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Virginia Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How can I get remainder of trust from trustee who never gave annual Acctg but did give tax returns?

5 total beneficiaries: 2 trustees, myself, and 2 compliant. 8 mos ago trustee said a remainder but never recd.

1 trustee took $ and Ivwas told he would show record of money he spent. Never happened. 11 yrs ago parent passed and both trustees had trust checks accounts that were never told if.

Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
answered on May 30, 2024

It seems odd that the Trustee would give you copies of tax return, but not provide to the beneficiaries annual statements of receipts and disbursements. If you have a copy of the trust document, please review the sections that deal with the obligations of the Trustee to account to the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: How can I get remainder of trust from trustee who never gave annual Acctg but did give tax returns?

5 total beneficiaries: 2 trustees, myself, and 2 compliant. 8 mos ago trustee said a remainder but never recd.

1 trustee took $ and Ivwas told he would show record of money he spent. Never happened. 11 yrs ago parent passed and both trustees had trust checks accounts that were never told if.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on May 31, 2024

Beneficiaries must hire a VA attorney to sue the Trustees for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Conversion, Accounting and Breaching the applicable Statutes. Venue will probably be where one of the Trustees resides, unless the Trust has a jurisdiction term. SOL will probably shield the oldest years of... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Ex husband sent me a gift of deed expecting me to give him the house. I don’t want to sign it. What do I need to do

We owned the house while married nothing was agreed on except he was to live in the house. He left the state and never said a word. Now he sent me a gift of deed to sign over my rights.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
answered on Apr 28, 2024

Other counsel are correct - we don't have enough information and you should consult with a lawyer - take all your divorce papers with you to the consultation, especially any separation agreement you had and the final decree of divorce.

This forum is designed to give you a quick...
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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Ex husband sent me a gift of deed expecting me to give him the house. I don’t want to sign it. What do I need to do

We owned the house while married nothing was agreed on except he was to live in the house. He left the state and never said a word. Now he sent me a gift of deed to sign over my rights.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Apr 27, 2024

You might consider getting a lawyer to evaluate the whole set of facts. The easy answer is to refuse to sign, but that could be really stupid depending on other facts. Lay all the facts out for a lawyer in a consult. That will be much cheaper than triggering litigation.

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can someone will property to another person when I was deed certain parts of the property 19 years ago?

If I was deed certain parcels of a property but they also will the entire property to someone else ( I assume this world be including my parcels considering it’s all one address) how does this work? Would I have to create a new address to live on my property or is that even possible?? What does... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Apr 17, 2024

More facts are required to answer this question accurately. Your question seems to touch on several different legal topics. First of all, a deed is effective upon delivery to the grantee. To preserve his or her rights against the rest of the world, the grantee should record the deed in the... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can someone will property to another person when I was deed certain parts of the property 19 years ago?

If I was deed certain parcels of a property but they also will the entire property to someone else ( I assume this world be including my parcels considering it’s all one address) how does this work? Would I have to create a new address to live on my property or is that even possible?? What does... View More

Osama Khalil
Osama Khalil
answered on Apr 17, 2024

In short, if you were given certain parts of a property years ago but the owner now willed the entire property to someone else, including your parts, it means you technically own those parts, but someone else owns the whole property. You may need legal help to clarify your rights and possibly... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can someone will property to another person when I was deed certain parts of the property 19 years ago?

If I was deed certain parcels of a property but they also will the entire property to someone else ( I assume this world be including my parcels considering it’s all one address) how does this work? Would I have to create a new address to live on my property or is that even possible?? What does... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Apr 17, 2024

If the testator did not own the property deeded to you earlier, then it is not part of the testate estate and cannot be devised. Hire a VA attorney to search the title and ensure noone else is claiming your parcels. Also make sure you are paying taxes on your properties, under a correct address... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can someone will property to another person when I was deed certain parts of the property 19 years ago?

If I was deed certain parcels of a property but they also will the entire property to someone else ( I assume this world be including my parcels considering it’s all one address) how does this work? Would I have to create a new address to live on my property or is that even possible?? What does... View More

Dominic Paul Lascara
Dominic Paul Lascara
answered on Apr 17, 2024

Your question is not clear as to what you are asking, so I am going to guess that you are asking if someone can devise (gift) real estate under a Will, when part of the real estate was subdivided with several parcels being conveyed out during the decedent' lifetime. The Will can effectively... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: Can an executor refuse to speak with a beneficiary with their own attorney?

