Why are Estates Required to Pay Fees to the Commissioner’s Office?
The Commissioner’s of Accounts system has been part of the Virginia judicial system since 1849. The Commissioner acts as an arm of the Court by supervising the administration of various types of estates. Some states have Probate Courts which oversee all actions of the personal representative. Virginia uses the Commissioner of Accounts to aid the Court in the orderly accounting for estate administration.
The Commissioner of Accounts office is a private law office not directly affiliated with the County of Henrico except that the Commissioner is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Henrico County Circuit Court Judges and answers to each of the Judges of the Court.
The Henrico Circuit Court has elected to have a full time Commissioner’s office.Therefore, the Henrico County Commissioner is not engaged in the private practice of law but devotes his full time to his duties as Commissioner.
The Commissioner of Accounts receives no compensation from Henrico County or the Commonwealth of Virginia and operates as a completely private law office. The Commissioner is an attorney and the members of the Commissioner’s staff are trained and experienced in the area of estate and trust administration and in accounting and audit procedures. Every inventory and account submitted to the Commissioner’s office is individually audited by an auditor.
The fees chargeable to estates for the Commissioner’s services therefore pay for the Commissioner’s services, the experienced staff and the maintenance of the Commissioner’s office and the special programs offered by the Commissioner, including this website and monthly seminars sponsored and presented by the Commissioner as an aid to personal representatives.
What are the Commissioner of Account’s Fees?
The Commissioner of Account’s fees are established by recommendation of the Judicial Council of the Virginia Supreme Court to the Judges of each Circuit Court for consideration, adoption or modification. The fees approved are generally the result of recommendations of the Standing Committee on Commissioners of Accounts of the Virginia Judicial Council, which are made in an effort to promote uniformity and reasonableness of charges among the numerous Commissioners of Accounts for all jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The current fees allowed to the Commissioner of Accounts were approved by Order of the Henrico County Circuit Court entered June 27, 2017. The fee increases reflect the first increase in fees allowed to Commissioners since 2008.
The fee schedule applies not only to decedent’s estates, but to guardianships of the property of minors, conservatorships for incapacitated adults, testamentary trusts and foreclosures of real estate.
Please consult the Order of the Henrico County Circuit Court entered on June 27, 2017, applicable to all filings with the Commissioner of Accounts for the Henrico Circuit Court.
Fees of the Clerk of the Henrico County Circuit Court
Each filing made with the Commissioner, once audited and approved, will be filed for recordation as part of the public records with the Henrico County Circuit Court. The Clerk of Henrico County Circuit Court is by statute obligated to charge a filing fee. Those filing fees vary based upon the number of pages contained within the document being submitted. The following guidelines generally apply:
1 – 10 pages……………………………$18.00
11 – 30 pages………………………….$32.00
31 or more pages…………………….$52.00
Please note that the Clerk’s fees should be included with the fees paid to the”Commissioner of Accounts”, in one check, as those fees are paid by the Commissioner to the Clerk at the time your accounting is approved and forwarded to the Court for filing and recordation.