If I have 3 out of state rental properties, upon my death where will the land be probated?

UPDATED: May 29, 2012

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If I have 3 out of state rental properties, upon my death where will the land be probated?

I have a Living Trust established in my state of residence. When I die, will the land go through probate there or the state in which it is located? I am forming an LLC for the rental properties and am debating on whether to put the LLC in my personal name or in the name of the Living Trust, if the land will be probated out of state; I will keep the LLC separate from the Living Trust given the other state having an easier probate process (compared to where I live).

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In Texas, venue for probate is in the county and state where the deceased resided at the time of their death.  If this cannot be determined, then the probate code provides for other ways for venue to be set in a county in Texas (i.e. where a major portion of the person's estate was located, or where a person's nearest kin resides).  So... to answer your question, it really depends on a number of factors-- but if you regularly live and reside in a particular county, then all of your property will be subject to probate in that county.  This doesn't mean that another heir won't try to move the probate or forum shop, however.  It sounds like you are trying to engage in some strategic estate planning.  If you really want your wishes followed, you may want to consider visiting with an attorney that specializes in estate planning.  There are ways to structure transfers of title and ownership so that any heirs don't have to go through probate.  Avoiding probate can save them a great deal of time and heartache later on... while insuring that your wishes are still honored. 

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