Q: My dad just passed away in PR. He only lived there 16 months, I am one of 3 of his children. What steps are needed now?
My dad inherited property which is being lived in by a family member. My dad also received an inheritance when his mother passed away. Since he lived most of his life in NJ, must I go through probate process in both NJ and PR? He did not have a will and death was sudden and unexpected.
A: You need to hire a probate attorney in PR for certain, because the main probate occurs where the decedent resided when he died. You will also need to open an ancillary probate in every other state in which the decedent owned property, using local probate attorneys.
This is just one of many reasons why trust-based estate planning is superior to will-based estate planning. Trust-based estate planning, if done correctly, avoids probate everywhere.
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