What is Ancillary Probate, and when is it used?

Sometimes, a decedent dies owning property in more than one state. If a nonresident decedent dies owning property in Pennsylvania, ancillary probate may be necessary to legally transfer those assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries or heirs. The process begins with obtaining an exemplified copy of the estate record from the state where the decedent was domiciled at death and filing it with the Register of Wills in the Pennsylvania county where the property is located. If a nonresident decedent owns property in more than one county in Pennsylvania, you may file the exemplified record in any county where the decedent had property. For those that are curious, an exemplified copy of a record is an official copy of public records made under seal that can only be made and attested by the body that originally issued the document – i.e., a fancy certified copy of a court record.