Step #4: INVENTORY FILED WITH COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS - DISCUSSION
As mentioned in the prior page, you must file an Inventory with the Commissioner of Accounts who oversees the probates in the jurisdiction of the Probate Office where you were qualified. Generally, in Northern Virginia, there is a single Commissioner of Accounts (and some Deputy Commissioner of Accounts) for each jurisdiction - Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier, as well as the City of Alexandria.
The Inventory reports to the Commissioner the opening entries in your probate accounting. From these opening entries, the Commissioner will follow your progress, and see what you do with the assets you are probating. But at this stage, the Inventory the beginning of your relationship with the Commissioner's office. It is important to get off on the right foot, and to that end, you should file on time.
Some people get concerned about values being reported to the Commissioner, especially those who are aware of the tax importance of establishing the date of death value of the assets being probated. You DO NOT have to provide documentation to support the values you report on the Inventory. Supporting the value of the assets you have on hand will arise when you do your first accounting to the Commissioner some 16 months after you have qualified. The value reported on the Inventory can be adjusted at that time or in later filings with the Commissioner. So, with this filing, do the best you can to establish the value, but do not delay your filing because you are waiting for an appraisal.
2. Forms and Checklists
Below is the Virginia Supreme Court Form that you can use to file your Inventory.
Inventory: Within 4 months after the date you have been qualified, you must complete and file this Inventory. There is a filing fee due to the Commissioner of Accounts that must accompany the filing. It is recommended that you send a copy of the Inventory to the beneficiaries of the estate, even if they do not request a copy of same.
3. Video Tutorial
HELPFUL VIDEO TOOL AT RESOURCE TAB: In Season 1, Episode 3 of How to Probate an Estate, Interview of Loudoun County attorney Jared Tomac [at 15.40 mark of tape] about the Inventory that must be filed with the Commissioner of Accounts 4 months after qualification. Jared Tomac discusses what should be reported in each of the five Sections of the Inventory form and how to report it properly. See Television Show Tab for a VIMEO link to this show at TPN Season 1, Episode 3.