One of the reasons you’re developing an estate plan is likely to save your loved ones from having to go through a lengthy probate process to settle your estate. Avoiding probate can save time, money and stress. It can also help keep your estate private.
If you’re like many people who live in the Reno area, you may have a vacation home, boat and other assets on the California side of Lake Tahoe. You can’t include assets titled and located in another state in your Nevada estate plan.
That means if you still own them when you pass away, they may have to go through ancillary probate. That’s a probate proceeding outside a person’s domicile state. Nevada courts would have no jurisdiction over that property, and it’s subject to the laws of the state where it’s located.
How complicated is ancillary probate?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. If your Nevada estate plan is legally sound and the probate court in Nevada accepts it, any other state’s probate courts likely will do the same.
However, it’s crucial to notify your executor about this property and make sure they’re prepared to do any necessary travel and work associated with it. A trip to Tahoe may be no big deal. However, if you have a timeshare, investment property or other assets farther away, that could be an issue.
You can avoid ancillary probate
If you don’t want to sell, gift or move (if it’s possible) the property while you’re still around, there are ways it can avoid probate, just like your property here in Nevada can. You may choose to include it in a revocable living trust (established in the state where it’s located). You can also add your designated beneficiary to the title of the property.
With sound legal guidance, you can make the best choice for dealing with your out-of-state property as you develop your estate plan and minimize issues for your loved ones after you’re gone.