It is very common these days for Michigan residents to own real estate in warmer climates (to be used during our cold winter months). It is also common for people in other states to own lake homes and other vacation properties here in Michigan.

These are great assets to have, but they can lead to some headaches if a decedent leaves these properties behind when they pass away. In today’s post, we’ll discuss how to treat these out-of-state properties during the probate process.

If you were named as the executor of a loved one’s estate, nearly all probate work that needs to occur will occur in the decedent’s home state (where they lived primarily throughout the year). But this usually will not be possible for real estate located outside of that jurisdiction, because each state has its own laws governing the transfer of real estate.

Because of this, you may need what is known as an ancillary probate proceeding in addition to your original one. This is not a full-fledged probate. Instead, it deals only with the property/assets located in a given state. Typically, the easiest way to handle ancillary probate is to hire an estate law attorney located in the same jurisdiction as the real estate needing to be probated.

With the right attorney, you may be able to handle all or most of the work remotely, saving you time and money by cutting down on travel (not to mention reducing the risks of exposure to Coronavirus).

As the executor of the estate, it is your job to ensure that all of these legal details are addressed, which can be especially tricky with out-of-state property. For these and other reasons, it is a wise idea to work with an experienced estate law attorney who can guide you through the process, including putting you in touch with other attorneys who may be able to handle ancillary probate on out-of-state property.