Americans are a mobile people. According to some sources, Americans move an average of 11.4 times in their lives. All this moving about means that families are sometimes scattered from coast to coast. It’s no surprise, then, that when someone dies, their executor may no longer be living nearby. Probating an estate with an out-of-state executor requires a little more finesse.
The Typical Executor Wears a Lot of Hats.
An executor’s duties vary depending on the size and scope of the estate. Basically, though, the executor (also known as a personal representative) is responsible for gathering and protecting estate assets, paying valid claims against the estate, then distributing the assets according to the decedent’s Will or intestate laws.
“Every personal representative shall administer, well and truly, the whole personal estate of his decedent.”
If a person’s estate consists of personal property valued at less than $50,000, then formal administration is not always required. For estates that do require probate, the person named as executor or successor executor will begin settling the estate as soon as the Will has been admitted to probate.
Probate can last for months, if not longer. During that time, many of the executor’s duties may be difficult to manage from another state. Even though much of our business today can be handled by phone, email, and online, some transactions and tasks require in-person attention. Having a local attorney is also a bonus.
A Good Executor is a Qualified Executor.
In Virginia, executors have to “qualify” with the court that is handling the probate matter and be sworn in by the clerk. In order to qualify, the personal representative must be age 18 or older, able to obtain bond (in most cases), and able to prove suitability and competence. The person named as executor in the Will typically serves as executor. If there’s no Will, an administrator will be appointed by the court.
But the Virginia Code Imposes Requirements on Out-of-State Executors.
One more element of qualification involves the out-of-state executor. Unlike several other states, a nonresident may serve as personal representative of an estate. However, the executor must appoint a Virginia resident to act as his or her agent.
Serving as an Out-of-State Executor? Make Your Job a Little Easier with Local Help.
The attorneys at Dillon Law Group, PLC, know the ins and outs of Virginia estate planning and probate law. Please contact us at 757-962-4796 to set up an appointment or use the Contact Form on our website, https://www.dillonlawgrp.com/. Our offices are located in Virginia Beach and Newport News.