What are the basic duties of an executor or administrator?

The duties begin with taking possession of the deceased person's property over which the fiduciary (executor or administrator) has control. The fiduciary must determine the assets and liabilities of the estate. The payments of debts, and then, according to the direction of the will and the laws of the State of Virginia, the sale of or distribution of the property must be accomplished. The fiduciary must also give written notice of qualification or probate to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate within 30 days after qualification. Generally, the fiduciary must file a complete inventory of the assets in the estate within four months of qualification with the Commissioner of Accounts (a local person appointed by the Circuit Court to oversee and ensure that estates are properly handled.) Finally, the fiduciary must make an accounting with the Commissioner of Accounts on a yearly basis until a final accounting can be made. Often, a first and final accounting can be made at the conclusion of the first year following qualification.

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1. Where should the will be probated?
2. What does dying "testate" or "intestate" mean?
3. Who inherits the property of a person who dies intestate (person dying without a will)?
4. Is the appointment of an executor or administrator and the formal administration of an estate always required?
5. What are the time limitations regarding probate?
6. If the decedent died with a Will, what should I bring to the Clerk's Office?
7. If the decedent left no Will, what should I take to the Clerk's Office?
8. What are the basic duties of an executor or administrator?
9. Where can one go for more information or answers to specific questions?