Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Virginia

Questionable Handling of Estate

Family members included in a will are questioning the accuracy of information they have been given from an attorney handling the estate of a deceased relative. This is a multi-million dollar estate involving the sale of land and cash on hand. How can we obtain a copy of the will and a copy of the sale of all the land involved in this case? (The transactions took place in a different state.) Can we use the internet to find this information?

Asked on 8/10/04, 11:24 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Questionable Handling of Estate

The alleged heirs should send a letter(certified-return receipt requested) to the attorney handling the estate to forward a copy of the will

and any other documents relevant to any major transactions involving the estate.

If the attorney fails to comply, the heirs can then contact the court official who oversees the

probate of estates in that state (known as a commissioner of accounts in Virginia)who should be able to provide some assistance to the heirs with these matters.

It is doubtful that the Internet would be of any use in providing the type of information which the heirs are seeking.

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Answered on 8/11/04, 11:20 am
Jonathon Moseley Jonathon A. Moseley

Re: Questionable Handling of Estate

Mr. Hendrickson is correct. I just wanted to clarify a couple of points. In what State did the deceased relative live at his or her death? Laypersons are sometimes a little casual about that deatil. Even if YOU live in Virginia, you need to get legal advice from an attorney in that State if it is not Virginia. Also, if the relatives are actually heirs in the will, they should certainly be getting copies of the inventory and report, etc. But be careful that this is actually true. It may be for example that if a relative is only getting a specific gift like $1000 they might not be entitled to all information about the estate. But any general heir had better be kept informed or the attorney could be in trouble with the Commissioner of the Accounts.

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Answered on 8/12/04, 3:15 am

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