Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
11/14/2019

Chapter 4. Wills.

Article 1. Requisites and Execution.

§ 64.2-400. Separate writing identifying recipients of tangible personal property; liability for distribution; action to recover property.

A. If a will refers to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically bequeathed, the statement or list shall be given effect to the extent that it describes items of tangible personal property and their intended recipients with reasonable certainty and is signed by the testator although it does not satisfy the requirements for a will. Bequests of a general or residuary nature, whether referring only to personal property or to the entire estate, are not specific bequests for the purpose of this section.

B. The written statement or list may be (i) referred to as one that is in existence at the time of the testator's death, (ii) prepared before or after the execution of the will, (iii) altered by the testator at any time, and (iv) a writing that has no significance apart from its effect on the dispositions made by the will. When distribution is made pursuant to such a written statement or list, a copy thereof shall be furnished to the commissioner of accounts along with the legatee's receipt.

C. A personal representative shall not be liable for any distribution of tangible personal property to the apparent legatee under the testator's will made without actual knowledge of the existence of a written statement or list, nor shall he have any duty to recover property so distributed. However, a person named to receive certain tangible personal property in a written statement or list that is effective under this section may recover that property, or its value if the property cannot be recovered, from an apparent legatee to whom it has been distributed in an action brought for that purpose within one year after the probate of the testator's will.

D. This section shall not apply to a writing admitted to probate as a will and, except as provided herein, shall not otherwise affect the law of incorporation by reference.

1995, c. 363, § 64.1-45.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-401. Who may make a will; what estate may be disposed of.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, any individual may make a will to dispose of all or part of his estate at his death that, if not disposed of, would otherwise pass by intestate succession, including any estate, right, or interest that the testator may subsequently become entitled to after the execution of the will.

B. An individual is not capable of making a will if he is (i) of unsound mind or (ii) an unemancipated minor.

Code 1950, §§ 64-48, 64-49; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-46, 64.1-47; 1972, c. 825; 2000, c. 161; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-402. Advertisements to draw wills prohibited; penalty.

Any person that advertises any direct or indirect offer to draw any will or have any will drawn is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a duly licensed attorney-at-law, partnership composed of duly licensed attorneys-at-law, or a professional corporation or professional limited liability company incorporated or organized for the practice of law so long as such attorney, partnership, or professional corporation conducts such advertisement in accordance with the Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Code 1950, § 64-50; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-48; 1979, c. 438; 1996, c. 265; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-403. Execution of wills; requirements.

A. No will shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in the testator's presence and by his direction, in such a manner as to make it manifest that the name is intended as a signature.

B. A will wholly in the testator's handwriting is valid without further requirements, provided that the fact that a will is wholly in the testator's handwriting and signed by the testator is proved by at least two disinterested witnesses.

C. A will not wholly in the testator's handwriting is not valid unless the signature of the testator is made, or the will is acknowledged by the testator, in the presence of at least two competent witnesses who are present at the same time and who subscribe the will in the presence of the testator. No form of attestation of the witnesses shall be necessary.

Code 1950, § 64-51; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-49; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-404. Writings intended as wills.

A. Although a document, or a writing added upon a document, was not executed in compliance with § 64.2-403, the document or writing shall be treated as if it had been executed in compliance with § 64.2-403 if the proponent of the document or writing establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent intended the document or writing to constitute (i) the decedent's will, (ii) a partial or complete revocation of the will, (iii) an addition to or an alteration of the will, or (iv) a partial or complete revival of his formerly revoked will or of a formerly revoked portion of the will.

B. The remedy granted by this section (i) may not be used to excuse compliance with any requirement for a testator's signature, except in circumstances where two persons mistakenly sign each other's will, or a person signs the self-proving certificate to a will instead of signing the will itself and (ii) is available only in proceedings brought in a circuit court under the appropriate provisions of this title, filed within one year from the decedent's date of death and in which all interested persons are made parties.

2007, c. 538, § 64.1-49.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-404.1. Reformation of will to correct mistakes or achieve decedent's tax objectives.

A. The court may reform the terms of a decedent's will, or any codicil thereto, even if unambiguous, to conform the terms to the decedent's intention if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that both the decedent's intent and the terms of the will were affected by a mistake of fact or law, whether in expression or inducement.

