Executor Liability

Executor Duties 

"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." Clare v. Grasty, 213 Va. 165, 169, 191 S.E.2d 184, 187 (1972)

Determine Potential Heirs at Law

Draw a family tree in order to identify heirs at law

Identify the names, dates of birth, addresses, and kinship of all heirs and beneficiaries.

Social security number of deceased and personal representative’s tate’s beneficiaries, and creditors.

In Follow-Up, Counsel will usually review of will and interview client to determine
  • Validity of will
  • testamentary capacity at the time of execution of the document
  • intent evidenced on the face of the document conform to formality requirements of Va Code 9
Self-Proving Affidavit

Eliminates the need for witnesses to personally appear before the court at the time of probate and practical problems in locating witnesses 

Pre-Qualification Practice
 Tip Review problems in advance with Clerk

  • Determine if surety bond required to protect estate assets and recommend bonding company
  • Decide whether to probate or not.
  • Watch Out-Illiquid estates!
  • Watch out- hand written wills
  • Obtain taxpayer identification number or TIN Internet-go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov/businesses and business tax account. Click on employer id numbers.
  • Download form SS-4 from www.irs.gov and fax 631-447-89600 or Call IRS 1-800-829-4933
  • Obtain court authority for personal representative to act letters of qualification Determine duties of personal representative’s and respective duties of probate counsel Call probate clerk and schedule appointment to probate will and appoint executor.
Watch Out for Holographic Handwritten Wills
  • Two disinterested witnesses testify to authenticate the handwriting of will maker
  • Written deposition of witnesses are useful.