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Virginia Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: How can we sell my mother's house when one of the coowners on the deed died before signing off on the deed?

My mother has moved to a senior living home and needs to sell her house. She is coowner (60%) along with 5 of her children. The sale cannot go forward since one of the children died last year and his will presumably naming his wife as executrix is hung up in probate court in the US Virgin... View More

Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
answered on Feb 8, 2024

With the issue of the one child's estate being hung up in probate in the Virgin Islands and not knowing the terms of the child's last will and testament, you only course of action may be to contact a local attorney where the property is located and file a suit for partition. The court... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can the estate be responsible for the medical bills of the decedent ?

As the husband of the decedent, I am the only person in the estate.

Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
answered on Feb 6, 2024

Generally speaking, the Executor or the Administrator of a decedent's estate is responsible for the debts of the estate, assuming the estate has sufficient assets to pay the claims. Virginia Code Section 64.2-528 provides the order of priority when paying debts.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can the estate be responsible for the medical bills of the decedent ?

As the husband of the decedent, I am the only person in the estate.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
answered on Feb 6, 2024

Handling of estates is a lot more technical than most people think, and you should consult an experienced probate attorney to review the estate and advise you. If there is no estate under administration (through the court system) you - as an individual - are generally not responsible for the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My father died over two years ago. My brother is the executor. He is not communicating with me anymore.

I have contacted the circuit court and they are saying my brother is failing to provide information. I think my brother is hiding something. Should I hire my own attorney?

Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
answered on Jan 24, 2024

You may need to hire an attorney to look into your brother's actions while serving as the Executor in your father's estate. Your brother has a fiduciary duty to protect your interest and deal fairly and openly with you. His actions or inactions could warrant his removal as the Executor.... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Deceased spouse owes taxes to the state of Virginia am I responsible for that debt. We did not file 2022 taxes jointly.
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 19, 2024

In Virginia, if your deceased spouse owed taxes to the state and you did not file joint taxes for the year in question, you are generally not personally responsible for the tax debt. However, the deceased person's estate may be responsible for settling any outstanding tax obligations. The... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Deceased spouse owes taxes to the state of Virginia am I responsible for that debt. We did not file 2022 taxes jointly.
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 22, 2024

In general, if you did not file jointly for the tax year in question, you are typically not responsible for your deceased spouse's individual tax debts to the state of Virginia. However, there are exceptions and complexities depending on the specifics of your situation, such as the nature of... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Do proceeds from real estate go into an estate account or directly to beneficiaries/next of kin?

My father died a year ago and we are still settling debt and selling property. There was no will. The estate is handled by an administrator. We sold a property and our closing lawyer says we get the proceeds and they do not go into the estate account. There are still debts to be settled. If we... View More

Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
answered on Dec 5, 2023

Unfortunately, I need more information to properly answer your questions. Was there a will? Is the estate being handled by an Executor or an Administrator? Does the fiduciary have power of sale over the real estate? Normally, if there are debts and claims owing by the estate, no probate assets... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: What is the easiest way to file a petition city of Chesapeake asking a judge to appoint an executor for my mothers estat

Va is a majority rules state and 5/7 siblings have agreed that the property needs to be sold we are not allowed in it by opposing siblings and she prior to mother’s death isolated her until we took legal action

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Aug 3, 2023

The personal representative of an estate is either an executor or an administrator. An executor is named in the will or an individual who qualifies for the role when the named executor declines or is unable to exercise that role, or the will fails to name an executor. The successor executor is an... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: What is the easiest way to file a petition city of Chesapeake asking a judge to appoint an executor for my mothers estat

Va is a majority rules state and 5/7 siblings have agreed that the property needs to be sold we are not allowed in it by opposing siblings and she prior to mother’s death isolated her until we took legal action

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Aug 2, 2023

AFAIK, Virginia is not a "majority rules" state as to partition or sale in lieu of partition of land. Any owner of jointly held land can more for sale in lieu of partition if the property is inherently indivisible. I don't understand the rest of your question or description, so... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother passed away on 6/22 (no will) . I filed probate received real estate affidavit contacted mortgage co.

5 months later the mortgage co. (sps) files foreclosure after I submit the deed with my name. I have to give them $18, 000 by the first of June what can I do their relationship manager did not file most of the paperwork I sent her

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on May 26, 2023

When the owner of real property in Virginia dies intestate - without a will - title to the real property "drops like a stone" into the names of the heirs. Property inherited by heirs does not pass free and clear of liens or security interests. The heirs take the property subject to all... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother passed away on 6/22 (no will) . I filed probate received real estate affidavit contacted mortgage co.

