Commissioner of Accounts for the Circuit Court of Henrico County, Virginia
THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS
AS EVERYONE TRIES TO MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19, WE ARE TRYING TO
DO LIKEWISE. THE OFFICE IS OPEN TO RECEIVE FILINGS, HOWEVER, NO MEETINGS BETWEEN
STAFF AND FIDUCIARIES WILL OCCUR UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
IF YOU COME TO THE OFFICE TO FILE PAPERS WHEN THE OFFICE IS CLOSED, YOU MAY PLACE SMALL
FILINGS THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR MAIL SLOT.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US BY PHONE, FAX OR EMAIL AS USUAL.
IMPORTANT NOTICE OF ADDRESS CHANGE
The Henrico County Commissioner of Accounts office moved to:
4114-A East Parham Road
Henrico, Virginia 23228
Also, effective April 1, 2020, Mark S. Shepard assumed the duties as the new Commissioner of Accounts for Henrico County. The previous Commissioner of Accounts, Edwin Bischoff, retired on March 31, 2020.
The Office of The Commissioner of Accounts is charged with the general supervision of Court appointed and qualified fiduciaries in the administration of decedents’ estates, testamentary trusts, conservatorships for incapacitated adults and veterans, guardianships of the property of minors; and the audit and approval of real estate foreclosure accountings.
We are charged with enforcing the timely filing of properly stated and documented inventories and accounts, and if the filings are not timely made we do this by delinquency letters, issuance of summonses and reporting any failure to file or properly administer an estate to the Court and requesting a show cause for an appearance in court if you have failed to timely and properly perform your duties.
We do not prepare your inventory and accounts. We audit what you are required to prepare in proper format and properly document.
We do not provide legal advice on the completion of your duties. An estate attorney should be consulted for answers to legal questions that arise during administration which cannot be answered by reviewing the resource material provided. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA or Enrolled Agent.
In order to inform you how to complete your filing duties, you have been given precise instructions on the completion of an inventory and accounts by the Clerk of Court at the time of your qualification. These are forms with instructions provided by the Supreme Court of Virginia and are to be followed. They are reprinted on this website under “Forms” and available for your use.
Finally, we have gone to great lengths to produce this website, which includes practical guidance in the performance of your obligations, illustration of problem areas, precise instruction, line by line, for completion of the inventory and accounts, additional reference links and all of the forms customarily used for the inventory and accounting obligations associated with your particular estate.
If the referenced resources are utilized you will have success in properly completing your duties to the Court and Commissioner’s office.
Please do not expect the Commissioner’s office to guide you individually through your duties or try to explain everything you must do. We are not charged with, or staffed for, that function. You may have to consult with an estate administration attorney or CPA to assist you if you cannot complete your obligations to properly prepare and document an inventory and account from the material and resources provided.
This is the website of the Commissioner of Accounts for the Circuit Court of Henrico County, Virginia. This site has been prepared by the Commissioner for the use of fiduciaries qualifying in the Henrico Circuit Court as executors or administrators of decedents’ estates; testamentary trustees and trustees for minors; guardians of the property of minors; conservators/trustees for incapacitated adults and veterans; and real estate foreclosure trustees appointed by the noteholder.
Information provided on this website may not apply to the estate you are administering and it is not offered as legal advice.
This website and its content have not been approved, endorsed or adopted by the Henrico Circuit Court or Henrico County.
WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON THIS WEBSITE
You may access information on this website concerning the duties of all categories of fiduciaries appointed by the Circuit Court for the County of Henrico or qualified by the Clerk of the Henrico Circuit Court, by using the dropdown bar across the top of each webpage.
You will find practical, step by step, line by line, information on the proper completion of the inventory and accounts you are required to file, with examples for further explanation.
You will also find valuable information concerning your fiduciary duties and some potential pitfalls you will want to avoid.
Also, all forms, court issued instructional materials and sample accounts are provided for further assistance in filing the inventory and accounts.
However, nothing will replace good legal advice from an experienced estate administration, trust or elder law attorney if you have legal questions or issues which arise during the course of administration.
GENERAL FILING FORMAT REQUIREMENTS
Inventories and accounts filed with this office, once audited and approved (or disapproved), are filed with the Clerk of the Henrico Circuit Court. A letter indicating approval or correction of the inventory is mailed, and a copy of the account, approved or disapproved, is returned with your documentation.
