Q: What roughly is the cost of setting up a simple Estate for a brother who recently died with no will?
A: A person may die testate, with a will, or intestate, without a will. Whether to probate an estate is an important threshold issue. In some instances, it is advantageous to probate an estate or will. In some other instances, it is not necessary, or the costs, inconvenience and liability outweigh the minimal benefits. Some property passes upon the death of the owner by law or by contract, for example payable-on-death (POD) bank accounts or transfer-on-death (TOD) investment accounts, a retirement plan or life insurance policy with a named beneficiary (other than the estate), or real estate held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety with a right of survivorship. When a real property owner dies intestate in Virginia, the real property "drops like a rock" into the names of the heirs. A real estate affidavit naming the heirs may be filed to give public notice of the current owners who inherited the property. There are also some devices or methods for transferring small assets, vehicles and for administering small estates, although some banks and financial institutions are reluctant to release funds except to a qualified personal representative.
Attorney's fees are negotiable. Filing fees for probate depend on the value of the estate. A bond may be required, if not waived in the will. A tax return may be required for the estate. It may be necessary to employ professionals to assist with the execution of a will or administration of an estate. The best way to determine the costs is to call around and/or consult with Virginia probate lawyers.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.