What if You Own Real Estate in Multiple States?

By Chris Tymchuck
Founding Attorney

A Minnesota Estate Planning Lawyer Explains What Happens if You Own Property in Different States

What if a Clients Owns Real Estate in Multiple States?

This question comes up a lot in the frozen tundra of Minnesota where many of my estate planning clients own a home here and in a warm climate like Arizona or Florida. These “snowbirds” face the likelihood that they will be involved in a probate proceeding in each such state.  

This drives up costs, slows down the transfer of assets, and is altogether undesirable.  The main probate proceeding would occur in the state in which the deceased owner lived.  The other proceedings are each termed an “ancillary” probate, since they complement the primary process.  As mentioned, ancillary probate creates additional problems, and depending on the particular state, can throw off some of the planning you may already have accomplished.

One good strategy for side-stepping ancillary probate is to make sure to place the real property in the other states into a revocable trust.  Another good strategy is to consider placing the real property in a business, such as an LLC.  This method needs to be carefully approached as some states will scrutinize the transaction a little closer.  Of course, a Minnesota estate planning attorney can help identify when that might be an issue.

If you have questions related to this article or would like to learn more, contact Unique Estate Law today at (952) 955-7623 or info@uniqueestatelaw.com.

About the Author
As a Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate attorney I help build and protect families through the adoption, estate planning, and probate processes. I also have experience working with families on issues related to their small businesses. I know how difficult it is to find time to plan for the future and I am here to help walk you through it.