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Manassas Probate Lawyer

What are the steps of the probate process?

To get started, the probate process occurs with or without the presence of a will. When a will is created, it is set up by an individual before their time of death. Once they have passed away, the individual is then referred to as the decedent, in which they have died 'testate.' Testate just means that the decedent died with a will already in place. Without a will in place, the decedent dies 'intestate.' It is important to start the probate process between one to three weeks after the death of the decedent.

Virginia laws state that the Virginia Circuit Court is responsible for delegating the probate process. This process begins when a court date is set up; however, it is not always required to do so. When in court, two distinct documents are presented to the clerks of the court by the 'interested party,' usually the appointed executor in the will. These documents include the original copy of the will, if there is one, as well as the official death certificate of the decedent. Once the clerk is able to authorize that the will is the authentic copy, the probate process can continue. Without a will, the process is allowed to continue as long as the original death certificate is provided. To understand your options in the matter, a Manassas probate lawyer can help you get started.

The Responsibilities of the Executor

Having the authentic will of the decedent, the clerk is then able to appoint the executor. The executor is defined as the individual in charge of delegating the property and affairs of the decedent, as stated in the will. Without a will present, the court then appoints someone to take over the role as the executor. They are held responsible for overseeing any debts as well as determining the value of the estate. This information is used for tax purposes. The appointed individual is also in charge of the estate in regards to distributing it out or selling it. Taxes and debts must also be accounted for and paid off.

Within four months of the decedent passing, the executor must file an 'inventory' to the Commissioner of Accounts. The COA is there to oversee that the assets and estate of the decedent are handled accurately. After 16 months, the executor is then responsible for filing the 'accounting,' which includes the beneficiaries stated in the will as well as the assets that were distributed to them. Lastly, the income tax return of the estate and the final tax return must be filed. Whether you are the individual setting up a will, the appointed executor, or an individual looking for more information, I would be happy to assist you in the process! Contact a Prince William County probate attorney at Morisi Associates, PLLC for help!

Morisi Associates, PLLC - Manassas Estate Planning Attorney
Located at 9200 Church St
Suite 202

Manassas VA 20110
Phone: (703) 468-8031

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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