Andrew owns property in different states in the country, while Arnold owns property in New York exclusively. Do their estates go through the same probate process when they pass away?
If the deceased owns all his property in a single county in New York, there is no need to consider switching the probate case to another county. However, if the estate is distributed in any of the other 62 counties, then complications arise.
Another situation is if you live in a particular county in New York, but you possess assets in another county. When this happens, consult with a probate attorney in the state where the property is located to understand what steps to take.
Let us look at the factors that define where to open your estate.
The two categories that determine where you open the estate include physical and immaterial assets. Tangible assets refer to anything t you can see, touch, and feel. Therefore, tangible assets have a physical presence such as buildings, land, cash, stock, and machinery.
An intangible asset, on the other hand, is the one that lacks a physical presence. These include patents, licenses, and many more.
Tangible assets need regular maintenance to retain their value. They can also be easily liquidated to raise cash for emergencies.
Accounting for These Asset Categories
Tangible assets are easy to appraise because they usually have a finite lifespan and value. On the other hand, intangible assets aren’t as easy to assess as their physical counterparts. Physical assets can depreciate, but intangible assets amortize over time.
When writing a will, the probate court typically expects you to define the asset category. For the assets to be included in your will, they have to be in your name rather than that of your spouse or partner.
Some intangible assets aren’t considered part of the estate, including insurance benefits.
If your estate is made up entirely of intangible assets, then the law in New York allows the probate estate to be opened in the county of residency.
Having Property in Different Counties
Although your estate needs to be probated in the county that holds the property, you run an exemption if you possessed physical assets in different counties within the state of New York.
When this happens, then the estate is opened in the county you resided in at the time of death, even if you have property spread in many other states.
When this happens, it is ideal that the executor consults with a probate attorney to determine what happens to the assets.
Owning Property in the Different States
It is vital that you understand what the law talks about regarding estate opening in different counties so that you can pay the right taxes and pass on the estate the right way.
When a person passes away, the property they owned is called the estate of the person. This estate needs to follow a few procedures to get transferred to the beneficiaries. This property needs to pass through probate, a process that divides the estate among beneficiaries and pays off any debts.
Some of the cases are simple, primarily if the property is located in the same county of New York. Other cases are complicated, especially when the deceased passed away while having a property in different states.
Handling Property in another State during Probate
The probate law in New York is meant for people that own assets in the state by the time of death. New York courts give orders and decide the ownership of the property that is located in the state but have no power over the property owned in other states.
So, what happens to the assets in other states? The executor in New York has to open new ancillary probate in the other state. So, if Arnold is a New York resident, but has houses in Minnesota, the executor files ancillary probate in Minnesota.
As an executor, you have the role of making sure that the ancillary probate court in the other state has all the information it needs to decide on the succession. The court in the other state will ask for copies of the probate court proceedings from New York probate. This means that you have to open the probate in New York before you head to another state.
Probate in Other States can be Complicated
The experienced lawyers at Trust and Estates can help you with different probate issues. It is also the best time to make sure your estate plan is updated.