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Understanding ancillary probate

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2023 | Will |

If you live or own property in South Carolina, your estate will likely be subject to the state’s probate laws. However, if you also own property in another state, an ancillary probate proceeding will need to take place within that jurisdiction. Ancillary probate simply refers to the additional proceeding that takes place outside of the state where you were domiciled at the time of your death.

An issue of jurisdiction

The reason why ancillary probate must take place is because the state where you lived has no jurisdiction over assets in another state. Therefore, it would be impossible to transfer items located outside of its borders without an additional court hearing. In many cases, the courts will work together to help streamline the process, which can help to keep costs down. Remember, any costs related to probate come from your estate, which means that reducing costs helps beneficiaries receive more of their inheritance.

Avoiding probate

It may be possible to avoid probate by titling assets in a manner that allows them to be automatically transferred upon your passing. You can also choose to place assets into a trust, which means that they are held outside of your estate. Ultimately, they can be held by the trust indefinitely or transferred to beneficiaries at some point in the future. It is possible to simply put assets located in another state in your trust to avoid ancillary probate.

Taking the time to craft a comprehensive estate plan may make it easier to settle your affairs in a timely and affordable manner. It may also help to keep the terms of your plan secret, which may prevent conflicts between family members from arising. Adding a layer of privacy to your plan may also prevent outside parties from weaponizing your wealth.