Notice of Probate


Exciting title, isn’t it? By its nature, the role of executor isn’t a fun one, but it does involve some very important responsibilities. One of these important roles is giving “notice of probate.”

This thrilling notice involves informing the deceased person’s potential heirs that the executor (personal representative) has become the executor and that the potential heirs are, in fact, potential heirs. The Virginia Judicial System website has provided a helpful template to assist executors in giving this notice.

If you receive one of these in the mail, don’t get excited yet – it does not necessarily mean that you will receive any money or property from the deceased person. In fact, one of the requirements of the notice is that it contains the following statement: “This notice does not mean that you will receive any money or property” (Va Code Section 64.2-508).

The notice of probate must be sent within 30 days of the executor qualifying as such. The executor must then file an affidavit with the appropriate Circuit Court Clerk’s Office stating who they sent notice to, the address they sent it to, and the date sent. Again, the Virginia Judicial System has helpfully provided a template online. If the executor fails to properly send notice, nothing “happens,” per se, but the Commissioner of Accounts will not approve the executor’s accounting for the estate, and therefore the executor cannot move forward with the rest of the probate process.

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