VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

The potential probate challenges with multi-state land holdings

Probate proceedings can be costly and time consuming. Having a solid estate plan in place helps alleviate this issue. Kentucky attorneys with deep experience in this area of law know that every state has different ways of addressing the probate issue.

In the Bluegrass State, the law makes it possible to avoid probate over real estate upon your death in a number of ways. You might do it by putting the property under joint ownership. That allows the surviving owner to take possession without the hassle of probate. Another method to facilitate smooth transfer might be to put the property in a trust. This might be even more important if you own property in several states.

The issue of ancillary probate

Considering the potential burden probate represents it is often best to avoid it. And it makes even more sense to do what you can to avoid requiring your beneficiaries to have to deal with more than one. But because each state has its own laws, property in another state can be subject to what is called "ancillary probate."

While the proceedings in the second state might be less involved than in the deceased's state of residence, they can become complicated. It could require engaging additional legal help in the other state and traveling by the executor to the jurisdiction.

Some states, acknowledging these hardships, have provisions that can help simplify the process. But experts know better approaches exist. One might be to consider putting properties from multiple states into a living trust. By doing this, probate of the properties becomes unnecessary.

We mentioned joint ownership earlier. By titling various properties under joint owner arrangements with desired beneficiaries, you can transfer the property by right of survivorship.

The list of possible tools that can be employed to simplify the handling of estate assets is long. To find the ones that are right for you, you need to consult trustworthy legal counsel.

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