B. If shown by clear and convincing evidence, the court may modify the terms of a decedent's will to achieve the decedent's tax objectives in a manner that is not contrary to the decedent's probable intention.

C. Notice must be given and a person may represent and bind another person in proceedings under this section to the same extent that a person may represent and bind another person in proceedings brought under § 64.2-733 or 64.2-734 relating to trusts.

D. The remedies granted by this section are available only in proceedings brought in a circuit court under the appropriate provisions of this title, filed within one year from the decedent's date of death and in which all interested persons are made parties.

E. This section applies to all wills and codicils regardless of the date of their execution and all judicial proceedings regardless of when commenced, except that this section shall not apply to any judicial proceeding commenced before July 1, 2018, if the court finds that its application would substantially interfere with the effective conduct of the judicial proceeding or prejudice the rights of the parties.

2018, c. 44.

§ 64.2-405. Interested persons as competent witnesses.

No person is incompetent to testify for or against a will solely by reason of any interest he possesses in the will or the estate of the testator.

Code 1950, §§ 64-53, 64-54; 1962, c. 338; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-51; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-406. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c. 266, cl. 2.

§ 64.2-407. Will of personal estate of nonresidents.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 64.2-403, the will of a person domiciled out of the Commonwealth at the time of his death shall be valid as to personal property in the Commonwealth if the will is executed according to the law of the state or country in which the person was so domiciled.

Code 1950, § 64-55; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-53; 2012, c. 614; 2016, c. 266.

§ 64.2-408. Presumption of formal execution of wills made by persons in military service; will of personal estate of persons in military service and seamen.

A. A will executed by a person while in the military service of the United States, as that term is defined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. § 3901 et seq.), that purports on its face to be witnessed as required by § 64.2-403, upon proof of the signature of the testator by any two disinterested witnesses, shall be presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have been executed in accordance with the requirements of that section and shall be admitted to probate as if the formalities of execution were proved.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 64.2-403, a person while in the military service of the United States, or a seaman or mariner while at sea, may dispose of his personal estate in the same manner as he might heretofore have done.

Code 1950, §§ 64-55, 64-56; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-53, 64.1-54; 2012, c. 614; 2016, c. 266.

§ 64.2-409. Wills of living persons lodged for safekeeping with clerks of certain courts.

A. A person or his attorney may, during the person's lifetime, lodge for safekeeping with the clerk of the circuit court serving the jurisdiction where the person resides any will executed by such person. The clerk shall receive such will and give the person lodging it a receipt. The clerk shall (i) place the will in an envelope and seal it securely, (ii) number the envelope and endorse upon it the name of the testator and the date on which it was lodged, and (iii) index the same alphabetically in a permanent index that shows the number and date such will was deposited.

B. An attorney-at-law, bank, or trust company that has held a will for safekeeping for a client for at least seven years and that has no knowledge of whether the client is alive or dead after such time may lodge such will with the clerk as provided in subsection A.

C. The clerk shall carefully preserve the envelope containing the will unopened until it is returned to the testator or his nominee in the testator's lifetime upon request of the testator or his nominee in writing or until the death of the testator. If such will is returned during the testator's lifetime and is later returned to the clerk, it shall be considered to be a separate lodging under the provisions of this section.

D. Upon notice of the testator's death, the clerk shall open the will and deliver the same to any person entitled to offer it for probate.

E. The clerk shall charge a fee of $2 for lodging, indexing, and preserving a will pursuant to this section.

F. The provisions of this section are applicable only to the clerk's office of a court where the judge or judges of such court have entered an order authorizing the use of the clerk's office for such purpose.

G. The clerk may destroy any will that has been lodged in his office for safekeeping under this section for 100 years or more.

Code 1950, § 64-57.1; 1958, c. 392; 1964, c. 390; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-56; 1970, c. 567; 2012, c. 614; 2019, c. 529.

Article 2. Revocation and Effect.

§ 64.2-410. Revocation of wills generally.

A. If a testator with the intent to revoke a will or codicil, or some person at his direction and in his presence, cuts, tears, burns, obliterates, cancels, or destroys a will or codicil, or the signature thereto, or some provision thereof, such will, codicil, or provision thereof is void and of no effect.

B. If a testator executes a will in the manner required by law or other writing in the manner in which a will is required to be executed that expressly revokes a former will, such former will, including any codicil thereto, is void and of no effect.

