What is Ancillary Administration?
When a family member or friend passes away, handling their estate, especially if it requires ancillary administration, is not always foremost on one’s mind. But it is a necessary part of the process, and required for the distribution of assets and settling of debts. Probate often occurs in the decedent’s State of primary residence and within the court system in the county in which they resided. However, if the decedent owned property in a different state, these assets may have to go through the probate process as well. That process is called Ancillary Administration. Our experienced North Carolina and South Carolina probate lawyers based in Fort Mill, SC assist clients with ancillary estate administration throughout both states. We commonly handle ancillary probates involving transferring title to real estate. An ancillary estate can be opened in any county where a decedent owned real property. For instance, if a non-resident person died owning property in Rock Hill, then the executor would open an ancillary estate in York County, South Carolina. Likewise, if non-resident person owned property in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County would be the proper venue for ancillary administration.
During the probate process, all of the decedent’s assets are inventoried and reported. This includes property that they owned in other states as well, regardless of whether they had residency there. Each state has its own laws governing estate administration, so the property is subject to the regulations of the state in which it is located. The executor must apply for Ancillary Estate Administration to complete the probate process in another state.
No, only the assets in that state, such as real estate, are subject to probate. In many cases the decedent’s assets are minimal in another state; therefore, the process may require less time. It is still vital that the personal representative file the correct documents and accurately report all assets according to the regulations of the non-resident state.
In most instances it is beneficial to hire an attorney in the ancillary jurisdiction to handle that aspect of the probate. This can prove beneficial to executors in any state to ensure that they are adhering to the law. Also, once probate proceedings are initiated in the primary state of residency and the will is verified, the executor may be able to assume full rights in the second state through filing a certified copy of the Last Will and Testament and Certificate of Probate and applying to become the Ancillary Executor.
If the person should pass away in another state, the belongings that they had with them at the time are still under the jurisdiction of their domicile. Ancillary proceedings are necessary for real estate and other tangible assets that are owned by the decedent in a different state. For example, the person may own a second home or a plot of land. North and South Carolina require ancillary proceedings, but not all states do. It is important to check the laws of that state, or consult with an experienced probate attorney in practice there.
The probate process, especially when it involves ancillary proceedings, can become complex. The executor must ensure that they have accurately inventoried and reported all assets, and that the correct documentation is completed and timely filed. All debts and expenses must be paid and taxes filed. Because each state handles probate differently – and not all assets may qualify – employing the assistance of a local probate lawyer is a good option. If the executor should make a decision regarding the estate that is contested or does not follow state laws, they could become subject to personal liability.
If you are faced with a North Carolina Ancillary Administration question or need assistance with South Carolina ancillary probate of a family member or friend and want to ensure that everything is done correctly, contact the experienced North Carolina and South Carolina probate lawyers at Nosal & Jeter, LLP. We look forward to discussing your individual situation and providing guidance on how to proceed. We can help you settle probate as efficiently and hassle-free as possible.