Probate And Estate Administration

Probate refers to the state-supervised process for validating a will and distributing an estate in accordance with the will's provisions. If no will was left behind, the probate process will distribute assets in accordance with state law.

Estate administration refers to the broader process of identifying, inventorying and distributing (or transferring) assets. The executor, personal representative or administrator identified in the estate plan is responsible for accomplishing these tasks. Trust administration is a similar, private process handled by the trustee.

Fiduciary Responsibilities

These roles involve fiduciary responsibilities, meaning you will be held to high standards in fulfilling your legal obligations. You must conduct your duties with the highest level of care and prudence. The commissioner of accounts for Virginia Circuit Courts, which have jurisdiction over probate, are responsible for overseeing fiduciaries — including executors of estates.

Why Experienced Legal Guidance Is So Critical

Following the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to cope with the loss while also struggling to navigate the legal and practical ramifications. This is particularly true for fiduciaries, who must adhere to detailed, intensive requirements to fulfill their duties. What's more, certain violations of your legal responsibilities can expose you to personal liability.

At the law firm of Ryland & Merchak, PC, we will make it a priority to walk you through the process, step-by-step, to ensure that the estate is handled appropriately. You can rely on our firm for detailed guidance and reliable counsel. Drawing on more than 34 years of legal experience, our Woodbridge-based probate lawyer enjoys a respected reputation for his problem-solving abilities and solution-oriented guidance.

Call For A Private Consultation

We invite you to contact us at 703-496-5273 to discuss your situation privately with an experienced and dedicated attorney. We handle probate, estate administration and estate-related litigation across Northern Virginia.