If a decedent dies owning real property in a state other than his or her state of domicile (i.e. state of residence), there are special rules that govern the probate process for disposing of such out-of-state real property. For instance, if the decedent died a resident of the State of Florida, but owned real property in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the decedent would have a non-resident estate in these states.
Ancillary probate is the process of whereby an out-of-state Personal Representative institutes a probate proceeding in the state or states in which the decedent owned real property
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, when a Personal Representative of a non-resident decedent wishes to exercise a power over real property within those states, he or she will have to qualify and institute ancillary probate proceedings as a foreign fiduciary. Once qualified, the Surrogate’s Court in New Jersey or the Register of Wills in Pennsylvania issues “Ancillary Letters Testamentary” or “Ancillary Letters of Administration.” The ancillary Personal Representative will need to ensure certain state-specific requirements are met, such as satisfying creditors located in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, filing an Inventory (in Pennsylvania), and filing and paying the appropriate death taxes due to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the State of New Jersey.
The experienced attorneys at Maloles Law have counseled their clients through numerous ancillary probate proceedings and often work with out-of-state attorneys representing Personal Representatives in other states to assist with non-resident decedent estates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Often times, the Estate lawyers at Maloles Law work hand-in-hand in counseling the client through the entire probate process for matters concerning ancillary probate either in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.