C. If a testator executes a will or codicil in the manner required by law that (i) expressly revokes a part, but not all, of a former will or codicil or (ii) contains provisions inconsistent with a former will or codicil, such former will or codicil is revoked and superseded to the extent of such express revocation or inconsistency if the later will or codicil is effective upon the death of the testator.

Code 1950, § 64-59; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-58.1; 1985, c. 431; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-411. Revival of wills after revocation.

Any will or codicil, or any part thereof that has been revoked pursuant to § 64.2-410 shall not be revived unless such will or codicil is reexecuted in the manner required by law. Such revival operates only to the extent that the testator's intent to revive the will or codicil is shown.

Code 1950, § 64-60; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-60; 1985, c. 431; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-412. Revocation by divorce or annulment; revival upon remarriage; no revocation by other change.

A. For the purposes of this section, the terms "revocable," "settlor," "trust instrument," and "trustee" have the same meanings as provided in § 64.2-701.

B. If, after making a will, the testator is divorced from the bond of matrimony or his marriage is annulled, the divorce or annulment revokes any disposition or appointment of property made by the will to the former spouse. Unless the will expressly provides otherwise, any provision conferring a general or special power of appointment on the former spouse or nominating the former spouse as executor, trustee, conservator, or guardian is also revoked.

C. Property prevented from passing to a former spouse because of revocation pursuant to subsection B shall pass as if the former spouse failed to survive the testator. Provisions of a will conferring a power or office on the former spouse shall be interpreted as if the former spouse failed to survive the testator.

D. Unless the trust instrument expressly provides otherwise, if a settlor creates a revocable trust and if, after such creation:

1. The settlor is divorced from the bond of matrimony or the settlor's marriage is annulled and the trust was revocable immediately before the divorce or annulment, then a provision of such revocable trust transferring property to or conferring any beneficial interest on the settlor's former spouse is revoked upon the divorce or the annulment of the settlor's marriage, and such property or beneficial interest shall be administered as if the former spouse failed to survive the divorce or annulment; or

2. An action is filed (i) for the divorce or annulment of the settlor's marriage to the settlor's spouse or for their legal separation or (ii) by either the settlor or the settlor's spouse for separate maintenance from the other, and the trust was revocable at the time of the filing, then a provision of such revocable trust conferring a power, including a power of appointment, on the spouse or nominating or appointing the spouse as a fiduciary, including trustee, trust director, conservator, or guardian, is revoked upon the filing, and such provision shall be interpreted as if the former spouse failed to survive the filing.

E. If the provisions of the will or revocable trust instrument are revoked solely pursuant to this section, and there is no subsequent will, trust revocation, other than under this section, or inconsistent codicil or amendment, the provisions shall be revived upon the testator's or settlor's remarriage to the former spouse. Nothing in this section shall prevent a testator or settlor from transferring property to, conferring any beneficial interest on, conferring a power on, or nominating or appointing as a fiduciary a spouse or former spouse subsequent to a revocation under this section.

F. Except as provided in this section, no change of circumstances shall be deemed to revoke a will or trust instrument.

G. This section applies to trusts and trust provisions only to the extent the event causing the revocation under subsection D occurs on or after July 1, 2018.

1968, c. 656, § 64.1-59; 1985, c. 429; 2012, c. 614; 2018, c. 44.

§ 64.2-413. Effect of subsequent conveyance on will.

Except for an act that results in the revocation of a will pursuant to this article, any conveyance or other act done subsequent to the execution of a will shall not prevent the operation of the will with respect to such interest in the estate as the testator may have power to dispose of by will at the time of his death.

Code 1950, § 64-61; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-61; 2012, c. 614.

Article 3. Construction and Effect.

§ 64.2-414. When wills deemed to speak.

A. A will shall be construed, with reference to the real and personal estate comprised in it, to speak and take effect as if it had been executed immediately before the death of the testator, unless a contrary intention shall appear by the will.

B. Every will reexecuted or republished, or revived by any codicil, shall be deemed to have been made at the time it was reexecuted, republished, or revived.

Code 1950, §§ 64-62, 64-71; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-62, 64.1-72; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-415. How certain trust provisions, bequests, and devises to be construed; nonademption in certain cases.

A. As used in this section:

"Incapacitated" means impairment by reason of mental illness, intellectual disability, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions.

