Am I absolutely obligated to file an ancillary probate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I absolutely obligated to file an ancillary probate?

My mother died last year in MN. She and I both have our names on the house where I live in TX. Her Will specifically leaves this house to me and includes the legal property description. I have certified

copies, stamped and filed of her Will as well as the Order of Formal Probate. As she died in MN and the house in question is in TX, it was my understanding that I would have to apply for an ancillary probate to have her name removed from the deed. I have talked to two different attorneys here in T. One wants to charge me $800 to complete the ancillary probate that will remove her name from the deed. The other attorney explained a more simple and much less expensive option. He suggested I take the certified copies of her Will and Order of Formal Probate to the county clerk in Williamson County to be recorded within the real estate records. Should I ever want to sell the property the Will and Order of Probate will be available to prove my mother had left it to me. I pray the less expensive will be acceptable.

Asked on November 28, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The inexpensive option (namely, recording the MN probate order and Will) should be sufficient.  The purpose of any order is to show the proper chain of title so that it's always clear who is the actual owner.  You should not have to file an ancillary probate.  
However, much of this will depend on the eventual buyer, should you ever decide to sell the property.  Some sellers will accept the order and will as proper evidence of "chain of title."  Other sellers will want a Texas order.  That's why some attorneys are recommending an ancillary Texas probate make disposition in the future easier.  So, if you are not in a hurry to sell the property, then you don't need a second probate.  If you are looking to sell the property and have a buyer that is satisfied with the MN probate order, then you don't need an ancillary probate.  You only need it if you have a finicky buyer.  You have a couple of years to make this test the "buyer waters" and decide what you need from there. 

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