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Probate Check List

"Review with counsel the steps in probate, time-frames and fiduciary responsibility of personal representative, then go to work, and avoid making a mistake. We can meet periodically to keep everything on time."

"The personal representative fiduciary duty requires action in a manner consistent with the directions of the will and not in conflict with the terms of the will or with the interests of the beneficiaries..."

2012 Dated Material Alert:  Virginia renumbered its its Probate and Estate Administration sections in its law. 

Probate Check List

Provide for estate liquidity to pay burial and payment reasonable funeral expenses
  1. Personal representative coordinate and pay funeral and memorial  
  2. Is there a need for an autopsy? See Va. Code § 32.1-285
  3. Close family member advances funds and be reimbursed Obtain 15+ death certificates.
  4. Honor organ donation instructions see Va. Code § 32.1-290.
  5. Place obituary in newspaper Call and notify family members
  6. Search safe deposit box for will. Surviving joint tenant may access box.
  7. Locate the will or trust.
  • Responsible family member may access the box after death for the purpose of locating the will for delivery to the Clerk. Va Code § 6.1-332.1
  • After qualification, personal representative has authority and duty to inventory, remove, and secure assets in box
  • No safe deposit box? Check Clerk’s office, Va Code as some file wills for protection under § 64.1-56 [usually bad idea], or drafting attorney or named corporate fiduciary