My dad passed and his attorney is now the executor of his estate. This attorney was having private conversations with one of my sisters and not sharing information equally. I told him I'd retained an attorney of my own and now he won't speak to me at all. Said he legally can't speak... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Feb 28, 2024

Sometimes, lying is its own reward. The lawyer is not allowed to communicate with a represented client without the permission of the other lawyer. Since you don't have a lawyer, he can't ask for permission. He probably doesn't want to anyway, since he's responsible for keeping... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: What are my legal options?

My mother passed away last year and was living on family owned land that was supposed to be put in her name and never was. The land is part of my grandfathers estate that passed away 1987-88.Now there is a dispute on how much land there is in the estate my grandfather left that was never... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jan 22, 2024

Your alternatives are to get a competent lawyer to review the titles and the estates so you can make a proper claim in this "heir property" case; or, you can bend over and wait to find where the moon don't shine. If you think this is a DIY case, you are making the second choice. The... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: Who is responsible for writing the notarial blocks on real estate and estate planning documents?

I'm a mobile notary in Virginia and I'm certified to notarize real estate packages and living trust packages.

Why are so many notarial blocks in these documents written so that they are not compliant with Virginia notary law?

I also have specific examples of legal... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Dec 10, 2023

Many states have notarial affidavit requirements that are unique to that state. California is one notable example. Florida is another. And apparently Virginia has unique requirements as well.

At the same time, it is common for some entities in the real estate world, especially lenders,...
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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

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Virginia on
Q: i am from Virginia and have questions abuot Estates and Trusts.

is the value of a Trust ever properly counted in thevalue of the Estate when the person whi died is also the grantor of the TRust?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 20, 2023

In Virginia, the inclusion of trust assets in a decedent's gross estate largely depends on the nature of the trust and the powers retained by the decedent. If the deceased was the grantor of a revocable trust, meaning they retained the ability to alter or revoke the trust during their... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: An estate is trying to evict us. The owner died but we paid him a cash towards the property with verbal agreement.

We made a gentlemans agreement with the owner to rent to own his property. We paid him $25k for down payment and as a show of good faith he wrote us a quit claim for 2 trailers on the land. He passed and now the estate is trying to evict us with refusal of any funds, but the beneficiary (his... View More

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Jun 20, 2023

The wording of your description of the circumstances is not clear. Contracts can be verbal or implied through action. Verbal contracts can be written or oral. A trailer may be personal property or it may be part of real estate if attached and the title is changed. An estate acts through the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: An estate is trying to evict us. The owner died but we paid him a cash towards the property with verbal agreement.

We made a gentlemans agreement with the owner to rent to own his property. We paid him $25k for down payment and as a show of good faith he wrote us a quit claim for 2 trailers on the land. He passed and now the estate is trying to evict us with refusal of any funds, but the beneficiary (his... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 19, 2023

Oral agreements on real estate are not binding. All contracts regarding real estate must be in writing. Sometimes, a writing can be found from things that aren’t thought of as writings, such as an email, receipt, or check. You need to review your specific facts including every written... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: 2nd great grandfather leaves 85 acres to 14 children and all descendants, 1 still alive. Every descendant entitled?

a family trust was established and every document mentioned every child by name and says and their descendants have a shared right to use of the land. 2nd great grandfather died in 1930 and up until 1986 all documents list all siblings, some of their children(my deceased grandmother was named) and... View More

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 7, 2023

The argument is most likely specious, but real estate title is decided by what the documents say, not what you say. Buy a consult with a lawyer licensed in the state where the property lies, get a title search, and get a reliable answer. You need to do this before you surrender your and your... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My spouse and I own a home together. We both have adult kids from previous marriage. If one of us should die without

a will in place, does the step kids automatically get part of the home? Or will the home go to the surviving spouse? in Virginia

James H. Wilson Jr.
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James H. Wilson Jr.
answered on Jun 2, 2023

When a Virginia resident dies intestate, real property passes according to the laws of intestate succession starting in Virginia Code Section 64.2-200. First, it will go to the surviving spouse, unless there are surviving children of the decedent who are not children of the surviving spouse. If... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My spouse and I own a home together. We both have adult kids from previous marriage. If one of us should die without

a will in place, does the step kids automatically get part of the home? Or will the home go to the surviving spouse? in Virginia

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
answered on Jun 2, 2023

You need a will or a trust or careful retitling of the house. If you own the house by tenants by entireties, then it will pass outside of probate to the survivor of the two of you, and it will go entirely to the survivor's children after the survivor passes. The other children will get... 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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