Northern Virginia Estate Planning and Probate Administration Attorneys Take the Guesswork Out of Probate
Providing competent advocacy to help you approach the probate process with confidence
Probate is the court process many families go through after a loved one dies to administer their estate. But did you know that not all estates, or all assets within an estate, must go through the probate process in Virginia? For estates that do require probate, the process can vary from simple and painless to extremely complex and expensive depending on the person’s will and estate plan. You have the power to exercise a great deal of control over how your estate is handled, including helping to ensure a seamless probate process for your heirs. At Altman and Associates, our Northern Virginia probate lawyers are focused solely on estate planning. We have more than 40 years of experience walking our clients carefully through the probate process. We help Northern Virginia families prepare and protect their assets, and plan for a seamless probate process.
What does an estate executor do?
An executor is named by the decedent in the will and essentially “administers” the estate, including facilitating it through the probate process. They may also be referred to as the personal representative, fiduciary, or administrator. Their responsibilities include:
- Providing notice to beneficiaries and heirs
- Determining the liabilities of the estate
- Determining the value of the estate
- Ensuring debts and taxes are paid
- Overseeing the sale or distribution of the property of the estate
It is usually beneficial to name an executor who resides locally. If you name an executor who is not a Virginia resident, they will need to appoint someone who is to be their agent. Often, an executor will receive a fee for serving in this role, usually a percentage of the estate’s value. Virginia generally limits this fee to no more than 5% of the value of the estate. As experienced estate planning attorneys, we work closely with our clients’ executors to ensure their estates are handled properly and in accordance with their wishes. We can also provide advice as you select your executor and ensure your estate plan accurately reflects your decision.
Will my estate be subject to a probate or estate tax?
It depends on the value of the estate. Estates valued at more than $15,000 probate will usually be subject to a state probate tax of 0.1% of the value of the assets in the estate. There may also be additional city or county probate taxes depending on the jurisdiction.
Probate tax is different from an estate tax, and you may owe estate taxes regardless of how much of your estate is administered through probate. While there is no Virginia estate tax, as of 2016 there is a federal tax assessed on estates valued at more than $5,450,000. You may owe estate taxes in another state if you own property outside of Virginia. We can help you evaluate your assets to help you anticipate the tax burden and create a comprehensive estate plan that is as tax efficient as possible.
Rely on our skilled Northern Virginia probate attorneys for a smooth probate process
Probate may have a reputation for being arduous and complex, but it does not have to be that way. From comprehensive estate planning, to helping clients through the probate process after a loved one’s death, our Northern Virginia probate lawyers are committed to serving our clients with Integrity, Honesty, Experience, and Professionalism. Call us at 301-468-3220 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.