Reliable Virginia Estate Administration Attorney Serving Clients Throughout Hampton Roads.
If you are responsible for administering the estate of a loved one who recently passed away, it is normal to be confused, stressed, and even overwhelmed by the burdens of the position. There are many rules, regulations, and procedures to follow when administering an estate and they are not always easy to understand. You can benefit from seeking professional guidance and support.
At David Burley Law, our Hampton estate administration attorney is here to help relieve you of the burden of managing an estate. We will make sure that you fully understand your role and are in the best position to carry out your duties. If you have any general or specific questions about estate administration, we can help. Call our Hampton law office today to set up a fully confidential consultation.
An Overview of Estate Administration In Virginia
When a person passes away, he or she leaves behind open issues, questions, and legal matters that must be resolved to obtain closure. At the outset, the initial consideration in estate administration is whether the decedent left a will. Under such circumstances, the legal process generally revolves around the executor’s duty to manage estate assets and ensure that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out in terms of distributions to beneficiaries.
When there is no will, estate administration proceeds according to state laws of intestacy. Any person who would receive a portion of the decedent’s assets can petition the court to act as personal representative. Typically, this will be the surviving spouse, a child, parent, or sibling. The course of intestate succession for purposes of distributing assets is:
- The entire estate goes to the surviving spouse if there are no children;
- If the decedent is survived by a spouse and children, the shares are one-third and two-thirds respectively; and,
- When there is no surviving spouse or lineal descendants, the entire estate goes to the deceased person’s parents; siblings take if the parents have passed away.
What You Should Know About Legal Proceedings for Virginia Estate Administration
The distinction between testate versus intestate estates is an important one, but many tasks and proceedings are similar when it comes to administration. The person in charge of estate administration is the personal representative, whether that is someone named in the will or who petitions the court for appointment in an intestate estate. Once that individual is officially named by the court, Virginia law outlines the duties of personal representatives at different stages of wrapping up the deceased person’s final affairs.
How David Burley Law Can Help with Estate Administration in Hampton Roads
With extensive experience handling probate and estate administration in Virginia, David is well-qualified to guide you through the entire process. We always take a collaborative approach, working closely with our clients to ensure that the path forward is clear. Among other things, David will help you with:
- Gathering Assets: The personal representative is required to collect all estate assets, whether physically or through ownership documentation. From this information, he or she will prepare an inventory that includes all real estate, personal property, bank accounts, interests in a business, and all other assets in which the decedent had an ownership interest.
- Sending Required Notices: There are various notices that must be forwarded to parties by law, particularly to heirs, beneficiaries, and known creditors. Basically, any individual or entity with a stake in estate administration is entitled to certain notifications.
- Preparing an Accounting: Because estate administration occurs over several months or even years, a personal representative must prepare an itemized list of all income and expenditures by the estate.
- Paying Creditors: An estate is obligated to pay out the financial obligations owed by the decedent before death. The personal representative must review creditor claims and pay those that are verified before making any distributions to heirs or beneficiaries.
- Distributing Estate Assets: The executor is required to transfer ownership of real estate and personal property to beneficiaries as dictated by the will. For the personal representative, distributions run according to the laws of intestate descent.
- Concluding Estate Administration: Once all tasks are complete, the personal representative can initiate proceedings to terminate administration and wind up the estate. The court will require a final accounting and proof that the case can be closed, and the personal representative is relieved of his or her duties.
Every estate is unique. Administering an estate requires a careful focus on the specific circumstances. We are committed to providing personalized guidance and support to all of our clients. Our Hampton, VA estate administration attorney will put in the time and energy to understand your circumstances and take action to do what is best for you and your family.
Call Our Hampton, VA Estate Administration Lawyer Today
At David Burley Law, our Virginia estate administration attorney is here to help you and your family lighten the load. With a deep understanding of the complexities of probate law in Virginia, our legal team will protect the rights and interests of your family. If you have any questions about estate administration in Virginia, we are here as a resource. Contact our firm today for a strictly confidential initial consultation. With an office in Hampton, we provide estate administration services throughout Hampton Roads, including Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Yorktown, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Williamsburg.