Will of real estate may be governed by the law of the situs of the property rather than the decedent's domicile at death

The traditional rule is that title to real property is determined by the whole law of the situs of the property, meaning both the substantive law of the situs and its choice-of-law rules. Thus title is determined by whatever law would be applied at the situs. This rule has been rejected in some cases in recent years because personal property on death is determined by the law of the domicile of the decedent and if different rules are applied to real property located elsewhere and personal property, the decedent's wishes may be ignored or perverted. However, many courts adhere to the traditional rules as occurred in In re Estate of Latek, 960 N.E.2d 193 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), a court at the decedent's domicile (Illinois) refused to accept a will for failure to comply with Illinois will execution requirements but the court in Indiana (where the property was located) refused to defer automatically to the determination of the Illinois court. The court affirmed what appears to be settled law that the full faith and credit clause does not require one state to defer to judgments of another state that purport to determine title to land outside that court's jurisdiction. The Indiana court noted that an Indiana statute allowed wills that were proved valid in other states to be admitted in Indiana but in this case the will had not been proved in Illinois.