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What does a beneficiary of a will in CA have to do in order to obtain rights in land in Texas?

Los Angeles, CA |

Beneficiary and deceased are in CA and deceased left Beneficiary with interest in land in Texas. Can I file a notarized Affadavit for collection of Personal Property along with the will in Texas? or do I have to probate the will in CA first, before submitting the probated will in Texas?

Attorney Answers 3


Wills are typically probated in the state/county where the decedent resided (that has its own legal definition but indicia of residency are owning real estate, having a drivers license, where tax return was filed, etc.). If someone owns real estate in another state, an "ancillary probate" will need to be opened in order to properly transfer real estate from the decedent's estate to the beneficiary. Title to the real estate is usually transferred by executor's deed from the estate to the beneficiary.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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You should hire a lawyer in Texas to answer that question.

Without knowing the answer that the Texas lawyer will give, here is my best guess: you need an order from the California Probate Court that awards the Texas property to you. Once you have that California order, you then take it to the lawyer in Texas and ask him or her what to do next. For example, that order might be all you need to get the title company in Texas to issue a new deed to you. Or, you might need to take the California order and use it to get an order from the Texas court.

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To expand a bit on Mr Zelinger's answer-- an "anclillary proceeding means that there is a primary probate in another state (or jurisdiction). Generally what happens is that after the probate is opened in the state of the decedent's residence at time of death, the administrator or executor files papers in the second state where the real property is located - that is the ancilllary proceeding. The ancillary state usually requires "Authenticated" copies of the order admitting the will to probate and of the "letters of administration" appointing the administrator in the primary state. The ancillary probate is a full proceeding in the second state and when concluded the property can be deeded by the ancillary administrator to the heirs of the will in the primary state. You will need a probate lawyer in Texas to assist you in this matter. Hope this helps.

DISCLAIMER: The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. These responses are intended only to provide general information about perceived legal issues within the question. Each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

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