banner-image

Fairfax Estate Administration

Fairfax estate administration is similar to estate administration in other jurisdictions. An estate administration is the wrapping up of a person’s affairs after they die. For example, it means all of the decedent’s assets are collected or marshaled by the executor or administrator of the estate. Once the assets are collected, all legally enforceable debts are paid and any expenses from the administration are paid. It also means that if there are assets left over after those debts and expenses are paid, distribution of those assets are distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. Those can be beneficiaries named in a will or the rightful heirs that can take the assets of the estate asserted in the will. If an individual need help with estate administration, they should speak with an adept estate administration lawyer that could guide them through the administration process.

Proceedings Involved in the Administration of Estates

Once an executor is qualified, the Notice of Probate is filed and sent to the interested persons of the estate, such as the beneficiaries, the surviving spouse, and the heirs at law. The heirs at law are the people that would inherit if a decedent died without a Last Will and Testament. Within four months, the executor or the administrator must file an affidavit that certifies the notice was sent to the required parties.

If the affidavit is not filed, or if the notice is not sent, that would hold the statute of limitations for the person who is required to be served notice and most importantly, the time to contest the will. Once an executor or administrator was qualified, an inventory of the assets must be filed within four months to the Commissioner. The inventory reports different categories of the estate assets including personal property, joint assets that are specifically bank accounts, real estate the executor is authorized to sell, and real estate the executor is not authorized to sell.

What is an Executor?

In Fairfax estate administration, the person responsible for administering another’s estate is the executor or the administrator. If a person leaves a will, the nominated person is called the executor. It is also common to name alternate executors, in the event that the initial executor is unable or unwilling to serve. This means that an individual has sole authority to determine their estate administrator. When an individual does not leave a will, they cannot dictate who serves as the administrator of their estate. Rather, the Virginia code provides an order of priority for the individuals that have authority to serve.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Executor

When a person decides to leave a last will and testament and is thinking of people to nominate as executor, there are certain requirements to keep in mind. For example, to qualify as an executor, a person must be an adult at least 18 years of age and have no convictions for any serious crime. Just as important, an executor should be trustworthy and detail-oriented since they are responsible for the finances of the estate including making sure that all debts are paid prior to making proper distributions to the beneficiaries of the estate. An administrator or executor must also be able to successfully apply for a bond in many cases.

Consulting a Fairfax Estate Administration Attorney

An adept estates attorney should be flexible and capable of adapting to a person’s needs. Often times, the executor may be overwhelmed by the process and the responsibilities involved in the administration of an estate. They find the financial aspects of Fairfax estate administration to be overwhelming. In those instances, a skilled estate administration lawyer could help with marshaling all the assets, selling real estate, filing the estate tax return if necessary, and all the details that must be coordinated. In other cases, a personal representative such as the executor or administrator may be comfortable managing these tasks and an attorney can provide guidance along the way and ensure that all mandatory filings with the court are completed. A qualified estate administration attorney could help an individual navigate the estate administration process.