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A personal representative of a decedent's estate, or a person who probates a decedent's will when there is no qualification, is required by Virginia Code Section 64.1-122.2 to give written notice of qualification or probate to certain persons who may have an interest in the estate. The notice informs these parties in interest of their right to receive copies of inventories, accounts and reports filed during the administration of the estate.
The obvious intent of this requirement is to inform potential beneficiaries of the decedent's death, qualification of a personal representative, or probate of the decedent's will, and inform them of the right to request copies of important filings during administration.
Generally, notice must be given to the decedent's spouse, heirs at law, whether or not there is a will, beneficiaries under the decedent will, if any, and beneficiaries under any will of the decedent previously probated with the court.
There are some exceptions or special procedures that may apply for minors, incapacitated persons, heirs or beneficiaries who are deceased, and other special circumstances.
The notice must provide the name and date of death of the decedent and contact information for the personal representative, the clerk of court where the personal representative qualified or the will was probated, and the commissioner of accounts assigned to the estate.
The notice also informs recipients of their right to request copies of inventories and accounts from the personal representative and the procedure for requesting these documents. Parties entitled to notice may also send a request to the commissioner of accounts (discussed under the Chapter on Accountings) to receive copies of the commissioner's reports filed on the estate inventory and accounts.
Notice must be given with 30 days of qualification by the personal representative or probate of the will. The personal representative must file an affidavit with the clerk of court within 4 months of qualification confirming that notice was given as required by statute.
The commissioner of accounts may not approve an account of a personal representative who has not filed the required affidavit, and the commissioner may enforce the notice and affidavit requirements by way of summons and show cause proceedings with the court.
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