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Inventory & Accounts

Virginia Estate Law - Inventory & Accounts

Commissioner of Accounts
Disbursements & Distributions
Insolvent Estates

After qualification, one of primary duties of a personal representative is to identify all of assets of the decedent's estate and take possession and control of those assets.

Depending on the circumstances this can be fairly simple or it may be quite difficult, especially if the personal representative is not well aware of decedent's personal affairs.

Within 4 months of qualification, the personal representative must file with the commissioner of accounts an inventory of the probate estate assets. The clerk of court may waive inventory and accounting requirements for estates with assets less than $15,000.

The inventory is crucial to the estate accounting process as it identifies the probate assets that must be accounted for by the personal representative.

The inventory must include as of the date of the decedent's death:

All personal property (tangible and intangible) of the decedent in the possession and control of the personal representative.
Multiparty accounts in any financial institution.
All real estate over which the personal representative has the power of sale (under a will) and any other real estate that is an asset of the decedent's estate, whether or not situated in Virginia.

Most commissioners of accounts will accept a general description of household furnishings without a separate itemization of each item. Antiques, coin collections and other items of unique or considerable value should be listed separately.

A separate listing of any items of personal property specifically bequeathed in a will in order clearly confirm distribution of the item later in the accountings is generally recommended.

For each item listed in the inventory, the market value of the property must be stated. This value should be determined as of the date of death. Market value is generally described as the price that would be paid for the purchase of the property between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

In most cases there is no need to obtain professional appraisals of property. If the estate will be subject to estate taxes or if there may be a dispute between beneficiaries or heirs as to value, then an appraisal may be required or recommended.

The value of real estate can normally be listed on the inventory based on the local tax assessment of the property, if there is no current appraisal.

The inventory should be prepared on forms provided by the clerk of court at the time of qualification. The clerk also provides a set of instructions for completing the inventory. The inventory must be timely filed with the commissioner of accounts along with the required filing fees for the commissioner and clerk of court.

If additional property is discovered after the inventory has been filed and approved, then an amended inventory must be filed.

Some commissioners of accounts may allow after discovered property to be shown as an adjustment on the accounting. You should check with the commissioner assigned for the estate as to what they require for reporting after discovered property.

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