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California Ancillary Probate Law

A frequent question in probate is, “What happens when someone dies while retaining property in more than one state?” This type of case is called “ancillary probate.”

Your  Lawyer Helps You Understand Ancillary Probate in California Probate Law

Ancillary probate addresses property ownership in multiple states. If  assets were owned by someone in his or her own name or as a tenant in common, then the assets likely must be probated  to transfer them from the deceased’s name into the names of the beneficiaries.

Once  probate has been deemed necessary, clients then ask where the probate process will transpire. The following questions will help provide some clarity: Where did the deceased reside? In what state or foreign country was his or her driver’s license or ID issued? In what state or county was he or she registered to vote? What was his or her mailing address?  Answers to such questions will help you know where to file for the probate process.

Whether the deceased resided in California or not, real estate is always probated in the state where the property is located. Non-real estate assets can go through probate in the state where the deceased last resided, regardless of asset location.

The two most common forms of ancillary probate:

  • Foreign domiciliary or non-domiciliary: This frequently involves someone passing while owning California real estate, yet who resided outside California. These cases often relate to vacation properties.
  • California domiciliary: This involves a deceased California resident holding property outside the state. An ancillary probate must be filed in the state in which the real estate is located.

For more information about California ancillary probate, go to our article reviewing ancillary probate in California.

Contact Us About Probating Out-of-State Assets

For an initial consultation, contact T.S. Wrobel Law Group to speak with Thomas Wrobel for your probate needs. Call (415) 928-4161 now for an initial consultation, or reach us by email at  We look forward to assisting you.