Probate and Estate Administration
We understand that settling an estate can be an overwhelming process at a very sensitive time. At Commonwealth Life and Legacy Counsel, we offer Estate Administration services designed to meet your needs with a focus on simplifying the process and achieving an efficient settlement.
“Give yourself the space to process your loss and let us take care of the details.”
We offer three primary services:
- Administration of estate assets
- Settlement of expenses, taxes and outstanding debts
- Distribution of assets to the beneficiaries
We advise executors and estate administrators on how to handle outstanding debts, what documentation is needed to collect life insurance and transfer ownership of retirement accounts, and how (and whether it is necessary) to get the probate process started with the Clerk of Court. If complications arise, we can advise on how to minimize conflict and carry out your duties as executor or administrator efficiently and in compliance with the law. Lelia and Michael Winget-Hernandez are experienced attorneys who provide practical and compassionate advice to their clients who are dealing with the loss of loved one.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of authenticating a last will and testament if the deceased has created one. It is supervised by the court and includes locating and attaching a value to the assets of the decedent, making payment for any bills and taxes, and then distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.
If someone dies without a Will, then they have died intestate and estate passes to their next of kin as provided in Virginia Code Section 64.2-200. For more information about dying without a Will versus dying with a Will, click here.
How Can an Attorney Help with Probate or Estate Administration?
We can provide as much or as little assistance as needed. Sometimes the executor just needs help knowing how to get an appointment to see the Clerk of Court and what forms are needed to start the process. Other times, executors want or need their attorney to take charge of the process and interact directly with the Court, the Commissioner of Accounts and the beneficiaries. For more information about Probate in Virginia, click here.
If you have recently lost a loved one, and have questions about what to do, please call or email us to an appointment for a free initial consultation so that can help you decide how much help you may need and help you understand your role in settling your loved one’s estate.