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What happens to the vacation home in probate?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Probate

Your family may enjoy the vacation home over in Cape Cod, or perhaps even a beachfront property down in the Carolinas. Whether it is a place to vacation in the summer or to escape the New York winters, it may be a haven where your family gathers together.

However, what happens to this place after the owner passes away? Whether you own such a property, or a loved one does, it is important to understand the details of ownership, so you can make a plan.

Probate is generally the first step

In most cases, probate is necessary after the loss of a loved one. The executor of a loved one’s will submits it to the court and opens probate to begin the administration of the estate. The will might include instructions on how to distribute the property or who will inherit it.

Even if the will addresses both the New York home and the property in another state, the probate case in New York will not be enough to address the vacation property. Ancillary probate will be necessary.

What is ancillary probate?

Put simply, ancillary probate is a second probate case opened in the state where the vacation property lies. This probate case will only address the property within that state, including:

  • Real property, or the vacation home itself
  • Tangible personal property, such as a vehicle kept at this home

This second probate case is necessary because the laws vary by state. New York’s probate laws will not apply to an out-of-state home.

A plan can help prepare for probate

Considering the prospect of a second probate may seem overwhelming for families. However, owners of out-of-state property can ensure they:

  • Understand the other state’s rules and address them in their will
  • Provide specific instructions for how to manage the property and probate

This can help make the process easier for the family in the event of a loved one’s death. Learning about probate – as well as ancillary probate – is only the first step for both property owners and their families.