident who owns real estate in Palm Beach, Florida, passes away, probate may be necessary in both states. The secondary process in Florida complements the primary probate in New York, legally transferring the Florida property to heirs.

Who needs to learn about ancillary probate?

It is essential knowledge for those linked to the deceased’s estate, including the Florida property. Executors must understand the process to manage out-of-state assets effectively. Heirs should learn more to anticipate potential delays in asset distribution and to remain informed.

How does it work in Florida?

Florida offers two ancillary probate paths. Summary administration is generally for estates under $75,000 or whose owner has been deceased for over two years. Formal administration is for larger or more recent estates. The court will appoint a personal representative to manage the Florida property unless one is already designated.

Must New York executors travel to Florida?

Ancillary probate must take place in the state where the property is located. The New York estate executor can certainly come to Florida to complete the process, but it is not always necessary. Since a local representative must manage the property, someone with a legal background can fill this role.

Other benefits of local legal representation include knowledge of state law, efficient property management and protection in case a dispute or challenge arises.