"Revocable," "settlor," "trust instrument," and "trustee" have the same meanings as provided in § 64.2-701.

B. Unless a contrary intention appears in the will or trust instrument:

1. A bequest or trust provision requiring distribution by reason of the settlor's death of specific securities, whether or not expressed in number of shares, shall include as much of the securities as is part of the estate or is or becomes part of the trust by reason of the testator's or settlor's death, any additional or other securities of the same entity owned by the testator or trustee by reason of action initiated by the entity, excluding any securities acquired by the exercise of purchase options, and any securities of another entity acquired with respect to the specific securities mentioned in the bequest or trust provision as a result of a merger, consolidation, reorganization, or other similar action initiated by the entity;

2. A bequest, devise, or trust provision requiring distribution by reason of the settlor's death of specific property shall include the amount of any condemnation award for the taking of the property that remains unpaid at death and any proceeds unpaid at death on fire and casualty insurance on the property; and

3. A bequest or devise of specific property shall, in addition to such property that remains part of the estate of the testator, be deemed to be a bequest of a pecuniary amount if such specific property, during the life of the testator and while he is under a disability, was sold by a conservator, guardian, or committee for the testator, or if proceeds of fire or casualty insurance as to such property are paid to the conservator, guardian, or committee for the testator. For purposes of this subdivision, the pecuniary amount shall be the net sale price or insurance proceeds, reduced by the sums received under subdivision 2. This subdivision shall not apply if, after the sale or casualty, it is adjudicated that the disability of the testator had ceased and the testator survived the adjudication by one year.

C. Unless a contrary intention appears in a testator's will or durable power of attorney, a bequest or devise of specific property shall, in addition to such property that remains part of the estate of the testator, be deemed to be a bequest of a pecuniary amount if such specific property, during the life of the testator and while he is incapacitated, was sold by an agent acting within the authority of a durable power of attorney for the testator, or if proceeds of fire or casualty insurance as to such property are paid to the agent. For purposes of this subsection, (i) the pecuniary amount shall be the net sale price or insurance proceeds, reduced by the sums received under subdivision B 2, (ii) no adjudication of the testator's incapacity before death is necessary, and (iii) the acts of an agent within the authority of a durable power of attorney are rebuttably presumed to be for an incapacitated testator. This subsection shall not apply (a) if the agent's sale of the specific property or receipt of the insurance proceeds is thereafter ratified by the testator or (b) to a power of attorney limited to one or more specific purposes.

D. Unless a contrary intention appears in the will, a devise that would describe a leasehold estate, if the testator had no freehold estate that could be described by the devise, shall be construed to include such a leasehold estate.

E. Unless a contrary intention appears in the trust instrument, a provision requiring distribution of specific property by reason of the death of the settlor shall, in addition to such property that is or becomes part of the trust by reason of the settlor's death, be deemed to be a distribution of a pecuniary amount if, while the settlor was incapacitated, (i) such specific property was sold by the trustee or (ii) the proceeds of fire or casualty insurance as to such property were paid to the trustee. For purposes of this subsection, the pecuniary amount shall be the net sale price or insurance proceeds, reduced by the sums received under subdivision B 2. For purposes of this subsection, no adjudication of the settlor's incapacity before death is necessary. This subsection shall not apply if the trustee's sale of the specific property or receipt of the insurance proceeds is thereafter ratified by the settlor.

F. This section applies to trusts and trust provisions only to the extent the trust instrument or provision is revocable immediately before the settlor's death on or after July 1, 2018, and the distribution occurs by reason of the settlor's death and is of property that is or becomes part of the trust by reason of the settlor's death.

Code 1950, § 64-66; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-66; 1985, c. 429, § 64.1-62.3; 1995, c. 381; 2012, cc. 476, 507, 614; 2018, c. 44.

§ 64.2-416. Devises, bequests, and distributions that fail; how to pass.

A. For the purposes of this section, the terms "revocable," "settlor," "trust instrument," and "trustee" have the same meanings as provided in § 64.2-701.

