Jamaican citizen lives in the USA and dies while here. Can his estate be probated in the USA or does it have to be opened in Jamaica?
The probate issue and venue is usually based on "residency." You can only reside in one place. You could own property in multiple places, but only have one residence so that means the process would primarily start and be based on the law of where the person resided (in terms of who gets what). The simpliest way to understand residency is that if someone lives somewhere, did they have the "intent to return" to that place if they left for a while. Good example would be a person who owns a home in State A and has their license, files taxes, etc. from there but then spends some time in State B when they get sick and die in a hospital in State B. Living for awhile and dying in State B does not make them a resident of State B, especially since they intended to return to State A. This can be very fact-specific. That said, regardless of where residency is, an "ancillary probate" may need to be opened if assets are owned in another state or country. Depending on the country there is usually a process to authenticate and domesticate a will into another country - for example a French citizen who has a will drawn in France and in the French language could have their will honored in the US to deal with US real estate.
As you can tell it is a fairly complicated thing, so seek the advice of an attorney perhaps in both places.
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.
I would add to Mr. Zelinger's answer is that the reason for the ancillary probate is that each state in the Union has a right to determine how real property located within its boundaries will pass. Personal property, no matter the location in the Union, will be governed by the state of residency of the deceased.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline