An Overview of the Virginia Probate Process

  • Posted on: Nov 23 2018
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The probate process is a legal proceeding that occurs after an individual dies. During probate, the court oversees a number of functions, including the payment of debts and distribution of estate assets. Below is an overview of the probate process in Virginia.

1) Recording the will  The first step in the Virginia probate process is presenting the original of the decedent’s will (if available) and death certificate to the appropriate Virginia court.

2) Appointment of an estate executor or administrator – In addition to recording the will, it may be necessary to appoint an executor or administrator. In cases in which there isn’t a will or an executor isn’t named, the court appoints an administrator to manage the estate during probate.

3) The estate is established Once the executor or administrator has qualified, he or she must collect all assets and property within the estate. An inventory of these items must be completed and filed within four months of qualification.  Assets typically consist of things like:

  • Cash
  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Stocks
  • Securities
  • Shares
  • Bonds
  • Other monetary accounts
  • Personal property
  • Real estate

4) Debts are determined Following the assessment of estate assets and establishment of a gross estimated value, the debts of the estate and the deceased are determined.

5) Taxes – There are a number of possible tax liabilities applicable to estates in Virginia, including:

  • Probate tax
  • Personal property tax
  • State and Federal income taxes

6) Distribution – Following the payment of estate debts in their order of priority, all remaining assets are distributed to the estate’s beneficiaries. If a valid will exists, then property will be distributed according to its terms.

Virginia Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate planning can be a difficult process, and it’s easy to overlook critical steps when attempting to navigate it without the assistance of an attorney. Therefore, in order to ensure that your rights are protected and your future is secure, please consider contacting an experienced Virginia attorney to discuss your estate planning options. Since 1978, Walker Jones, PC, has provided legal services to the community with honesty, integrity, and superior personal service. We take the time to get to know our clients, understand their circumstances, and design plans that are tailored to their unique needs. Through the years, our valued clients have relied on us for a number of estate planning needs, including the creation of wills, establishment of trusts, and execution of powers of attorney. If you would like to begin the estate planning process today, please contact us for a consultation.


Posted in: Estate Planning