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Kaufman & Canoles, PC - Attorneys
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Assuming, as discussed in the prior section, the handling of personal property located in another state does not present problems for the Virginia personal representative, what needs to be done for real property of the decedent in another state?
For a decedent dying intestate (without a will), Virginia law provides that his or her real property passes to the decedent's heirs at law. In such cases where the decedent owned real property in another state, the laws of the state where the real property is located will control.
In intestate estate situations, the personal representative would not, under Virginia law, be responsible to take actions regarding real property located in another state. He or she can simply allow the heirs at law to take any necessary actions to establish their title to the real property in the other state.
As a practical matter, though, the personal representative may be one of the heirs entitled to the real property. As such they may be interested in determining and taking the necessary actions to establish title to the benefit of all the heirs in the other jurisdiction.
Depending on the laws of the other state, it may be possible for the personal representative of an intestate decedent to qualify in the other jurisdiction and petition the court for power to sell the real estate (since there is no will granting such powers) and then sell the real property. This may be desirable if necessary for administration of the estate, or if such actions are desired by the heirs for practical reasons.
If the decedent died testate (with a will), the personal representative should determine the requirements under the laws of the other state for probating the will in the other jurisdiction and for qualification of a personal representative in the other jurisdiction, if necessary or desired.
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