Navigating the Probate Process in Virginia

Hello Hampton Roads,

The probate process can seem intimidating with unfamiliar jargon, but it's essentially the legal process of settling an estate after someone passes away; debts are paid and assets are distributed to beneficiaries.  In the state of Virginia, the probate process is overseen by the circuit court in the city or county where the deceased lived.  If there is a will, the will will usually name an executor to manage the estate and if there is no will then the court will appoint an administrator to do the job. Let's take a broad look at the process to give you a better understanding of how it all works!

The Probate Process in Virginia

Key Steps in the Probate Process

  1. Filing the Will and Petition:

    • The will is submitted to the circuit court along with a petition for probate.
    • If there is no will, the court appoints an administrator, usually a close family member.
  2. Inventory and Appraisal:

    • The executor (if named in the will) or the administrator takes inventory of the deceased person's assets and has them appraised.
  3. Notifying Creditors:

    • Creditors are notified of the death, providing them with an opportunity to make claims against the estate for any outstanding debts.
  4. Paying Debts and Taxes:

    • The estate's debts, including funeral expenses and taxes, are paid from the assets.
  5. Distributing Assets:

    • Remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or Virginia's intestate laws if there is no will.
  6. Closing the Estate:

    • Once all debts and obligations are settled, the executor or administrator petitions the court to close the estate.

Navigating the Road Ahead

If you find yourself tasked with overseeing an estate that involves real estate, you bear the crucial responsibility of safeguarding the estate's best interests and maximizing value for its heirs. To support you in this endeavor, I offer a complimentary report titled "Avoid these 7 Costly Mistakes in Probate." This resource is designed to make your role more manageable and guide you through potential pitfalls. Access the report for free by visiting:

Thanks for Reading,


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