5 months later the mortgage co. (sps) files foreclosure after I submit the deed with my name. I have to give them $18, 000 by the first of June what can I do their relationship manager did not file most of the paperwork I sent her

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on May 26, 2023

I am having some difficulty deciphering your situation. If the $18,000 if the balance of the accelerated loan caused by the default, and the foreclosure was filed because the bank didn't recognize you as the title owner, it's a fairly small problem, and a lawyer can get it solved often... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My grandma had a trust but apparently signed her car title over to me like I had bought it. Does that mean it is mine?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 28, 2023

It may depend a bit on the state, but if she signed and delivered the car title to you, you are the title owner. The change of title should be filed an MVA/DMV, and you should make sure the insurance matches the title. You are responsible for the vehicle. On the other hand, if the signing of the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My grandma had a trust but apparently signed her car title over to me like I had bought it. Does that mean it is mine?
James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Apr 29, 2023

One of the challenges with trusts is funding. Title to property must be transferred to the trust by conveyance to the trustee of the trust in order for it to be part of the trust corpus, or body of property in trust.

Title to motor vehicles in Virginia is evidenced by a DMV Certificate of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can an adult child claim part of fathers estate in Virginia if there has been no communication for over 30 years

the child had no desire to be part of fathers life and he has been married for 13 years to his present wife & she has helped in the marriage

finances. The father has passed & his wife is his beneficiary.

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Apr 16, 2023

Co-sanguinity and marriage determine legal rights in an intestate decedent's estate. It is not necessary for a blood relative or cohabitating spouse to have had a close relationship with the decedent, except that a spouse who deserted or abandoned the decedent during his or her life loses... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother's will list my brother & myself. As heir to her estate. My brother pass. What happens now? I'm left executive

Also power of attorney. Does his wife now get half? Or I'm I the sole heir

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Dec 8, 2022

It's not that simple. You need to read what the Will says, determine whether the named beneficiaries are renouncing formally, and then apply the facts. Do yourself a favor and buy a consult from a local lawyer.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother's will list my brother & myself. As heir to her estate. My brother pass. What happens now? I'm left executive

Also power of attorney. Does his wife now get half? Or I'm I the sole heir

Shafeek Seddiq
Shafeek Seddiq
answered on Dec 8, 2022

Possibly, yes, his wife and children, if any, may receive the half, but it depends on what the will says, how it says it and when your brother passed away. I recommend you to take the will to a lawyer near you to review it and explain the next steps of Probate. So, it is not as simple as saying... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother's will list my brother & myself. As heir to her estate. My brother pass. What happens now? I'm left executive

Also power of attorney. Does his wife now get half? Or I'm I the sole heir

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
answered on Dec 9, 2022

Three critical issues, two which the other lawyers mentioned.

First, what does your mother's will say? The language in it is critical.

Second, is the timing of their respective passing. if your mother passed first then your brother, then his wife and/or children could get...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My mother passed, had no will, my sister was handling the estate. She works for a criminal attorney that is now handling

My mothers estate? But mind you he couldn't represent me in criminal court because of conflict of interest cause my sister works for him. Should be the same with the estate?? I asked my sister for a copy of estate paper work and I'm getting no response? I need to know what my rights are... View More

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
answered on Nov 12, 2022

In my opinion lawyers who focus on one area of the law shouldn't dabble in areas of law they aren't familiar with. It can breed malpractice claims.

There are a lot of missing pieces in your short question. I suggest you consult an experienced probate law firm for a consultation...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: I would like to know how do I move forward on finding what assets my dad who passed away last year had.

My sister sold his house in Chicago and moved him to Virginia three months before he passed away. I checked the Prince William County Probate office and a Will has not been filed. What Kind of attorney should I look for? I need an Virginia attorney.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Nov 3, 2022

It sounds like you need a lawyer who covers probate in the suburban Virginia. There are many of those, and if you become the administrator, you might eventually be able to pay for counsel from the estate's assets. But, you need to start with a consult, and many lawyers offer Zoom consults.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: I would like to know how do I move forward on finding what assets my dad who passed away last year had.

My sister sold his house in Chicago and moved him to Virginia three months before he passed away. I checked the Prince William County Probate office and a Will has not been filed. What Kind of attorney should I look for? I need an Virginia attorney.

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Nov 3, 2022

Attorneys who help people with property of an estate of a decedent, typically identify themselves by one or more of the following practice areas: probate, estate administration, elder law, or wills and estate planning. Usually, the last residence of the decedent is the proper place or... View More

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