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What is ancillary probate?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | Probate & Estate Administration |

Probate is a process that most people want to minimize or avoid if possible. But there are associated procedures that can increase the difficulty and complexity of the situation. Ancillary probate is one of them. It can almost double the work that an executor may have to perform to distribute a Kentucky decedent’s assets.

Ancillary probate

Ancillary probate is the process of sending property through the probate process in another state. Probate is the way that a legal jurisdiction makes decisions about a deceased person’s assets and how those assets will be distributed. There are a complex set of laws, stages, and procedures with deadlines for each one. Such laws vary from state to state. Ancillary probate is the situation that arises when two laws are applicable at the same time because the deceased has property in two different states or jurisdictions with different laws regarding probate.


The biggest problem associated with ancillary probate is the cost involved. Probate itself can be costly and complicated with all of the relevant laws and parties involved. Ancillary probate just adds another layer of complexity onto the entire procedure. The executor may have to consult lawyers in another state or jurisdiction. They may pay thousands of dollars to make sure that property clears probate and is divided legally.

This process can also lengthen the time that probate occurs. A longer probate process increases the chances of someone contesting a will and causing even more headaches for everyone involved. The possibility of ancillary probate is yet another reason for people with property in multiple states to consider setting up a trust or deeding their property to another person. This process can ensure that assets are protected and probate occurs as quickly and simply as possible.