When an individual passes while controlling property in multiple states or dies in one state while holding property in another, where should probate be filed?
California Ancillary Probate
Real estate is always probated in the state where the property is located. Assets other than real estate may be handled by probate in the state where the person last resided. For example, if a Nevada resident dies, the main probate would be in Nevada for personal property and any Nevada real estate. If real estate was also held in California, the California real estate would be handled with ancillary probate in California.
In some cases an individual passes in another state, however, they have no
property there but they do have property in California. A petition can be filed directly
in California without opening the domiciliary probate. Each case is
unique and requires its own procedure.
Foreign domiciliary or non-domiciliary applies when someone dies residing outside of California while owning property in California. If for example, a non-domiciliary owns a vacation home in California and passes, the probate court in California will be handling the case involving the vacation home. In cases where documents are coming from, or going to, a foreign country, the process will involve the California secretary of state certifying, or authenticating documents being sent to another country.
When it is not obvious where the deceased resided at death, a case can be made for two separate states. To decide where to file the probate action, the court looks at where the deceased actually lived, which state issued the driver’s license or ID, where they were registered to vote and where they received mail.
First Class Counsel will simplify and streamline the complex, time consuming and sometimes very confusing probate process involving ancillary issues.