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Knowledgeable Virginia Attorneys Offer Advice for Avoiding Probate

Ensuring your heirs receive your assets

The probate process in Virginia can be both lengthy and costly. There are, however, estate planning techniques and tools that can help you avoid placing this burden on your family members. At the Miller Law Group, P.C., our attorneys have decades of experience in Virginia probate law and are committed to helping you organize your affairs and avoid the complexities of the probate process.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process by which the court validates your will and enforces its provisions. Your executor, the person you choose to administer your estate, must submit your will to the court along with a petition asking the court to recognize him or her as the will’s executor. Once appointed, the executor must make a current inventory of your estate, pay off debts and distribute the property according to the terms of your will. The executor is then responsible for submitting a final accounting of the estate to the court. Once that is completed, the court closes the estate.

Ways to avoid probate

Under Virginia law, there are a variety of legal methods to avoid probate. These include:

  • Creating a living trust. In a living trust, you select a trustee to hold legal title to certain property for the benefit of the named beneficiary.
  • Joint ownership of property. If you own property with another person, this property automatically passes to the surviving owner when the other owner passes away (known as joint tenancy with right of survivorship). This also applies to married couples who jointly own property in an arrangement known as tenancy by the entirety.
  • Payable-on-death (POD) or transfer-on death (TOD) deeds.  These deeds for financial accounts or securities allow you to transfer property to a beneficiary upon your death without it going through probate.
  • Simplified probate: If your real estate or property is valued below a certain amount, you may be able to avoid probate altogether.

With more than 30 years of combined experience, our estate planning attorneys can help you choose the best method to avoid probate in Virginia.

Contact us to discuss ways to avoid probate

At the Miller Law Group, P.C., our skilled attorneys can help you draft a variety of estate planning documents to avoid the probate process. Our attorneys and professional staff work hard to protect what’s important to our clients in Albemarle County and surrounding counties: their assets and their families. Call us locally at 434-218-3987 or contact us online today for your FREE APPOINTMENT. Our law firm is located behind the Senior Center in Charlottesville and is handicapped-accessible. Parking is available outside the door.

Serving the communities of central Virginia, including Albemarle, Augusta, Buckingham, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange, Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro