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Virginia Probate Procedure

Virginia Estate Law - Probate

What is Probate?
Is Probate Necessary?
Virginia Probate Procedure
Other Probate Issues

A decedent's will should be probated in the Virginia Circuit Court for the city or county where the decedent resided at time of death. More specifically, you should arrange to meet with the deputy clerk who handles Virginia probate matters in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court.

Procedures are substantially uniform in the various Virginia Circuit Courts. You should first contact the probate clerk in the court where you wish to probate the will to determine if they require an appointment.

The clerk will require you to provide the original will for probate. You will also be required to provide evidence of the decedent's death - a death certificate, or the clerk may accept a copy of an obituary printed in a newspaper if you have not yet received the death certificate.

If the will is not "self proving," as discussed in first section of this Chapter, you must arrange for at least one of the attesting witness to be present to prove the will.

If the will is wholly in the handwriting of the decedent (a holographic will) you must arrange for two disinterested witnesses to be present to prove the handwriting of the testator.

At the time of probate you will be asked to estimate the value (market value at time of death) of the estate assets, including real and personal property, located in Virginia when the decedent died. For estates over $15,000, a probate tax will be collected by the Clerk based on a rate of 10 cents for every $100 of value or fraction thereof.

There will also be recording costs and Clerk's fees payable when the will is probated. It is suggested that you ask the Clerk about these fees when you call to determine if an appointment is necessary.

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