Step #3: REQUIRED NOTICES AND PROBATE OFFICE FILING - DISCUSSION
As mentioned in the prior page, you must give certain notices to the beneficiaries of the estate being probated. If there is a Will, this means you must give notices to those beneficiaries named in the Will. Makes sense. But, in addition, you must give notices to the heirs at law, who are the people who would inherit if there is no Will. Why? Well, just because a Will has been admitted to probate does not mean that Will can not be challenged for any number of reasons, and if that challenge results in a court decision that the Will is invalid, then all of those heirs at law beneficiaries would inherit the estate being probated.
2. Forms and Checklists
Below are the Virginia Supreme Court Forms that you can use to give the required Notices, and the Affidavit that you would need to complete and file.
Notice Regarding Estate: After you get qualified, you must give this Notice to all heirs at law and beneficiaries under the Will, if one is admitted to probate. This Notice must be mailed within 30 days after you have been qualified.
Affidavit Of Notice: Once you have sent off the Notice Regarding Estate, you must then let the Probate Office know this has been completed. The Affidavit Of Notice is how you communicate this to the Probate Office. There is a small filing fee, and in some jurisdictions but not all, they collect that fee when you qualify.
3. Video Tutorial
HELPFUL VIDEO TOOL AT RESOURCE TAB: In Season 1, Episode 3 [first 12 minutes] of How to Probate an Estate, Arlington County attorney George Dodge talks about the purpose of the written Notice that must be given to beneficiaries at law and under any will, and the Affidavit that must be filed with the Probate Office to confirm that the Notice was given. George then reviews each line of the above two forms, Notice Regarding Estate and Affidavit of Notice and discusses what information is needed to properly complete each Form. Aired in August 2015. See Television Show Tab for a VIMEO link to this show at TPN Season 1, Episode 3.