out-of-state probateThe probate process can be a difficult experience, even if you have an experienced probate lawyer on your side and the estate is uncontested. But if a family member died in another state or held property in another state, you may face unique challenges with your out-of-state probate process or ancillary process.

The probate case lives and exists in the state where your loved one lived, even if you and other family members reside elsewhere.

Moreover, if your loved one owned real estate in another state from the one of his residency or in multiple states, the situation is even more complex, as ancillary probate laws interfere.

For example, if the deceased lived in Florida and owned property in Georgia, the latter would be handled via an ancillary probate process.

This happens because the real estate placed inside a state is under the exclusive authority of that state.

Consequently, an executor appointed by a Florida probate court, for example, would lack the authority to handle an out-of-state property placed in Georgia. Georgia real estate should be handled by a representative appointed by a Georgia probate court.

It can be very difficult to deal with an estate from afar, especially if this is your first time handling an estate.

Most Common Challenges for Out-of-state Probate

Limited ability to travel to Georgia.

Whether you live one state away or thousands of miles from where your family member died, you might face daunting travel logistics and costs.

To plan effectively, you will need to determine when and for what you’ll need to travel to Georgia during the process.

Limited amount of time and energy to invest in the estate.

If you take on the responsibility to be the estate’s personal representative (i.e., executor or administrator), you may need to spend significant time and resources.

Can you afford to take on this big project, especially if you’re managing it from afar?

Limited ability to coordinate and deal with out-of-state property.

Some elements of the probate process can be handled remotely. But others require more hands-on effort.

For instance, you may need to sort through papers and boxes, visit a bank in person to access a safety deposit box, or secure your loved one’s home or car.

You may not know what to do or whom to trust.

Even if you have roots in Georgia—e.g., friends or close relatives who live nearby—you may not have a robust support network to help you through the diverse parts of the probate process.

For example, as you move to different parts of the process, you will need to engage different local professionals to help you, such as a real estate agent, accountant, financial advisor, and potentially someone to hold an estate sale, just to name a few.

How do you find someone you can trust to do a good job and then ensure that everything has been done correctly?

These additional factors can make the already complex and confusing probate process, and make it overly cumbersome and time consuming.

Finding a Qualified Probate Attorney

It is often best to have someone local—who knows what they are doing—manage everything and make the process as smooth and easy as possible.

The team at Georgia Probate Law Group understands what you are going through and has helped many others through exactly this kind of situation.

We know what it takes to get the job done right the first time and as quickly as possible. We work all over Georgia.

Our legal team has unique systems in place to help those who do not live in Georgia with probate in our state. We’ve honed these systems over the years in diverse matters — a benefit of our narrow focus on probate cases. These processes bring structure and order to what can otherwise become a chaotic and stressful experience.

• Usually, our clients do not have to travel to Georgia unless they want to visit. We typically do everything remotely by telephone, fax, email, and mail. We use innovative technology to organize what needs to be done so that our clients feel in control, even when they’re not here physically to oversee things. Our goal is to make the process of managing your estate remotely as simple and stress-free as possible.

Make settling the estate simple. Some clients ask us to answer questions and provide guidance, while others want a partner in the process. A lot of our out-of-state clients ask us to take on the whole process for them. We’re happy to help in any of these scenarios.

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation with one of our helpful probate team so we can help you make a plan for your situation.

We have helped over 1,000 families with probate process and out-of state property. Schedule a confidential consultation to learn how we can assist you with your probate case.