Obligations to the Court and Commissioner
GENERAL DUTIES OF YOUR OFFICE
You, as a personal representative of an estate, have taken an oath to “faithfully discharge the duties of your office”. You are required by law to account for each financial action you take in the administration of the estate. Your specific obligations are hereinafter listed, but your general obligations are to take charge of and collect all assets of the estate;determine and pay all proper and lawful debts and expenses of the estate; pay the taxes of the decedent and the estate; and make proper and timely distribution of the remaining assets of the estate to beneficiaries or intestate heirs.
Please be aware that creditors come before beneficiaries in the administration of the estate. Also be aware that there are proper family allowances and exemptions by statute which take priority over creditors claims , if properly asserted by one who is entitled to assert the claim. (see Section 64.2-309, Code of Virginia for the Family Allowance; Section 64.2-310, Code of Virginia for the Exempt Property Claim; and Section 64.2-311, Code of Virginia for the Homestead Allowance; for all of which you should seek legal advice).
INSOLVENCY OF THE ESTATE
Do not pay any creditors if the estate may have insufficient assets to pay all creditors. See Section 64.2-528, Code of Virginia, for the order of priority for paying creditors in an insolvent estate.
NOTE: This statute was amended effective July 1, 2017, for decedent’s dying on or after that date, and the statute adds child support arrearages as class 8 claims, moves “debts and taxes due localities” to class 9, and “all other claims” to class 10.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The date of the decedent’s death controls which version of the statute applies.
SPECIFIC LEGAL OBLIGATIONS TO THE COURT AND COMMISSIONER
As personal representative you have the obligation to comply with these filing dates with the Clerk of Court or Commissioner of Accounts:
- Within 30 days from qualification give written notice of probate and/or qualification to the beneficiaries under the will and heirs at law under intestacy, on the approved form;
- 4 months from qualification: Affidavit of Notice must be filed with Clerk of Court;
- 4 months from qualification: Inventory must be filed with the Commissioner of Accounts;
- 16 months from qualification: First account for first 12 months must be filed with the Commissioner of Accounts;
- 16 months from ending date of first account: Second account for second 12 months must be filed with the Commissioner of Accounts; and so on thereafter every 16 months until the estate has been fully distributed to beneficiaries or heirs.
- Affidavit of Notice: The Affidavit of Notice must be filed with the Clerk of the Henrico Circuit Court within 4 months of qualification (Form CC-1617). The Clerk of Court will provide a copy to the Commissioner of Accounts. The Affidavit of Notice certifies that you have mailed or delivered “Notice of Probate and/or Qualification” to all those required to be so notified.
- An Inventory of assets of the estate on the approved form (Form CC-1670) shall be filed, in duplicate, with the Commissioner of Accounts within four (4) months from the date of qualification. You may file amended inventories thereafter as needed to accurately report the inventory assets of the probate estate. If additional inventory assets are to be reported after the filing of the original Inventory, you may report these assets as follows.
- If the value of the additional assets is more than $25,000.00 you shall file an amended Inventory.
- If the value of the additional assets is $25,000.00 or less, you may report the additional assets on line 4 of the estate account summary (adjustments) on your next accounting filed.
- An Account of your financial actions as fiduciary shall be filed, in triplicate, accompanied by one full set of proper original supporting documentation, with the Commissioner of Accounts within sixteen (16) months from the date of your qualification on the approved form (Form CC-1680). Any subsequent accounting required to be filed, shall be filed within sixteen (16) months from the ending date of your preceding account for the succeeding twelve (12) month accounting period, and for each twelve (12) month period thereafter until the estate is closed. NOTE: Submission of supporting documentation in electronic form is not acceptable.
NOTE: The period of the accounting cannot be extended beyond one year. If more time is needed to administer the estate, a first account is filed, followed by a second account for the next twelve months, continuing for annual twelve month accounting periods thereafter until the estate is closed.