What Is The Difference Between Ancillary And Domiciliary Probate In Florida?
Ancillary probate is required when a decedent had real estate, including a house, in a state outside of Florida. Ancillary probate is also necessary when the decedent lived and died in another state but owned real property in the State of Florida.
The biggest difference between ancillary and domiciliary probate is that the latter occurs in the state where the deceased person lived. Ancillary probate, on the other hand, takes place in any state where the decedent owned real estate.
Similar to domiciliary probate, the purpose of ancillary probate is to distribute the decedent’s real property to designated beneficiaries. If your loved one died in Florida but owned property in other states, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to find out what to expect during the ancillary probate process.
Schedule a case review with our St. Petersburg probate administration lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to discuss your unique case.
How Does Ancillary Probate Work?
Ancillary administration proceedings are not very different from domiciliary administration in Florida. The biggest difference between ancillary and domiciliary probate in Florida is that when the ancillary administration is complete, the assets owned by the decedent in other states can be either:
- distributed to the designated beneficiaries; or
- distributed to the decedent’s domiciliary estate for further administration.
In order to open ancillary probate, a petitioner or personal representative of the decedent’s estate must open ancillary probate in every state where the decedent owned real property. The personal representative will have to prepare specific documents when opening ancillary probate.
What is the Process of Ancillary Probate Administration in Florida?
If the decedent’s real property subject to the ancillary proceeding has a value of less than $50,000, and the decedent had a Last Will and Testament prior to their death, the domiciliary personal representative may conduct a summary ancillary administration according to Fla. Stat. § 734.1025.
The domiciliary personal representative may conduct a summary administration by filing an authenticated copy of the foreign administration showing the Last Will and Testament and the designated beneficiaries.
The domiciliary personal representative will also need to notify the decedent’s creditors in compliance with Florida’s rules. What happens next depends on whether or not any creditor files a claim against the estate:
- If a creditor files a claim against the estate, the administration of the ancillary probate will be conducted as ancillary administration. A personal representative of the ancillary probate estate will be appointed to handle the process.
- If no creditor files a claim within the applicable timeframe, the property subject to the ancillary proceeding will be distributed to the domiciliary estate.
Who Can Serve As the Personal Representative of Ancillary Probate in Florida?
Now that we have established what ancillary probate is and how it works in Florida, let’s discuss who can be appointed to serve as the personal representative of ancillary probate in Florida.
Florida law outlines an order of preference in the appointment of personal representatives of ancillary estates:
- The person named as the personal representative in the decedent’s Will has the first preference;
- The person named as the personal representative of the decedent’s domiciliary estate has the second preference as long as that individual meets the criteria to serve as the personal representative;
- Alternate or successor personal representative named in the decedent’s Will has the third preference; and
- The person selected by heirs entitled to a majority interest of the decedent’s Florida property has the fourth preference.
Speak with our probate administration attorneys at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to discuss your particular case. Call 727-471-5868.