My father passed away in January in Va.

My father passed away in January in Va. left no will.
My father passed away in January in Va. left no will. He had several acres of land, mobile home that he rents out. He also had bank accounts, CD ‘s, IRA. My sister and I are in other states, my brother lives in Va, so he will be handling everything.
My question is, is there something I should do, or do I just leave everything in my brothers hands? How do the courts know who the heirs are? Do they just take my brothers word for it? Will I be contacted if my assistants is needed?

One thought on “My father passed away in January in Va.

  1. Re: My father passed away in January in Va. left no will.
    Since your father died intestate(without a will),
    his immediate heirs(including you and your brother) will need to file what’s called an Affidavit of Heirship with the circuit court in the jurisdiction where the real property is located which will allow for a proper deed to be recorded in the names of these heirs.

    Your brother who resides in Virginia will need to file an application with the probate division of the circuit court to be appointed as administrator of your father’s estate. Once appointed it will then be his task to open an estate for your deceased father and begin to identify and then collect up all of the assets belonging to the estate(which may also include the sale of property, if appropriate). He will also need to identify and pay first all creditors who present legitimate claims which can be attributed to the estate. Federal and state tax returns may also have to be prepared and filed.

    Once the debits against the estate are accounted for and paid, your brother may then be in a position to begin distributing the assets which remain in the estate to the entitled heirs. Your brother will also be obligated to prepare and file with the local commissioner of accounts at least one formal report detailing his above-described activities and providing a formal accounting of his administration of the estate. The Commonwealth normally allows up to 14 months for all of the above to be completed.

    If your brother is a trustworthy and reasonably intelligent fellow, there sould be little need for any involvement on your part in the above-described process other than an occasional telephone call to check in with him as to how things are going and to exchange pleasantries. On the other hand, if, unfortunately, he’s not so trustworthy, then much closer monitoring of the situation by the heirs and other persons with a legitimate interest in the matter will clearly be in order.

    Michael E. Hendrickson
    Attorney & Counsellor at Law
    211 North Union Street Suite 100
    Alexandria, 22314

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