Once received from this office by the Clerk, the filing is digitally scanned on the public records. This requires that the inventories and accounts be prepared and filed in an appropriate format (Library of Virginia, Records Management Standards for Recorded Instruments).
1. You must use the appropriate fiduciary forms available on this website, the Clerk’s website or the Supreme Court of Virginia website;
2. Letter size paper is the minimum and preferred size (8 1/2″ x 11″). Paper size cannot exceed 8 1/2″ x 14″. Paper must be uniformly white or opaque;
3. One (1) inch margins on all four sides of each page are required;
4. The typeface size must be at least 10 point pica, or larger; or 12 point elite, or larger;
5. If not typed, the data must be legible. Filings cannot be made in pencil;
6. Spreadsheets must meet the paper size, font and font size, margin, and other requirements set forth above in order to be submitted.
The failure of your filing to conform to these State recordation standards may require the return of the filing to you to be re-stated in a proper format.
Thank you for complying with these State recordation standards.
(Temporarily Suspended Until Further Notice)
On a monthly basis the Commissioner conducts a 2 hour informal seminar on how to properly complete and document an inventory and account for a decedent’s estate.
Unless you have served as a fiduciary previously and are familiar with estate accounting practices, or you are represented by an estate attorney, or have engaged a CPA or an Enrolled Agent to assist in the preparation of the filings, you are encouraged to attend one of our seminars on an early date following your qualification in the Clerk’s office. Appointments to attend are required. You may not attend before you have qualified.
NATURE OF THE WEBSITE AND COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE
This website is not an official website of the County of Henrico or the Henrico County Circuit Court. It has been produced solely by the office of the Commissioner of Accounts for the Henrico Circuit Court as an aid and resource to all Henrico fiduciaries in completing the statutory obligations associated with your appointment as a fiduciary.
The Commissioner is an attorney in private practice appointed and supervised by the Judges of the Henrico County Circuit Court; and the staff of the Commissioner’s office are the employees of the Commissioner, not employees of the Commonwealth, County of Henrico or Circuit Court of Henrico County.
The matters addressed and examples given on this website may not apply to the estate you are administering, as each estate is unique and has different facts and potential problems. Please consult with an experienced estate or trust administration attorney, or an elder law attorney for conservatorships, or an attorney experienced in guardianship law for estates of minors if you are unsure of the proper way to administer the estate for which you are appointed the fiduciary.
This website and the information provided herein have been prepared by the Henrico Commissioner of Accounts based upon existing law, the suggested practices as explained in the “Manual for Commissioners of Accounts”, the Virginia Supreme Court fiduciary forms and instructional material provided to fiduciaries at the time of qualification, and over forty four years of practice in the law, including estate/trust administration and preparation of many inventories and accounts. Substantial effort has been made to present a practical informational guide to assist fiduciaries in the completion of the filings required.
However, this website and its content are not intended or offered as legal advice, and may not be relied upon as such. Every estate has its own specific facts which may determine the appropriate law to be applied and resolution of the issues involved. No attorney client relationship is created by the use of or reliance upon this website.
The Office of the Commissioner of Accounts does not advise on legal or tax issues or the interpretation of the testamentary document or intestate law under the statutes of Virginia. Each fiduciary should consult with an attorney qualified in the field of your responsibility for legal advice as to legal issues, or an accountant for tax advice or tax filings, when those specific issues are presented during the administration of an estate.
Effective October 1, 2012, a recodification of several titles of the Virginia Code occurred, which may affect fiduciaries appointed by the Henrico Circuit Court. This website has been updated where references have been made to particular code sections. You may also refer to the Table of Comparative Titles and sections for former Title 64.1 ( now Title 64.2 ) at the following link. (Table of Comparative Sections)
NOTICE OF COMMISSIONERS FEES
The fees payable to the Commissioner of Accounts have been set by Order of the Henrico Circuit Court and a check must accompany each filing for the fees allowed to the Commissioner by the Court.
In addition to the Commissioner’s fees, every inventory or account must be filed, once approved by the Commissioner, with the Clerk of Court, whose fees are as follows based on the number of pages:
One check for both fees is written to the Commissioner of Accounts.
The fees were considered and approved by the Judicial Council of the Supreme Court of Virginia on September 8, 2016 and April 27, 2017 before being adopted by the Henrico Circuit Court.
The fees to be paid are not the same for each type of estate, so you will need to refer to each section of the order, or each type of estate listed in the dropdown bar on this website, for the fees applicable to your filings.