Ancillary Probate

We guide you in selling North Carolina assets for a deceased owner.

About Ancillary Probate

Ancillary Probate comes into play when transferring ownership of property or assets over state lines after someone dies. Probate is governed by the state in which the property owner resided, yet there are also state rules that apply to the owner’s additional out-of-state assets. Ancillary Probate becomes necessary in sorting out assets that are located outside the deceased’s home state. Ancillary Probate occurs in addition to standard probate proceedings as a secondary step.

Why Ancillary Probate is Necessary in North Carolina

Ancillary Probate is common in North Carolina partly due to the high number of vacation homes located along the coastline and in the mountains. If you are the heir to a property in North Carolina, and you receive the property from an out-of-state owner who is deceased, you will likely need to go through Ancillary Probate in order to transfer the property title into your name or sell to another individual. In this scenario, whether or not you are a North Carolina resident, it is advisable to hire a probate attorney in North Carolina to handle this secondary step in the probate process.

Because there are state laws assigned to the location of any property in your name, determining the legal handling of the property or asset within that state requires its own separate process. Without Ancillary Probate, passing the asset on to your desired heir, selling a property or determining the distribution of any wealth from those belongings is unlikely to be considered legal.

Probate for Selling NC Real Estate
with a Deceased Owner


It is advisable that you hire a probate attorney that practices in North Carolina - the same state as the property you are selling.

When You're an Out-of-State Executor

Real estate owned in North Carolina must be handled through the North Carolina courts in order to allow a legal ownership transfer.

Challenges with Selling NC Property

An executor trying to sell North Carolina property can't convey good title until this Ancillary Probate process has been started. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

View a list of common questions relating to family law.

View FAQs

Speak With An Attorney Today

Whether you are ready to begin the probate process, or you need help determining if a probate attorney is right for you, Shepard Law is here to help. We can assist clients throughout North Carolina regarding your specific legal needs. 

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