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    Probate

    Wills probated in the Office of the Lynchburg Circuit Court are fully searchable in the Public Records Room located at the Lynchburg Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. Questions may be answered by calling this office. If you have a problem involving the legal interpretation of Virginia statutes pertaining to estates, you may wish to contact an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    To ensure quality assistance, please call and make an appointment before coming in to probate an estate.

    Liz Walker, Deputy Clerk of the Probate Division
     (434) 455-2617
     (434) 847-1864
     Email

    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Probate

    What are the time limitations regarding Probate? 
    The death of a loved one is very emotional, heart-breaking and stressful. There is no set time frame in which a will must be probated or an estate administered. It is recommended the initial steps in the estate process start within 30 days after death. For questions, call your attorney or the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Probate Division.

    Where should the will be probated?
    Virginia has no separate probate court. The will should be probated in the Circuit Court of the city or county where the deceased resided at his death, owned real estate or in a nursing home or similar institution.

    Do I need to make an appointment? 
    Yes, it is necessary to make an appointment. The length of time varies and may take up to an hour.

    If the deceased died with a will, what will be needed?

    • The original will (Probate Clerk may want to see the will to make a determination that it is a self-proven will)
    • The original death certificate
    • Names and addresses and ages of all heirs-at-law. (heirs-at-law are not necessarily the beneficiaries of the will) heirs-at-law are determined by kinship to the deceased and are set by Virginia law.
    • The executor named in the will. If executor resides outside Virginia, the person who wishes to be appointed must bring a Virginia resident to the appointment to either co-qualify or be designated as a registered agent. If the executor named in the will does not wish to serve, a waiver of qualification is required. There may be additional requirements when the named executor declines to serve. Call for further information.
    • The value of the estate solely owned by the deceased, bank accounts, stock, bonds, automobiles, etc.  The value of real estate located in Virginia which must pass through probate. Do not add anything that is jointly owned, paid on death or beneficiary. 
    • The probate taxes are due the day you qualify and may be paid by cash, check or credit card. Convenience fee is charged for credit or debit card transactions.

    What if I have a will, but I do not need to qualify? 
    Call and make an appointment to probate the original will (record and put on record only). Probate Clerk may want to see the will to make a determination that it is a self-proven will.

    • You will need a death certificate
    • Names and address of the heirs-at-law.
    • Probate fees, payable by cash, check or credit card. Convenience fee is charged for credit or debit card transactions.

    What if the decedent left no will, what will be needed?
    Call and make an appointment to qualify as the Administrator. There may be additional requirements needed if there are additional heirs-at-law. The length of time varies and may take up to an hour. You will need the following:

    • A certified copy of the death certificate.
    • Names and addresses and ages of all heirs-at-law. The heirs-at-law are not necessarily the beneficiaries of the will. Heirs-at-law are determined by kinship to the deceased and are set by Virginia law.
    • The value of the estate solely owned by the deceased, bank accounts, stock, bonds, automobiles, etc.  The value of real estate located in Virginia which must pass through probate.
    • The probate taxes are due the day you qualify, payable by cash, check or credit card. A convenience fee is charged for credit or debit card transactions.

    *All fiduciaries must be bonded. State statutes govern whether the bond is with or without surety. The Probate Clerk will set the appropriate bond at the time of qualification.

    Probate Fees

    • Real Estate Affidavit – $67.00
    • List of Heirs – $66.00

    For Additional Information

    • Talk to your attorney
    • Contact Liz Walker, Deputy Clerk of the Probate Division

    Important Links

    Commissioners of Accounts
    Guide to Administration of a Decedent’s Estate
    Probate in Virginia

    CIVIL CASES CRIMINAL CASES LAND RECORDS HOME MISCELLANEOUS

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