B. Unless a contrary intention appears in the will or trust instrument, and except as provided in § 64.2-418:

1. If a devise, bequest, or distribution other than a residuary devise, bequest, or distribution fails for any reason, it shall become a part of the residue; and

2. If the residue is devised, bequeathed, or otherwise required to be distributed to two or more persons and the share of one fails for any reason, such share shall pass to the other residuary devisees, legatees, or beneficiaries in proportion to their interests in the residue.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 64.2-2604 and 64.2-2605 and unless a contrary intention appears in the will, if a testator makes a bequest, not exceeding the value of $100, to a legatee and such legatee refuses to take possession of such bequest, then the bequest shall fail and becomes a part of the residue of the testator's estate.

D. Subsection B applies to trusts and trust provisions only to the extent the trust instrument or provision is revocable immediately before the settlor's death on or after July 1, 2018, and the devise, bequest, or distribution occurs by reason of the settlor's death.

1985, c. 592, § 64.1-65.1; 2003, c. 253; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 532; 2018, c. 44.

§ 64.2-417. When advancement deemed satisfaction of devise or bequest.

Property that a testator gave during his lifetime to a person shall not be treated as a satisfaction of a devise or bequest to that person, in whole or in part, unless (i) the will provides for deduction of the lifetime gift, (ii) the testator declares in a writing made contemporaneously with the gift that the gift is to be deducted from the devise or bequest or is in satisfaction thereof, or (iii) the devisee or legatee acknowledges in writing that the gift is in satisfaction of the devise or bequest.

Code 1950, § 64-63; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-63; 1985, c. 432, § 64.1-63.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-418. When children or descendants of beneficiary to take estate or trust.

A. For the purposes of this section, the terms "revocable," "settlor," "trust instrument," and "trustee" have the same meanings as provided in § 64.2-701.

B. Unless a contrary intention appears in the will or trust instrument, if a beneficiary, including a beneficiary under a class gift, is (i) a grandparent or a descendant of a grandparent of the testator or settlor and (ii) dead at the time of execution of the will or trust instrument or dead at the time of the testator's or settlor's death, the descendants of the deceased beneficiary who survive the testator or settlor take in the place of the deceased beneficiary. The portion of the testator's estate or the trust that the deceased beneficiary was to take shall be divided into as many equal shares as there are (a) surviving descendants in the closest degree of kinship to the deceased beneficiary and (b) deceased descendants, if any, in the same degree of kinship to the deceased beneficiary who left descendants surviving at the time of the testator's or settlor's death. One share shall pass to each such surviving descendant and one share shall pass per stirpes to such descendants of deceased descendants.

C. This section applies to trusts and trust provisions only to the extent the trust instrument or provision is revocable immediately before the settlor's death on or after July 1, 2018, and the beneficiary would have taken by reason of the settlor's death if the beneficiary survived the settlor.

1985, c. 592, § 64.1-64.1; 2012, c. 614; 2018, c. 44.

§ 64.2-419. Provision for omitted children when no child living when will made.

A. If a testator executes a will when the testator has no children, a child born or adopted after the execution of the testator's will, or any descendant of his, who is neither provided for nor mentioned in the will is entitled to such portion of the testator's estate as he would have been entitled to if the testator had died intestate.

B. The devisees and legatees shall contribute ratably to the portion of the testator's estate to which the afterborn or after-adopted child is entitled, either in kind or in money, out of what is devised and bequeathed to them, as the court deems proper. However, if such afterborn or after-adopted child, or any descendant of his, dies unmarried, without issue, and before reaching 18 years of age, his portion of the estate, or so much of his portion as may remain unexpended, shall revert to the person to whom it was given by the will.

Code 1950, § 64-69; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-70; 1972, c. 825; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-420. Provision for omitted children when child living when will made.

A. If a testator executes a will that makes provision for a living child of the testator, a child born or adopted after execution of a testator's will who is neither provided for nor expressly excluded by the will is entitled to the lesser of (i) such portion of the testator's estate as the afterborn or after-adopted child would have been entitled to if the testator had died intestate or (ii) the equivalent in amount to any bequests and devises to any child named in the will, and if there are bequests or devises to more than one child, then to the largest aggregate bequest or devise to any child.

B. The devisees and legatees of the testator's will shall contribute ratably to the portion of the testator's estate to which the afterborn or after-adopted child is entitled, either in kind or in money, out of what is devised and bequeathed to them, as the court deems proper. However, if such afterborn or after-adopted child dies unmarried, without issue, and before reaching 18 years of age, his portion of the estate, or so much of his portion as may remain unexpended, shall revert to the person to whom it was given by the will.

