I will admit that, living in sometimes frigid Cleveland, I am envious of those who have property out of state – especially in warmer climates like Florida or Arizona! However, having out of state property comes with challenges when the owner passes.
Every county in every state has a Probate Court (in some places the court is known as a “Register of Wills”). A Probate Court oversees the transfer of assets from decedent to heir, when that asset has no living joint owner or beneficiary. The jurisdiction of Probate Court covers anyone who resided in that county at the time of his or her death. So, for instance, if a person lived in Akron, upon their death, their estate would be probated by Summit County Probate Court.
However, ownership of real property – including condominiums and deeded time shares – is governed by the laws of the state where the property is located. Because of this, when a person who resided in Cleveland passes with a vacation home in Naples, a probate proceeding is begun in both Cuyahoga County, Ohio and Collier County, Florida. So essentially court costs and attorney fees are doubled.
There are simple and cost effective ways to avoid this dual probate. If you are interested in finding out how – please contact me.