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Kaufman & Canoles, PC - Attorneys
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When handling a decedent's estate, a personal representative faces possible personal liability for failing to properly perform their fiduciary duties, including payment of debts of the decedent and the estate, before distributing the remainder of the estate to the decedent's beneficiaries or heirs.
There are a number of steps that a personal representative can take to obtain protection against personal liability and one step that is generally recommended is obtaining a distribution order by the court.
The procedures for obtaining a distribution order are generally discussed in the next two sections of this chapter. The proceedings for the court order are not particularly complicated and, in many cases, will not require a court appearance.
Virginia law provides that a personal representative who has in good faith complied with the procedures for obtaining a distribution order by the court and has paid and delivered the estate assets in accordance with the court order shall be fully protected against the demands of creditors and all other persons.
It should be noted that the Supreme Court of Virginia has held that debts and demands proceedings do not apply to claims of the Internal Revenue Service.
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