When someone dies, the property they leave behind usually becomes their estate. But their estate must follow a certain process in order to be transferred to their heirs. Their estate must go through probate, which is the legal process for dividing your estate and paying your debts. Some probate cases are simple, while others are more complex. When the person who died owned property in multiple states, probate usually becomes a bit more complicated.
Is probate always necessary?
Most estates will pass through some form of probate. In Minnesota, probate is required under the following circumstances:
- When the decedent was the sole owner of any assets; and
- That property is worth more than $75,000.
Probate is required when the deceased person owned a home in his or her name alone. Without probate, title to the property would be stuck in limbo because there would be no mechanism to transfer it to the new owner.
What happens during probate?
The personal representative of the estate – either named in the Will or appointed by the Court – gathers all of the decedent’s debts and property. After paying valid claims against the estate, the personal representative distributes remaining probate estate assets to the appropriate heirs.
How is property located in another state handled during probate?
Minnesota probate is intended for people who resided in Minnesota or owned property in Minnesota at the time of their death. Minnesota courts hand down orders and make determinations about property located in Minnesota but have no power in other states.
So, what happens to property located in other states?
The executor of the Minnesota estate may have to open a new, ancillary probate action in states where property is located. So, if Joe dies as a Minnesota resident, but owns a house in Arizona, the personal representative of Joe’s estate will file an ancillary action in Arizona.
Similarly, the resident of another state may die while owning property in multiple states. His primary probate proceeding will be filed where he resides. Ancillary probate actions will be opened in all states where he owns property.
Probate in Multiple States Can Be Complicated
The experienced attorneys at Virtus Law can help you with probate and ancillary probate. It’s also a good time to make sure your estate plan is up to date. Please contact us by calling 612.888.1000 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our main office is in Minneapolis, with other offices located in Maplewood, Cambridge, Edina, Mendota Heights, and Red Wing.