Fairfax Estate Planning & Probate Attorney
CONTACT US | Call 703-442-3890

Probate can often be a complex and lengthy process. Anyone who has lost a loved one can benefit from the legal guidance of an experienced team of Fairfax probate lawyers to ensure their loved ones' assets and property are passed on according to their wishes. If you have questions about probate, contact Rhonda Miller today for a consultation. 

What is Probate?

Probate is the court-supervised proceeding by which a deceased person’s assets are assembled, debts that must be paid are paid, and beneficiaries receive the remaining assets.  Probate happens if you have a Will or you have no documents at all.  Having no documents at all is called dying intestate.

A lot of people erroneously think by drafting a Will they avoid probate. That is not true.

If you have a Will it should be notarized in front of two witnesses.  If it is only witnessed by one person, it has not been executed properly.  If the will was witnessed by two people but not notarized, at your death one of the witnesses will need to sign a paper saying they saw you sign it.

Original Wills

You need the original Will not a copy of the Will.  Sometimes, Fairfax probate lawyers keep the originals for clients. Sometimes lawyers retire or go out of business and do not return them.


If you do not have a will, or your will does not waive bond, your executor will need to post a bond.  Even if your will waives bond, if you have an out of state executor, the executor will need to post a bond.


The executor will need to file an inventory.  That is a list of the all of the probate assets and their value. 


The accounting is rhe documents that show what happened to the value of the assets from the start of probate until the date of the filing of the final accounting.  The executor needs to show documentation for everything.  The accounting does not use basic accounting terms.  It uses different terms, so many executors do not understand how to fill out this document.  It is most common for people to hire a Fairfax probate attorney at this point if they have not already.

Other Cases

Probate take about 18 months to 24 months in Northern Virginia because the courts are so busy.

If you have real property going through probate, by statute you cannot get the proceeds from the sale of real property for 1 year from the start of probate.  The title company can choose to keep the money in a non-interest-bearing account.  Many times, you can pay a fee to title company and they will let you get the money out early.  However, it is up to the title company. To avoid this, you need a trust or a transfer on death deed.

Probate happens when a person dies without a will (intestate) or with a will. Probate can be confusing, and many people seek help with an experienced probate lawyer.

How Can Fairfax Probate Lawyers Help You?

Rhonda helps executors with court filings and other necessary processes involved with the probate process in Fairfax and throughout northern Virginia:

  • Completing an Inventory of Assets
  • Filing Timely Accountings
  • Dealing with Creditors
  • Making Appropriate Distributions to Beneficiaries
  • Representing you in Probate Court

She handles complicated probate matters and also teaches continuing legal education on probate.  Call 703-442-3890 today or contact us online now to schedule a consultation with a probate lawyer in Fairfax.