Accounts in Fairfax Estate Planning Cases

An account is a filing required to be filed within 16 months after an executor or administrator is qualified by the court. Accounts in Fairfax estate planning cases detail everything that is an estate asset since the filing of the inventory.

The inventory reports the date of the death evaluation and the account shows all of the changes made to the estate assets. For example, it details any income received since the date of death. It reports any gains or losses in the estate assets since the date of death and reports any expenses paid since the date of death. It accounts for all of the increases and decreases in the assets of the estate. To learn more about handling estate accounts, contact a skilled estate planning lawyer.

What Happens to Retirement Accounts When Someone Dies?

When retirement accounts in Fairfax estate planning cases have a designated beneficiary, they go directly to the beneficiary when the owner of the account dies. It is common practice to name someone as the beneficiary on a retirement account. When there is no beneficiary designation on the retirement account, the account becomes an estate asset.

When a retirement account is titled in the decedent’s sole name, it is considered an estate asset and therefore a probate asset. It is combined with all of the other estate assets and filed on the inventory that is submitted to the court.

Is an Account Required in Estate Planning?

Generally, accounts in Fairfax estate planning cases are always required. However, there are some circumstances where a statement in lieu of an accounting can be filed and excuses a formal account to be filed. Usually, this happens when the executor and the beneficiary of an estate are the same person. This saves the estate money because time does not have to be spent to formalize the accounting. The beneficiary who is also the executor has the ability to waive their rights to an accounting.

Understanding the Purpose of an Account

The purpose of accounts in Fairfax estate planning cases is to show all of the changes in the estate assets since the date of death. It shows the Commissioner all of the expenses paid from the estate asset; it shows any increases or decreases in the value; and any gains or losses. A common example is a real estate. The executor sells real estate owned by the estate at the date of death and the property was sold for a value greater than the appraisal value. The account explains the increase in the estate assets.

The Commissioner, the surviving spouse, the named beneficiaries in the will, and all of the heirs at law receive a copy of the account. Along with the account are the supporting documents that include appraisals, bank statements, receipts, or invoices. This helps substantiate any increases or decreases of the estate assets.

How Fairfax Laws Can Impact the Estate Administration Process

Virginia is unique because when a will leaves real property to a beneficiary, the will must be recorded and probated to establish the specific person receiving the property. Recording and probating the will serves as the beneficiary title to the real property.

This is different from neighboring jurisdictions like Washington, DC, and Maryland that require a new deed to be recorded showing the transfer between the initial owner and the beneficiary. In other words, the process to transfer real estate is different in Virginia. The executor or the administrator in Virginia must keep this in mind when dealing with an estate that owns property in Virginia and other places like Maryland or Washington, DC.