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Kaufman & Canoles, PC - Attorneys
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It often happens that a decedent who dies, domiciled in another state, owns property in Virginia. Normally the will is probated and qualification occurs in the state where the decedent was domiciled when they died.
In these instances, an authenticated copy of the will and a certificate of probate from the court of the other state may be offered for probate in the clerk's office of the proper court in Virginia. This will be sufficient for admission of the will for probate in Virginia as to personal property of the decedent.
If the purpose is to probate the will as a valid will for the disposition of real property, then in addition to meeting the authentication requirements discussed above, the will must meet the requirements for execution of a valid will in Virginia.
For example, a requirement under Virginia law for valid execution of a will is that the testator properly executes or acknowledges the will before at least 2 witnesses. If the decedent's will is executed in another state and does not meet this requirement, it may, upon proper authentication, be probated in Virginia for the purposes of disposition of personal property as discussed above, but would not meet the requirements for probate in Virginia regarding disposition of the decedent's Virginia real property.
If the will can be properly probated in Virginia for disposition of Virginia real property, a personal representative can also qualify in Virginia in order to exercise a power of sale under the will and sell the Virginia real property, if necessary.
In such cases the personal representative must follow Virginia law regarding the administration of the Virginia property, including requirements for filing an inventory and accounts, unless applicable exceptions to such filings apply under the law.
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