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Virginia Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: My aunt has recently died and named an executor in her will. Are they automatically made administrators by the Court?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 28, 2020

Virginia still uses the old, pre-UPC terms for fiduciaries, so the terms are executor/executrix, administrator/administratrix, and administrator/administratrix c.t.a. Often, the UPC term

personal representative is used to include all of those terms. A Executor administers a will in a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Probate and Gov & Administrative Law for Virginia on
Q: Can my probation officer make me bring ib my pills that is a narcotic to my appointment

The office ia at the jail and I was thinking all I need to do is bring a print out of the script instead of the pills them self

Susan Fremit
Susan Fremit answered on Feb 26, 2020

Ask your probation officer whether you should bring the pills in their container or whether you should simply bring a pharmacy printout.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: My grandmother just passed February 6th. I've lived with her since January 2015 and was her caretaker up until her death

Our eldest cousin was her power of attorney and is listed the only one on her will. What is my rights to living at the resisidence

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Feb 26, 2020

I'm sorry for your loss.

You may not have many rights, at all. Your phrase 'only one on her will' doesn't give me guidance: is she the only person named to inherit grandmother's property, or is she the named executor? Does the executor have authority over the real...
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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can a probate Judge change the deed of distribution. In other words can he change the distribution breakdown.

Change he/she change the percentage on three different properties so all three equal 100% for each person.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Feb 16, 2020

You have not provided any facts in order for us to review your question in context with the estate. Was there a will? What did it say about the property? Were there any other assets distributed other than real estate?

And there is no official named "Probate Judge" in Virginia,...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Can real estate be sold in VA if the will has not gone through probate?

My grandfather passed away in late 2019. His will says that all belongings should be divided equally between the 4 children. My uncle is named executor but he has yet to file the will into the probate court. Can he try and sell my grandfather's home to a family member for half of fair market... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 16, 2020

In Virginia, real estate passes outside of probate. If the unappointed executor is acting in derogation of the Will, and the Will has not been filed, you need to file the Will and move to appoint an Administrator cum testamento annexo (c.t.a.). This needs to happen now and it wouldn't be a bad... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: My father passed away 3 months ago and was a co-signer on a home mortgage with his step-father.

Can the house just be left in the step-father's name, and not be considered an asset of my father's?

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Feb 5, 2020

Most real estate financing in Virginia is secured by a deed of trust rather than a "mortgage", although that term is used in a general sense for any loan secured by real estate. Title is determined by the deed and the chain of title, not who may or may not be liable on the note secured... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: Our mom passed a few months and I was shocked to learn that my older brother had been taking money from her account

And even her home equity line of credit. I was only made aware because I am the executor of her estate. And they hadn't had any payments. What can I do? All 3 son's was beneficiaries on her accounts.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Jan 30, 2020

It is probably a good idea to review the facts with a lawyer. It might be that your brother had the right to do that, or he might have been abusing your mother by stealing her money and stealing from the estate. You may be able to collect it back from him or take it as a credit against his... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My gma died in 1998, and she didn't have a will, my mom, aunt & uncle have all passed my aunt was the last to pass and

left my grandmother house to her husband. I've been asking him for it for 2 yrs for the house & all he says is let me think about it. Is there I way I can get my gma house from him? We live in VA but the house is in NC.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Dec 29, 2019

You need to review each of the estate's before reaching a conclusion. Some things are clear from your recitation of facts, however. The house no longer belonged to your grandmother by the end of 1998. If she didn't have a Will, the house then belonged to whomever was named as a successor... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My Fathers widow is still living in my parents home-How do we have her removed so that we can sell the home?

My Father passed in January and left his personal property and his home to his children. The widow of 8 years is not

cooperating and I would like to sell the home to settle my Fathers affairs. The widow believes everything is hers and will not allow us to have the person family items.

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Nov 26, 2019

You do not indicate in your question whether your father died testate - with a will - or intestate - without a will, whether his surviving spouse is claiming any statutory rights to his augmented estate or family residence. I would assume he died with a will because you do not recognize any rights... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: My father died years ago , now my stepmother has passed away also. Now her son has inherited all of my father's assets.

Is there anything I can possibly do ?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 27, 2019

If your father died without a will, then his children should have inherited about 2/3 of his estate at that time. If you did not inherit anything, then either he had a will leaving everything to his wife, or his estate was not probated, or his estate was probated and there was fraud on the court.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Insurance Defense and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My friend left me an insurance policy...family don't want to send it to me ...he died 3 months ago...how can I find out
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Oct 10, 2019

If you know the issuer of the policy, you can contact them. If you see that a probate estate has been filed, you can check the filings there, identify the policy, and make a claim if the policy has been included in the estate. If they will not cooperate and those sources are unsuccessful, a lawyer... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: If a parent had a child, outside of marriage, is that child due an inheritance if that parent dies in VA?

