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Your out-of-state vacation home can complicate probate

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Many families have the goal of one day owning property in another state. Some families dream of a rustic cabin on a lake, while other families desire a vacation home somewhere warm. If you have made your family’s dream a reality, you may have some special considerations to factor in when estate planning.

Typically, if you own property in more than one state, your estate must go through probate in both states. After you pass away, your Illinois property will go through probate in Illinois, while your other property will go through ancillary probate in its state. Ancillary probate is a second or subsequent probate for your estate.

Why is ancillary probate undesirable?

Going through probate more than once can double the cost of probate and be an extra hassle for your loved ones. Also, estate planning laws can vary from state to state, which means that your ancillary probate may not always go the way you expect it to. However, you may be able to prevent your property from going through probate at all.

How can I avoid probate?

A revocable living trust is a flexible type of trust that you create during your lifetime. It can be changed or closed at any point while you are alive. If you create a revocable living trust, you also can name yourself as the trustee, which allows you to manage the property in the trust almost the same way you had before it was put into the trust.

Like other types of trusts, a revocable living trust allows the property in the trust to avoid probate. You can also put property from multiple states into a single trust.

Typically, a revocable living trust should not be the only component of your estate plan. However, if you own property in more than one state, it can be an efficient way distribute your property after you pass away.

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