Code 1950, § 64-70; 1960, c. 527; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-71; 1972, c. 825; 1978, c. 647; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-421. Construction of certain conditions of spouse's survivorship.

A. If property passes from the decedent or is acquired from the decedent by reason of the decedent's death under a will or trust that provides that the spouse of the decedent shall survive until the distribution of the gift, the will or trust shall be construed as requiring that the spouse survive until the earlier of the date on which the distribution occurs or the date six months after the date of the death of the testator or decedent, unless the court shall find that the decedent intended a contrary result.

B. The proceeding to determine whether the decedent intended that the spouse actually survive until the distribution of the gift shall be filed within 12 months following the death of the decedent. It may be filed by the personal representative or any affected beneficiary under the will or other instrument.

1997, c. 263, § 64.1-66.2; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-422. When omitted spouse to take intestate portion.

If a testator fails to provide by will for a surviving spouse who married the testator after the execution of the will, the omitted spouse shall receive the same share of the estate such spouse would have received if the decedent left no will, unless it appears from the will or from the provisions of a valid premarital or marital agreement that the omission was intentional.

1985, c. 430, § 64.1-69.1; 1991, c. 441; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-423. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c. 266, cl. 2.

§ 64.2-424. When direction to purchase annuity binding on legatee.

If a testator directs in his will that an annuity sufficient to provide income of at least $100 per month be purchased for a legatee, the legatee who is to receive the income from the annuity shall not have the right to instead take the sum directed to be used to purchase such annuity, except to the extent that the will expressly provides for such right or that an assignable annuity be purchased.

Code 1950, § 64-68.1; 1956, c. 448; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-69; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 532.

§ 64.2-425. Interest on pecuniary legacies.

A. Unless a contrary intent is expressed in or to be implied from a will or trust: (i) interest on a pecuniary legacy begins to run at the expiration of one year after the date of the death of the testator and (ii) interest on a pecuniary amount from a trust begins to run at the expiration of one year after the date on which the beneficiary is entitled to receive the pecuniary amount.

B. For the purposes of this section, a marital formula pecuniary bequest either outright to the testator's spouse or in trust for the benefit of such spouse, designed in either case to qualify for the benefit of the marital deduction allowed by the Internal Revenue Code, shall not be considered a pecuniary legacy entitled to interest at the expiration of one year after the death of the testator but, instead, shall share ratably with the residue of the estate in the income earned by the estate during the period of administration, unless a contrary intent is expressed in the will.

Code 1950, § 64-68; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-68; 1999, c. 975; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-426. Testamentary additions to trusts by testator dying on or after July 1, 1994, and before July 1, 1999.

A. A devise or bequest, including the exercise of a power of appointment, may be made by a will to the trustees of an inter vivos trust or testamentary trust, whether the trust was established by the testator, by the testator and another, or by some other person if:

1. In the case of an inter vivos trust, the trust is identified in the testator's will and its terms are set forth in a written instrument, other than a will, executed before or concurrently with the execution of the testator's will; or

2. In the case of a testamentary trust, the trust is identified in the testator's will and its terms are set forth in the valid last will of a person who has predeceased the testator and whose will was executed before or concurrently with the execution of the testator's will.

In either event, at the time the devise or bequest is to be distributed to the trustees at least one trustee of the trust shall be (i) an individual or (ii) an entity authorized to do a trust business in the Commonwealth. However, prior to distribution of the devise or bequest to the trustees, each nonresident individual or entity shall file with the clerk of the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the testator's will was admitted to probate, a consent in writing that service of process in any action against him as trustee or any other notice with respect to administration of the trust in his charge, may be by service upon the clerk of the court in which he is qualified or upon a resident of the Commonwealth at such address as he may appoint in the written instrument filed with the clerk. Where any nonresident qualifies pursuant to this subsection, bond with surety shall be required in every case unless at least one other trustee is a resident or the court in which the nonresident qualifies waives surety under the provisions of § 64.2-1411.

An entity not authorized to do a trust business in the Commonwealth at the time the devise or bequest is to be distributed shall not, in any case, be a trustee of such trust.

