Wills & Estates
If a resident of Middlesex County dies, his or her will should be probated in Middlesex County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. The Circuit Court Clerk also has the authority to qualify the executor of the will. If the person dies without a will, the Clerk has the authority to qualify the administrator of the estate.
The appointment of an executor or administrator is not always required. This is usually true where the estate is small and for payment of small sums by certain government, occupational, and banking agencies. In these circumstances, the will is probated and nothing further is required. Other instances where formal qualification or administration may not be required are joint accounts with right of survivorship in banks, saving and loan associations, or credit unions. Information regarding transferring a motor vehicle title may be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles. In most cases, the payment of life insurance proceeds to a named beneficiary and the transfer of real estate to a surviving spouse or other person where there were survivorship rights in the deed occur outside the estate.
To probate a will or qualify as administrator or executor, an appointment must be made with the clerk or deputy clerk by calling 804-758-5317. The person offering the will for probate or seeking to qualify needs to have available at the appointment: the original will, if there is one; an official death certificate; the names, addresses, and ages of the heirs-at-law of the person who died. At the time of filing the will or qualifying as administrator of the estate the probate tax of $1.00 per $1,000.00 value of the estate must be paid. For example, if the estate value is $50,000, then the State tax is $50.00. There is also a recording fee at the time of probate.
After an administrator or executor has qualified to serve, he or she will be required to make reports to Archie Soucek, the Commissioner of Accounts for the County of Middlesex. His office is located at 68 Oakes Landing Road, Saluda, VA, 23149. His mailing address is P.O. Box 257, Saluda, VA 23149, and his telephone number is 804-758-2361.
Additional useful information may be found at the Virginia Bar Association website.