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Ancillary Administration of West Virginia Real Property and Mineral Interests

by | Feb 9, 2023 | Firm News

Prior to 2019, when an out-of-state resident died owning real estate interests in West Virginia, no matter the size, even small fractional mineral interests, the deceased’s estate was required to go through an entire ancillary (meaning a subordinate or supplemental) probate administration in order to clear title to the real estate and/or to ensure that royalties been paid on gas or oil producing properties landed in the proper hands. This probate process was somewhat antiquated and required a personal appearance in court of the proposed administrator or executor for the purposes of appointment.

Often times this caused a hardship on the family of the deceased. Imagine if a person domiciled in Washington state passed away, and his or her entire family also resided in Washington state. If that same person left a will transferring all their property to a spouse, and nominating the spouse as executor, that spouse would be required to probate the will in Washington state – the domicile of the deceased.

Imagine further that the deceased party owned a small fractional interest in a royalty producing property paying minimal amounts as royalties – $100-$200 on a monthly basis. In order to properly transfer that interest to the surviving spouse, that surviving spouse was required to travel across the country, incurring expenses for air travel, hotel, etc. for a 10 minute probate hearing in West Virginia as a part of transferring the interest.

This problematic situation was remedied in 2019 with the passage of House Bill 2759 (HB 2759). HB 2759 streamlined the ancillary administration process, eliminating the need for personal appearances and saving the family and heirs of out of state residents leaving this life with West Virginia Real Estate interests significant time and expense.

We at Kahle Law Office since 2019 have assisted clients from as far away as Florida, California and Texas with the ancillary administration of real estate interests and gas and oil interest in counties across the State of West Virginia. What was once a burdensome, long and expensive process is now relatively simple.

If you have a family member or friend who has passed away, residing out of the State of West Virginia with real estate or mineral interests in West Virginia, call or email Gail at Kahle Law Offices for a free initial consultation of how we can assist.