What do we do if the deceased owned land, a mobile home or houses in various states?
Probate petitions are filed in the county where the decedent was living at the time of expiration, regardless of where the person actually died. If a Will exists, after it is admitted to probate in his or her home state, the Will is usually submitted to probate in the other counties where the deceased owned real property. This additional probate system is called "ancillary probate". It may be necessary for a local "personal representative" to administer any "in-state" home(s) or real property. If no Will exists, "out-of-state" real property falls under the probate laws of the other state or states. If there is no Will, probate is usually compulsory in each and every county where the real property is located, as well as in the "home state".
This is exactly why, if you are now in the process of writing a Will, it would be wise to carefully specify all of your beneficiaries - taking into account any land or real property you own not only in the state you live in, but also in other states. If you do not name the beneficiaries carefully in your Will, each state will manage the disbursement of your estate and land under their in-state-specific laws, and your real property may eventually end up in the hands of parties not intended to receive this land or real property after death and subsequent probate process. A carefully written Will should serve to avoid this type of problem.
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