If you own property in a different state you will want to carefully consider how to handle this property once it becomes a part of your estate. Out-of-state property requires special considerations, so when you are putting together your estate plan, you’ll want to keep a few important factors in mind.
One thing you should consider is whether or not you really want the property to be a part of your estate. Although the condo in Florida might hold sentimental value to you, it might not have the same meaning to your family members. On the other hand, the old family homestead in Maine might be a property your heirs would want to keep. If it’s a piece of property your family will really appreciate, make sure its management and maintenance is taken care of when you plan your estate. If it’s property that really isn’t of value to you, either sell it or leave instructions to sell it as part of the probate process.
Another consideration is the state in which the property is located. Property laws vary by state, so it is a good idea to have a real estate attorney in the state where the property is located go over any estate plans you may have. This will ensure the property will be handled the way you want it to.
If you own property is several states, if you don’t do some careful planning, there will have to be a probate hearing in every state for the property titles to be passed to their intended heirs. This can be avoided, but you have to plan in advance. By managing to avoid several different probate hearings, you will also speed up the probate process.
Estate planning takes time and special consideration. It should also be done with the assistance of an experienced legal professional. Proper advice can ensure than you estate is handled the way you want, and those you intend to bequeath to get what you wanted them to have.
Source: Wicked Local Dedham, “Legal column: Five considerations for out-of-state property” Maria C. Baler, Oct. 20, 2013
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