In Virginia, one is liable to pay any inheritance or estate tax. However, in case an estate has to go through the probate process, one may have to pay probate tax. Navigating through estate planning and inheritance law can be tricky, especially if you are new to it. Thus, one must consult a qualified estate attorney from an estate planning law firm.

In this blog, we will shed light on some essential aspects of Virginia Inheritance Law.

Inheritance Tax and Estate Tax in Virginia 

While it’s true that there is no estate tax or inheritance tax in Virginia, but there are other taxes to be paid and returns to be filed after one dies.

After a person’s demise, their personal representative must file state income tax and federal tax returns. The personal representative must file each of these tax returns before the next year’s due date from the death.

Federal trust income tax return should be filed before April 15 of the year after one’s demise.

The federal estate tax return should be filed after nine months of the person’s death. With prior notice, one can get an extension of six months to file the federal estate tax return.

It’s worth noting that these tax returns are valid on the individual estate that exceeds the value of $11.4 million.

Dying With a Will in Virginia

If a person dies with a valid will, estate administration and property distribution become easier. In the majority of cases, the estate and assets are distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will. However, certain circumstances decide how the probate court will manage the assets.

According to Virginia Inheritance laws, estates with no real property and less than $50,000 in worth are considered small estate. Small estates will not go through the probate process at least for 60 days from the day of the owners’ passing. If the estate is not made according to the guidelines laid down for small estate, it will have to the probate process. It’s advised to consult an estate planning lawyer when preparing the will for a small estate.

Any fixed property like land or house is considered real property. Like jewelry, vehicle, investments, and cash, any assets other than this are counted as personal property.

Dying Without a Will in Virginia

Will is a legal document that dictates how an estate and assets under a person will be managed and distributed to the beneficiaries upon one’s demise or incapacitation. In many cases, people die without drawing a valid will or trust. So what happens to their estate and assets? There are intestate succession laws that offer guidance in the matter of distribution of the estate. The estate is distributed amongst the surviving members according to their closeness to the deceased person. Since settling an estate with a valid will is often tricky, one must consult an estate planning lawyer for estate planning.

Under the Virginia Probate Process’s Interstate Succession laws, when a person dies without a valid will, their estate has to go through the probate process. The probate process ensures the estate and assets go to the rightful heir and are not misused. The court either appoints an executor or approves the one selected by the estate’s heirs.

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