Monday, November 23, 2009

Today's Probate Answers

What happens to the real estate located in another state?

A probate must be instituted not only in the state where you lived, but in every state where you owned real estate. This is called an ancillary probate. Each state has probate jurisdiction of the real property located within its borders. That means that your family will have to file a new probate in each state and hire local counsel to represent the estate. Of course, this will add to the expenses that must be paid before your family receives its share.

Are there any other problems with a Death Probate?

Yes. Perhaps the most important disadvantage of death probate is that your family loses control of the estate. During probate, it may not be able to sell assets without court approval even if it needs the money. Opportunities can be lost because the cumbersome probate system moves so slowly.

Your family may pay an emotional price in probate as well. Because the process takes so long, it can be a constant reminder of the loss of a loved one. It can also foster arguments among family members who would normally seek support from one another. It’s common to see family members taking out their frustration about the system on one another, especially if one of the family members has been named the personal representative of the estate.