FAQ: Estate Administration
Q. What is Probate?Probate is the court procedure to accept and process a will. Not all property must go through probate. For example, assets held jointly with right of survivorship normally pass outside the will to the joint bank account owner.
Q. Where do I go to probate a Will in Virginia?The Executor takes the will and other information to the Circuit Court to probate the will and qualify as executor. If the Executor is not a resident of Virginia, a Virginia resident must co-qualify or a Resident Agent must be appointed. The actual administration of the estate is done through the Commissioner of Accounts office.
Q. What must I bring to probate the Will?The Executor or Administrator must bring the original will, a certified copy of the death certificate and the names and addresses of the Heirs at Law. The Heirs at Law are the people that would have received the property if the person died without a will (intestate). Fees are based on the expected estate value.
Q. What does the Office of the Commissioner of Accounts require?The Commissioner of Accounts requires an Inventory of the Estate. The filing of an Inventory must occur no later than four month after the qualification date. The office also requires the filing of a Settlement of Account or Statement in Lieu of Accounts. The first Accounting is due no later than 16 months after qualification date of the estate. Accounts must continue to be filed with the Commissioner of Accounts Office until the estate is closed.
Q. Is the Trustee responsible for tax obligations of the trust?Yes. The Trustee must file the appropriate tax returns. These include trust or fiduciary federal and state income tax returns, and K-1's, which are given to beneficiaries to assist them in preparing their personal income tax returns.