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Ancillary Probate > Ancillary Probate

Florida Ancillary Probate

Helping Clients with Probate Matters since 1994

Florida is a beautiful place and lots of people retire here, or buy vacation homes and condos, or maybe buy a boat and keep it docked along the Florida coastline. It’s surprising how many people own property within the State of Florida who are not year-round Florida residents.

When someone who lives in another state or country dies and leaves property behind here in Florida, Florida probate law also efficiently deals with how that property is handled: once again, an “estate” is immediately created in the law to transition ownership.

What is Ancillary Probate in Florida? It’s an Independent Proceeding Held before a Florida Judge

When a resident of another state dies owning property in Florida, the procedure to transfer the Florida property is called an “ancillary probate. “ An ancillary probate does not require that the estate be “testate” (have a will), but it does, in most instances, require the appointment of a Florida personal representative and, in most instances, the conducting of a full formal probate proceeding in Florida.

Even if a personal representative has been appointed in the decedent’s home state, neither that person nor the home state’s probate court has jurisdiction over the Florida property. For example, if a person who lives in New York owns a second home in Broward County, Florida and passes away, the transfer of that property is subject to Florida probate laws, rules and procedure. See Florida Ancillary Administration Laws.

Most often, the probate process would begin in the state of the decedent’s residency and the secondary probate proceeding would be commenced in the Florida county in which the property is located. Once a personal representative or executor has been appointed by the Court in the decedent’s home state, he or she can petition the Florida Court for authority to act as an ancillary personal representative in Florida.

Florida lawyer Larry Tolchinsky: Representing Out of State Clients with Ancillary Probate for 20+ Years

Experienced probate attorney Larry Tolchinsky has been assisting clients with the ancillary probate process for more than 20 years. Regardless of which state you are in, or which country, Larry can assist you in successfully resolving all issues and answering all questions that may arise throughout the ancillary probate process. Call him today at 954-522-0207 to learn how he can to help you and your family through this difficult time.

How to Proceed with Ancillary Probate in Florida: Probate for the Out of State Property Owner

In order to commence the Ancillary Probate proceeding in Florida, the Florida probate court will require a (1) certified copy of death certificate and (2) authenticated copies of the following documents from the probate court in the decedent’s home state:

  • Will, if there is one;
  • Petition for administration, or similar document, filed under Florida law;
  • Complete list of all Florida assets individually owned by the decedent in the State of Florida; and
  • List of the names and addresses of all the heirs and the relationship to the decedent.

Florida Probate and the Out of State Will: Downsides to Ancillary Probate

Ancillary probate is often needed in addition to a primary probate proceeding that is carried out in another jurisdiction: while the main probate case will happen in another state or another country, there will still need to be a  Florida probate case filed in the county where Florida real estate is located. There are downsides to Florida ancillary probates, such as:

1. Expense. There is the added cost to the overall estate for this additional court proceeding: having to administer more than one probate, including multiple court fees, accounting fees, and attorneys’ fees.
2. Complications in Determining Who Gets What Asset. In the case of a person who dies without a will (intestate), intestacy laws can be different in each state. Therefore, it is possible that you could end up with different sets of heirs for different items of property, depending on where that property is located; and
3. Florida May Require a Bond. Finally, if the personal representative of the estate lives outside of Florida, probate bond may be required.

How to Avoid Ancillary Probate

There are circumstances in which ancillary probate can be avoided. Generally, such techniques must be employed before the deceased person passes away and probate is opened such as:

  • Title of property. Titling the property in joint names as being co-owned by two or more people with “rights of survivorship” this way it will pass to the remaining co-owners as a matter of law upon the decedent’s death;
  • Trusts. Titling the real estate in the name of a trust, such as a revocable living trust so that the property will not be subject to probate upon the decedent’s death; and
  • Corporate Ownership. Transferring commercial or rental real estate into a business entity such as a limited liability company which will convert the property from real estate into personal property.

The probate process that follows the loss of a loved one can be lengthy and burdensome. There are numerous issues that can arise, impacting the length of time that a probate will take to complete. Having a knowledgeable probate attorney to explain your legal options, to help you understand the process, and to fight for you is invaluable.

Florida lawyer Larry Tolchinsky has handled issues such as management of business interests, debts owed by and to the decedent and real property issues. In addition to Ancillary Probate, Larry represents clients in probate matters related to:

Larry is committed to providing his clients with comprehensive legal advice, as well as acting in an efficient and orderly manner in the execution of such matters—from filing of the initial petition to the final distribution of assets.

Florida Probate Lawyer Larry Tolchinsky Works With Clients and Probate Attorneys From Outside Florida

Larry handles Broward County Probate matters for clients across the United States as well as in Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and other countries who are dealing with property or probate issues for property located throughout South Florida including the cities of Sunrise, Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Plantation, Pompano Beach, North Lauderdale, Tamarac, Coconut Creek and all other cities throughout Florida.

Larry Tolchinsky is happy to coordinate the resolution of estate and probate matters with probate attorneys in other parts of the country as well as internationally, as they go before their probate judges in finalizing the main estate case while Larry handles the Florida probate matter involving the Florida property and its distribution to the appropriate heirs or beneficiaries.

If you would like information about the Florida Probate Process, please feel free to read our blog, About Florida Probate. It addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the Florida probate process. Also, we prepared answers to some frequently answered questions related to ancillary administrations.

Get A Free Consultation from an Experienced Broward County Probate Attorney

Contact Larry Tolchinsky to find out how he can help you. You can contact him by phone at 954-522-0207 or by e-mail through this web site to schedule an appointment and learn more about Broward Probate law. He offers a free initial consultation.

To learn more about Larry click here: Fort Lauderdale Probate Lawyer


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