Ancillary Probate Law In California

William Sweeney

A common question I hear at Sweeney Probate Law is, "What happens when a loved one passes while retaining property in multiple states?" In such cases, an "ancillary probate" is the result.

Work With An Attorney To Understand Ancillary Probate And California Probate Law

An ancillary probate is a proceeding when a person dies while owning property in more than one state. If a person dies owning assets in his or her sole name or as a tenant in common, then chances are the assets will need to be probated in order to get them out of the decedent's name and into the names of his or her beneficiaries.

Once it has been determined that probate will be necessary, many clients come to me wondering where the probate process will take place. To gain some clarity, start by asking some questions: Where did the decedent actually reside? Where was he or she registered to vote? Where did he or she receive mail? What state driver's license did he or she possess? These and similar questions may help in determining where to file for probate.

Regardless of where a decedent resided at time of death, real estate must always be probated in the state in which it is located. Assets apart from real estate may be probated in the state where the person died a resident.

There are two common types of ancillary probate situations:

  • Foreign domiciliary: Also known as a non domiciliary, this situation often involves an individual who died with property in California, but held residency in another state. Oftentimes, these cases involve vacation properties.
  • California domiciliary: This situation involves the death of a California resident who owns property outside the state. The ancillary probate will need to be filed in the state where the property is located.

To learn more about ancillary probate in California, refer to our articles archive and review the entry discussing ancillary probate in California.

Contact A Lawyer When Faced With Probating Assets Outside California

To speak with me during a free initial consultation, call me, William K. Sweeney, toll free at 800-575-9610 or locally at 760-989-4820. You can also send me an email by completing an online contact form. As a probate attorney, I represent clients throughout Riverside County, the state of California and others who reside outside the state who require counsel for interests in California.