How Do Assets in Multiple States Affect Your Estate Planning?

Geographic borders might seem like not that big of a deal when you can easily drive or fly from one state to another, but when it comes to the distribution of your assets after you pass away, geographic borders matter.

If you have a loved one who owned property in more than one state, probate administration in each state might be required which is extremely important if you are appointed as the personal representative or executor in either one. This is because matters of real estate are always governed by the laws of the state in which the property is physically located.

While some states will allow family members to conduct probate administrations within that second state without hiring an attorney, others will require you to work directly with a probate lawyer to open that estate matter. Great examples include snowbirds because probate might be required in both their home state and in the place where they spend the winter. For example, imagine someone who has a second home in Florida. Florida proceedings might control all of the tangible personal property that was owned by the decedent and any real estate holdings in the state of Florida.

A separate probate proceeding might be required in the snowbird’s home state which will need to be filed in the county in which the deceased lived at the time that they passed. This can add significant complications and delays to the probate process, making it all the more important to carry out a conversation with an estate planning lawyer if you are approaching your estate planning and own property in more than one location.

Whether New Hampshire is your home base or where your vacation home is, you need the support of a dedicated estate planning lawyer to guide you through the process.


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