Wills and Estate Administration

Probate and Estate Assistance

Probate involves determining the validity of a decedent's will, recording it as appropriate, and qualifying the appropriate person(s) as personal representative(s) to manage the estate whether a valid will exists or not. Learn more about probate in Virginia at the Supreme Court of Virginia.

There are several reasons why a will should be probated (or recorded), including, but not limited to, that there may be assets that need to be administered by a personal representative (i.e., assets in the decedent's name alone, not held jointly with a right of survivorship); the decedent may have owned real estate in Chesterfield or elsewhere, either alone or jointly with someone; and the will, once probated, would become a matter of public record, thereby serving as a formal genealogical link to the decedent's family. By recording the will, it becomes a permanent record available for review by family members as well as potential beneficiaries and creditors.

Probate Appointments Required

Before visiting the Circuit Court Clerk, contact the Probate Division by email or calling 804-706-7680. Full probate and qualification matters are handled by appointment only. Appointments will not be scheduled until all necessary information has been provided to Probate staff in advance.

Record a Will or Qualify as Personal Representative

To record a will and/or to qualify an Executor or Administrator of a decedent’s estate, you must contact the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in the jurisdiction in which the decedent resided at the time of death. Probate/estate matters are handled by appointment.

The personal representative (Executor or Administrator) of an estate is charged by law with numerous responsibilities. It is the legal obligation of the personal representative to fully understand and discharge his/her required duties. Further details may be obtained from the Chesterfield Circuit Court Clerk and Chesterfield County’s Commissioner of Accounts. An attorney or an accountant can provide assistance as well.

The Commissioner of Accounts is an attorney commissioned by the Circuit Court Judges to oversee the actions of fiduciaries and is responsible for reviewing and approving inventories and accountings. This office is not in the Courts Building but is in an office building in close proximity to the courthouse.

Commissioner of Accounts
Bryan K. Selz, Esq.
Fax: 804-796-4892
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 998, Chesterfield, VA 23832
Physical Address: 9512 Ironbridge Road, Suite 110, Chesterfield, VA 23832