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Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33145
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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I am told I need to qualify as executrix of my mother's estate

Customer Question

I am told I need to qualify as executrix of my mother's estate now, after being initially advised BY the clerk of court in the town where she lived (Amherst, VA) that I did not need to do that as I am sole heir and only child. the deed to her house was transferred to me by this same clerk of court and the title of her car COULD have been transferred to me when I went to the DMV but they advised why tranfer it there and transfer it AGAIN in NC where I live so I did not do anything but get a copy of the title on which they wrote deceased and the date of her death. There is one checking account that she changed to solely in her name the month before she died, although she told me she had made it POD like all other accounts that were not joint, or where I was beneficiary or TOD(all other instances in her finances). Now I find out it is only in her name, which I did not know, and the safety deposit box is also solely in her name though she gave me a key years ago. The bank tells me I need a "letter testamentary" from the clerk of court for those two items. When I spoke to him yesterday now he tells me I have to go back to "square one" and be qualified as executor and need coexecutor in VA as I am NC resident. Can you tell me exactly what this entails and what it may cost and can I do it myself with forms or something which he mentioned? Thank you Sheila Poole
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney. I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.
Before I answer a bit more detail would be helpful please.
Is the value of the estate assets under $50,000?
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The checking account balance is around 49000.00, I do not know what she kept in the safety deposit box. The entire estate is less than 5.4 million which is my understanding avoids estate tax?
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
Unfortunately, if the assets in the estate exceed you will need to open an estate in probate. As an interested party, you can open the estate by filing a petition and requesting to be appointed representative.
However, since you do not reside in Virginia, you are going to need to retain local counsel in Virginia to file for you and to serve as the local estate rep.
The cost is something you can negotiate upfront, but if the value of the estate is in the millions, plan on attorney fees in the low 5 figures.
If you need help finding Virginia counsel try Martindale Hubble. Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:
It is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty.
I hope this is helpful. If you have more follow up questions please let me know. It is never a problem.
Thank you.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?