If you recently experienced a loss and it has fallen upon you to be the executor or administrator for your loved one, you probably have some questions about the probate process. Unfortunately, it is different for every estate.
In addition to the requirements of the specifics of your case, you would probably have different procedures due to local variations. There are, however, some common elements that this article will discuss.
Common steps in probate
Probate in Virginia is the process of proving the authenticity of a will and officially recording it. This typically happens at the circuit court for the county or city in which your loved one resided at the time of death. There are also separate guidelines if you do not know the official place of residence.
The office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and your Commissioner of Accounts typically have specific information about the next steps that you should take. They usually provide this upon request or automatically provide it when you begin the probate process.
Administering the estate
Being the executor means assuming a trusted and important role that often extends past probating the will. Common duties include settling any debts, filing taxes and making a complete inventory of the estate. You might also have to do annual accounting depending on the length of the process.
If you feel that you do not want to take on these responsibilities, the law would not compel you to do so. In fact, the will might list other candidates that could take your place if you step down.