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Where to Probate?

Where do I Probate the Intestate Estate (no Will)?

Where do I Probate the Will?

Probate Jurisdiction: Nursing Homes & Convalescence Home Patients

Probate before the Probate Clerk or Circuit Court Judge?





Q: Where do I Probate the Intestate Estate (no Will)?

Like a person dying with a Will,the jurisdiction for the probate of the decedent dying without a Will is normally the County or city of residence of the decedent or the County or City where the decedent owned real property (if the decedent is not resident of Virginia). However, certain rules apply.


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Q: Where do I Probate the Will?

If a Will has to be probated in Virginia, the jurisdiction for the probate of that Will is normally the County or City of residence of the decedent or the County or City where the decedent owned real property (if the decedent is not resident of Virginia). The same rules apply to the probate of intestate estates (or estates where the decedent died without a Will). However, certain rules apply.

The Virginia Statutory Code grants jurisdiction to the Circuit Courts as follows:

A. The circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of the probate of wills. A will shall be offered for probate in the circuit court in the county or city wherein the decedent has a known place of residence; if he has no such known place of residence, then in a county or city wherein any real estate lies that is devised or owned by the decedent; and if there is no such real estate, then in the county or city wherein he dies or a county or city wherein he has estate.

B. Where any person has become, either voluntarily or involuntarily, a patient in a nursing home, convalescent home, or similar institution due to advanced age or impaired health, the place of legal residence of the person shall be rebuttably presumed to be the same as it was before he became a patient.


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Q: Probate Jurisdiction: Nursing Homes & Convalescence Home Patients

The jurisdiction for probating an estate in Virginia is generally the City or County where the decedent resided or owned property (non-residents). However, certain probate jurisdiction exceptions and rules apply.

Where any person has become, either voluntarily or involuntarily, a patient in a nursing home, convalescent home, or similar institution due to advanced age or impaired health, the place of legal residence of the person shall be rebuttably presumed to be the same as it was before he became a patient.

Probate Note: Please don't skip over the operative term rebuttably. 


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Q: Probate before the Probate Clerk or Circuit Court Judge?

In Virginia, most probate proceedings are initiated informally before the probate clerk of the County or City where the probate jurisdiction is proper. However, at certain times it may become necessary or advisable to seek the probate of an estate before a judge of the Circuit Court of the City or County instead of the probate clerk. In most cases, the least expensive and most prudent place to initiate probate proceedings is before the probate clerk.

Virginia Code 64.2-444 authorizes Probate Clerks to act on behalf of the Circuit Court.

The clerk of any circuit court, or any duly qualified deputy of such clerk, may admit wills to probate, appoint and qualify executors, administrators, and curators of decedents, and require and take from them the necessary bonds, in the same manner and with like effect as the circuit court.

B. The clerk shall keep an order book, in which shall be entered all orders made by him, or his deputy, in performance of his duties pursuant to subsection A, except probate orders that are recorded in the will book need not be entered in the order book.

C. All wills heretofore admitted to probate by any duly qualified deputy clerk of any circuit court are deemed to have been properly admitted to probate to the same extent as if the clerk had acted in the proceeding.


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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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