Marilyn S. recently died at her home in Pennsylvania. She also owned a beach house on Chincoteague Island and a storage unit full of antiques in Virginia Beach. Because Marilyn was a Pennsylvania resident, domiciled in Pennsylvania, her estate was probated in a Pennsylvania court. However, her family soon learned they also needed a Virginia ancillary probate proceeding.
Why file an ancillary probate?
Probate is a proceeding that disposes of a deceased person’s estate. Ancillary probate is a secondary proceeding. The property involved, however, is located in a state other than the one where the decedent resided. Ancillary probate is needed because the courts in one state don’t have the authority to act on property located in another state.
What’s the procedure for filing for ancillary administration?
If the deceased person left a valid Will, it should have been probated in his or her home state. In Olivia’s case, that would be Pennsylvania. A Will that is proved (or probated) in another state can be offered for probate in Virginia.
The procedure for filing an ancillary probate proceeding is the same as filing any other probate proceeding. Typically, the person who served as personal representative in the other state requests the ancillary proceeding:
- By providing an authenticated copy of the Will and a certificate of probate from the probate court.
- If the Will meets Virginia standards, the personal representative can gather and dispose of estate assets located in Virginia.
- If the Will is not valid under Virginia law, then property passes according to Virginia’s intestate statutes rule. (Hint: Another good reason for everyone to have a Will!)
Estates that fall below certain values may enjoy a shorter, easier probate. The personal representative may be able to file a small estate affidavit. The estate, however, cannot contain real property and the estate assets must total less than $50,000.
By the way, the personal representative of Marilyn’s estate should be able to pick up her personal property by providing a death certificate.
Dealing with a Probate Issue? Hope to Avoid Probate? We Can Help.
At Dillon Law Group, PLC, our attorneys can guide you through probate of a loved one’s estate. Better yet, they can help you develop an estate plan that may help your heirs avoid probate. Give us a call at 757-962-4796 or use our convenient Contact Form. We assist clients in Virginia Beach and Newport News as well as surrounding communities.