Fairfax, VA Probate Blog

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Inventory for Decedent’s Estate

Personal Representatives in Virginia are required to file an Inventory for the estate within 4 months  of qualification. The probate clerk, at the appointment for qualification, should have provided the personal representative with a Qualification Packet with instructions for filing the Inventory. Instructions can also be found at the following link Inventory for Decedent’s Estate (Instructions)

The Inventory should be filed with the Commissioner of Accounts for the county/city where the personal representative qualified. The Inventory should not be filed with the Probate Clerk. The Probate Clerk and the Commissioner’s offices are separate and distinct offices.  A list of Virginia Commissioner’s of Accounts can be found at the following link Commissioner of Accounts (Addresses)

Because the Inventory instructions have been provided in the above link, this blog will not go over the instructions for completing the Inventory. Instead, this blog will provide two helpful tips for completing the Inventory correctly. 

Inventory for Decedent’s Estate Tip #1

Call a probate attorney. I know it sounds self-serving, but it is absolutely true. There are so many pitfalls and liabilities associated with serving as a personal representative that the entire process should be navigated with a professional. There are processes and procedures for reducing liability to creditors and steps that should be taken to protect yourself from personal state and federal tax liability.

Hire the attorney at the onset. If you plan on collecting a fiduciary fee for serving, than you can have the attorney do part or all of the work and reap the windfall. If you don’t plan on collecting a fiduciary fee, you can use the attorney as a means to lessen the burden on yourself and protect the estate. 

Note: Attorney fees can be a deductible expense of administration

Inventory for Decedent’s Estate Tip #2

Don’t be afraid to call the Commissioner's office and ask questions. The Inventory instructions provide you with a large amount of information you will need to complete the Inventory. However, questions will arise. When they do, if you haven’t retained an attorney, call the Commissioner of Accounts. The Commissioner of Accounts gets a fiduciary fee for serving as the administrative arm of the Court (so make them earn their every penny). 

Note: Whatever they tell you, make them confirm it in writing 

If you have any questions, feel welcome to call. Although we cannot give specific legal advice to any person who is not our client, we are happy to speak with any person to help point them in the correct direction.



The Lenzi Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. including Fort Washington, Falls Church, Ft. Myer, Vienna, Rosslyn, Springfield, Mount Vernon, Annandale, Fort Belvoir, Fairfax, Dunn Loring, Merrifield, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Burke, Great Falls, Fredericksburg, Stafford and Herndon in Arlington County, Alexandria County, & Fairfax County.

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