Grandparents passed with a will stating equal distribution among the surviving children. One of their children passed without a will. Sale of grandparents real estate to be divided among children of the recently deceased. Fathered a child outside of wedlock. Child was left out of listing of heirs... Read more »

James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr. answered on Oct 10, 2019

This is a somewhat complicated issue which should be discussed with an experienced Virginia probate lawyer with the benefit of an illustration of the family tree. Generally, a child or descendant of a child, born out of wedlock, has the essentially the same rights as an heir as the other children... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: If my brother and sister didn't mention me in the probate process and listed that they are the only heirs,is it fraud

They knew about me and my father's septic business, but they never mentioned neither in their probate process.i just found out today that they are listed the only two heirs and his wife who is not either of our parents just passed away 4 months ago.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 2, 2019

If your father died without a will, yes, that is fraud to mention fewer than all of your father's children, unless he relinquished his parental rights sometime in the past (for example, gave you up to be adopted by someone else).

If your father had a will but disinherited you, you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: My Boyfriend just passed away and we were together for 3 years he had 3 cars that were titled in his name what do I do

He had no siblings no children and both of his parents are deceased. What happens to the vehicles. He had no will either. This was in West Virginia Nicholas County..

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 27, 2019

I am very sorry for your loss. Without a spouse, siblings or children, his estate must be distributed to his parents' kin, half to the paternal side and half to the maternal side. Girlfriends and boyfriends never inherit under any state's laws of intestate succession. He would need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: I became administrator appointed by the courts after my aunt left my mother out of everything.

I have sent my aunt the paperwork from the courts and the renter of the house by certified mail. They have not abided by the court papers and sent me any info or rent money for the house. The rent we believe is still going to my aunt who is not executor or administrator to the estate . Can we go... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 13, 2019

I think I answered this one before. You have a duty assumed in your appointment as Administrator to marshal the assets, and that means using the power of the court to determine what is going on. Whether you do that by discovery in a chancery case or show cause orders or other motions depends upon... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Need advice as administrator to will

My uncle passed with no will. My aunt and my mother are only surviving family . My aunt was the power of attorney before he died. After his death she sold property of the estate and gave other things away without consulting my mom. I became administrator of his estate. There is a house that is... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Sep 13, 2019

Your options as I see them without an interview are:

1) Accept that your aunt is stealing from the estate. As Administrator of the estate who failed to protect the estate, you are likely to be personally liable for her thefts.

2) Resign and report the thefts to the Court. Let is be...
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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Virginia on
Q: VIRGINIA. Son dies intestate. No administrator declared. Mom heir of succession. She dies in July with Will. Now what

My fiancé died intestate on June 8. No Administrator of his estate was filed and his mother was heir of succession. She died In late July before filing the affidavit of heirship on the house. Does the house now enter her estate and probate as she died with a will? Is the rest of his debt/assets... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 14, 2019

In Virginia, real estate passes automatically subject to the filing of an estate or a Will. If there are debts or other assets, Unless you are named in the mother’s will or are owed some debt, you seem to have very little interest in this matter.

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3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Our mother died recently and some of her estate is in probate and they asked us if any of us have declared bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Record

Filed for Bankruptcy in Il: Reorganization (#1203036) Jan. 30, 2012

Bankruptcy Record

Filed for Bankruptcy in Ny: Liquidation (#0368257) Dec. 8, 2003

How do we find out if there are still creditors looking for payment? We are just interested, I... Read more »

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 10, 2019

I don’t understand what you are asking. First off, I don’t understand how “part” of an estate is in probate. All probate assets should be identified in the Inventory. If some of your inheritance is outside of probate in life insurance, funds naming a beneficiary, or joint titles with rights... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My bf is on probation and trying to move to Florida with my family and I. They denied him

They said his obligations weren’t met even though his job is down there. If him and I married would they make it a mandatory transfer because my family would turn into his family too

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Aug 3, 2019

It might be a good idea to have him discuss this with his criminal defense lawyer. Either way, the issue will be decided by Probation or by the judge, and a local, informed perspective matters.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Don't agree w/ proposed property distribution of dead parent. What happens if don’t sign Receipt 4 Personal Property?

Estate attorney is pressuring me to sign. Other beneficiary (also the Executor) likes the proposed distribution, so I’m the holdout. Jurisdiction is Fairfax, VA.

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jul 28, 2019

Is there a specific issue? Have they responded to it? Is it what the will (or law) provides?

If you don't sign, then (1) you'll have to hire a lawyer to represent you when (2) the executor files in court to have the judge declare exactly what is to be paid to you. Your...
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