top of page

Ancillary Probate in Utah

Updated: Feb 6

Probate is the court procedure by which an individual’s assets are distributed after they pass away. But what happens if you own property in different states?

Ancillary probate is a special kind of probate that is required when the deceased owned property in several different states. For example, if you own real property in Utah, but were domiciled in a different state at the time of death, the majority of the estate would be probated in your home state. However, this probate does not give your Personal Representative the power to distribute the real estate you owned in Utah.  In order to get this power, your Personal Representative would need to petition a Utah court to recognize their authority over your estate.

Why would you file for ancillary probate?

Usually, when filing for probate you must do so in the decedent’s home state. However, because courts do not have the authority to make decisions about property in another state, you must file for ancillary probate for any property that exists outside the decedent’s home state. So, someone who lives in another state but owns real estate in Utah would have to go through ancillary probate in Utah.

Ancillary probate can be an expensive process because it occurs in addition to the regular probate that happens in the deceased home state. To avoid ancillary probate, it is best to have a trust that has the power to transfer assets directly to the intended heirs and beneficiaries upon death.

The process of ancillary probate:

Ancillary probate is a simple process. But, before you file for ancillary probate, the majority of your estate must have already been probated in the state where you were domiciled. After that, the estate’s court appointed administrator (Personal Representative) must file a “Proof of Authority of Foreign Personal Representative” in the county court where the real property is located. The proof of authority must state the name of the deceased, date of death, state and county of residence, name the Personal Representative, and provide the name of the court who originally appointed the Personal Representative.

After you file the proof of authority, if the Court approves it, it will issue Letters Testamentary stating that the Personal Representative has the authority to administer the real estate in Utah.

Having a comprehensive estate plan can simplify or help you completely avoid the probate process, which is guaranteed to save your family time and money. Knowing the best way to pass your assets on to your loved ones can be a difficult task. We are here to help you make the best possible plan for your future and the future of your loved ones.

However, if you are the personal representative for an estate of which the decedent was an out-of-state resident, we would be more than happy to assist you with filing and proceeding with ancillary probate in Utah. Contact us today.



bottom of page