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How Do You Probate out of State Property

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney

There has never been a time when people are as mobile as they are now. Modern technologies have developed forms of transportation that have never existed during the history of the earth. Because of this, any person can travel to almost any place in the world they would like to go at almost any time.

This greater mobility has also opened the world up for individuals and families to purchase and own property in different states and in different countries. It’s not uncommon for a person or a family to live in a certain state and have a vacation home, or a second home, or a condominium, or a townhouse, in some other location. Additionally, many people who are investors own commercial or residential real estate they can lease or rent to others. Often these kinds of properties are also located in different states or countries.

Moreover, the business world has changed as we know it. It’s now very common for a person or family to own business properties or other assets in a state or country other than where they live. Because of this, completing a probate for someone who passes away and who owns property in a different state or country creates additional issues that need to be solved. The good news is these issues are not complex or difficult to deal with.

At the Racine law office, we have assisted our Idaho clients for more than 70 years in helping them complete the necessary probate when a family member or loved one passes away. This often includes probating real estate or other property that is owned in a different state. Alternatively, we also have clients who live out of state who may own property in Idaho that needs to be probated. Either way, our team of premier Idaho estate planning attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled in this area of law. We are confident that we can answer all of your questions and help you complete the necessary probate to transfer the real estate or other properties owned by the individual who passed away to his or her family members or loved ones who are still alive.

We encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can answer your questions and describe the steps that need to be taken in order to help you complete the proper probate for your family member or loved one. The purpose of this article is to give you a starting place in understanding the steps that need to be taken.

Begin a Probate

The very first step that needs to be completed is that a probate needs to be started. If the person lived in Idaho, then this is the state where the original or main probate needs to be started.

Through the probate process a person will be appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate by an Idaho court. When this happens, the court issues both an order, and a document identified as “Letters” that evidence the official court appointment of this person as the Personal Representative. This is important because no other probate proceedings can be started in any other state until the court who has original jurisdiction enters the order of appointment. Jurisdiction simply means the court is located where the person lived or resided.

If a person resided in a different state other than Idaho, then the state where the person resided would be the state where the original probate would need to be filed. Once the original probate is started and a court with the proper jurisdiction has appointed a personal representative, we can then move to the next step.

Do an Ancillary Probate in the Other State

The next step in the probate process is to do what is known as an ancillary probate in the state where the decedent did not reside but where they also owned other real estate or property that needs to be transferred. In an ancillary probate the personal representative takes the order of appointment and the letters of appointment to the state where other property is located. These documents are filed with a court in the County in the other state closest to the property.

The court in the other state then issues an order recognizing that the personal representative was appointed in the state where the decedent resided. The court also issues an Order stating that the personal representative has authority in the new state to administer and transfer any property of the decedent located in that state. Once that order has been issued we can move on to the next step.

Transfer Property in the Other State

The final step in probating out of state property is to actually transfer the property after an order of appointment has been issued. In other words, once the court in the new state recognizes the authority of the personal representative that person has the legal authority to transfer the property away from the decedent to those who are the recognized beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will be identified in the original probate proceedings. This is not either because the decedent had a written last will and testament, or because the court recognizes through the laws of intestacy who the beneficiaries of the deceived are.

We have assisted our Idaho clients, and clients who live outside of the state of Idaho in completing ancillary probate both another States and in Idaho. We are very familiar with the process and procedures and we are confident that we can help you completed ancillary probate if one is necessary. We encourage you to contact us for a free 30-minute consultation where we can answer your questions and discuss the process in completing both the original probate and an ancillary probate when needed.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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