B. The inter vivos trust may be an unfunded trust, and for the purposes of this section:

1. An inter vivos trust shall be deemed established upon execution of the instrument creating such trust; and

2. An inter vivos trust may contain provisions whereby the amount of corpus to be allocated to any particular portion of the trust will be determined, measured, or affected by the adjusted gross estate of the settlor or testator for federal estate tax purposes, by the amount of the marital deduction allowable to the settlor's or testator's estate, by the amount of deductions or credits available to the estate of the settlor or testator for federal estate tax purposes, by the value of such estate for federal estate tax purposes, or by any other method, and that an unfunded trust shall not be deemed to be testamentary for that reason.

C. The devise or bequest shall not be invalid because (i) the trust is amendable or revocable or both by the settlor or any other person, either prior or subsequent to the testator's death, (ii) the trust instrument or any amendment thereto was not executed in the manner required for wills, or (iii) the trust was amended after the execution of the will or after the death of the testator.

D. Unless the testator's will provides otherwise, the property so devised or bequeathed:

1. Shall not be deemed held under a testamentary trust of the testator, but shall become a part of the corpus of the trust to which it is given or, if the will so specifies, the property shall become a part of any one or more particular portions of the corpus; and

2. Shall be administered and disposed of (i) in accordance with the terms of the trust as they appear in writing at the testator's death, including any amendments thereto made before the death of the testator, regardless of whether made before or after the execution of the testator's will, or (ii) if the testator expressly specifies in his will, as such terms are amended after the death of the testator.

E. In the event that the settlor or other person having the right to do so revokes or otherwise terminates the trust pursuant to a power to do so reserved in the trust instrument, and such revocation or termination is effected at a date subsequent to the death of a testator who has devised or bequeathed property to such trust, the revocation or termination shall be ineffective as to property devised or bequeathed to such trust by a testator other than the settlor, unless the testator's will expressly provides to the contrary.

F. The devise or bequest shall not be valid should the entire trust not be operative for any reason at the testator's death. If the devise or bequest is to augment only one or more portions of the trust, the devise or bequest shall not be valid should the trust not be operative for any reason as to such portion at the testator's death.

G. In any case in which the devise or bequest to the trustee of a trust fails to take effect by reason of the fact that there is no qualified trustee acting at the time the devise or bequest is to be distributed, or that one or more of the trustees then acting is an entity not authorized to do a trust business in the Commonwealth, the court having jurisdiction with respect to the probate of the will or the administration of the testator's estate, upon sufficient evidence of the existence of a trust estate for administration, independent of the testator's estate, and of the validity of the trust established by virtue of such separate written instrument, may determine that the trusts declared by such separate written instrument are the trusts upon which the devise or bequest is made to the same extent and with like effect as if such trust provisions had been extensively incorporated in the testamentary documents, and that such trusts do not fail for want of a qualified trustee to administer the trust estate so devised or bequeathed. The court may then grant such further and ancillary relief as the nature of the case may require, including the appointment of a qualified trustee to perform the trusts with respect to the estate so devised or bequeathed, and granting instruction and guidance to the trustee so appointed in the performance of his duties. Nothing herein shall be deemed to authorize any such trustee to be excused from any obligations of accounting or performance as are required by law of fiduciaries, nor to prevent the transfer of the trust estate to a trustee appointed by or qualified in a court of record in a foreign state in accordance with the provisions of § 64.2-706.

H. This section shall apply to any devise or bequest under the will of a decedent dying on or after July 1, 1994, and before July 1, 1999.

Code 1950, § 64-71.1; 1958, c. 450; 1962, c. 573; 1966, c. 538; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-73; 1972, c. 332; 1982, c. 373; 1991, c. 343; 1992, c. 66; 1994, c. 562; 1995, c. 684; 1996, c. 680; 1999, c. 252; 2005, c. 935; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-427. Testamentary additions to trusts by testator dying after June 30, 1999.

A. A will may validly devise or bequeath property, including by the exercise of a power of appointment, to the trustee of a trust established or to be established (i) during the testator's lifetime by the testator, by the testator and some other person, or by some other person including a funded or unfunded life insurance trust, although the settlor has reserved any or all rights of ownership of the insurance contracts or (ii) at the testator's death by the testator's devise or bequest to the trustee, if the trust is identified in the testator's will and its terms are set forth in a written instrument, other than a will, executed before, concurrently with, or after the execution of the testator's will or in another individual's will if that other individual has predeceased the testator, regardless of the existence, size, or character of the corpus of the trust. The devise or bequest is not invalid because the trust is amendable or revocable, or because the trust was amended after the execution of the will or the testator's death.

