Document Type

Student Article


Property law has long established a difference between real and personal property. When an individual dies, if they owned real property in another state, they may be subject to the other state’s probate or estates code. This means that the decedent’s beneficiaries may have to probate the estate again in the secondary state’s courts if the statutes state that is a requirement. This secondary probate proceeding is called ancillary probate. This Article aims to show the negative effects that ancillary probate has on certain people and industries. Specifically, ancillary probate is a problem that negatively affects farmers and ranchers across the nation due to increased costs and time, problems with estate planning, and the effects it has on the individual needs of families. Because farming and ranching is a vital industry to the survival of the United States, reform is needed to increase uniformity across state codes. This Article demonstrates why uniformity will better serve those who farm and ranch when they own land in another state at the time of death. The original contribution to scholarship is showing how the effects of ancillary probate affect farmers and ranchers and proposing that states should adopt an estates code that mimics the Texas Estates Code. This Article urges states to not only adopt a code provision that better serves the farming and ranching industry but to adopt a provision that mimics Texas Estate Code sections. This Article shows why ancillary probate is an increasing problem for farmers and ranchers while also showing why this group is important to the country. It displays the importance of this group of people and why measures should be taken to protect their ability to be on the land and to farm. Lastly, this Article aims to encourage states to adopt a new provision by showing the negative effects that the current system has on this industry by highlighting necessities that are the product of this industry.



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