B. Unless the testator's will provides otherwise, property devised or bequeathed to a trust described in subsection A is not held under a testamentary trust of the testator but it becomes a part of the trust to which it is devised or bequeathed, and shall be administered and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the governing instrument setting forth the terms of the trust, including any amendments thereto made before or after the testator's death.

C. Unless the testator's will provides otherwise, a revocation or termination of the trust before the testator's death causes the devise or bequest to lapse.

D. Unless at least one trustee of the trust is an individual resident of the Commonwealth or an entity authorized to do a trust business in the Commonwealth, at the time the devise or bequest is to be distributed to the trust, the testator's personal representative shall not make any distribution to the trust until each nonresident individual or entity files with the clerk of the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the testator's will was admitted to probate, a consent in writing that service of process in any action against the trustee or any other notice with respect to administration of the trust in the trustee's charge may be by service upon a resident of the Commonwealth at such address as the trustee may appoint in the written instrument filed with the clerk. No further requirement shall be imposed upon any nonresident individual or entity as a condition to receiving the devise or bequest.

E. This section applies to a will of a testator who dies after June 30, 1999, and it shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this section among states enacting it.

1999, c. 252, § 64.1-73.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-428. Distribution of assets by fiduciaries in satisfaction of pecuniary bequests or transfers in trust of pecuniary amount.

A. Where a will or trust agreement authorizes or directs the fiduciary to satisfy wholly or partly in kind a pecuniary bequest or transfer in trust of a pecuniary amount, unless the instrument shall otherwise expressly provide, the assets selected by the fiduciary for that purpose shall be valued at their respective values on the date of their distribution.

B. Whenever a fiduciary under the provisions of a will or other governing instrument is required to satisfy a pecuniary bequest or transfer in trust in favor of the testator's or donor's spouse and is authorized to satisfy such bequest or transfer by selection and distribution of assets in kind, and the will or other governing instrument further provides that the assets to be so distributed shall or may be valued by some standard other than their fair market value on the date of distribution, the fiduciary, unless the will or other governing instrument otherwise specifically directs, shall distribute assets, including cash, in a manner that is fairly representative of appreciation or depreciation in the value of all property available for distribution in satisfaction of such pecuniary bequest or transfer. This subsection shall not prevent a fiduciary from carrying out the provisions of the will or other governing instrument that require the fiduciary, in order to implement such a bequest or transfer, to distribute assets, including cash, having an aggregate fair market value at the date of distribution amounting to no less than the amount of the pecuniary bequest or transfer as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes.

C. Any fiduciary having discretionary powers under a will or other governing instrument with respect to the selection of assets to be distributed in satisfaction of a pecuniary bequest or transfer in trust in favor of the testator's or donor's spouse shall be authorized to enter into agreements with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other taxing authorities requiring the fiduciary to exercise the fiduciary's discretion so that cash and other properties distributed in satisfaction of such bequest or transfer in trust will be fairly representative of the appreciation or depreciation in value of all property then available for distribution in satisfaction of such bequest or transfer in trust, and any such agreement heretofore entered into after April 1, 1964, is hereby validated. Any such fiduciary shall be authorized to enter into any other agreement not in conflict with the express terms of the will or other governing instrument that may be necessary or advisable in order to secure for federal estate tax purposes the appropriate marital deduction available under the Internal Revenue Code, and to do and perform all acts incident to securing such deduction.

D. Where a will or trust agreement directs the fiduciary to satisfy a pecuniary or fractional bequest or transfer in trust of a pecuniary amount or fractional share in favor of the testator's or donor's spouse with amounts or assets having a value equal to the maximum marital deduction available under the Internal Revenue Code, the interest of such spouse shall vest immediately upon the testator's death in the case of a will, and upon the execution of the trust agreement in the case of a trust, regardless of when the exact amount of the bequest or transfer is finally determined.

Code 1950, § 64-71.2; 1966, c. 441; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-74; 1978, c. 481; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-429. Construction of trust provisions otherwise eligible for the election permitted under § 2056(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code.

If any trust created under a will or trust agreement made by a decedent dying after December 31, 1981, would qualify for the election specified in § 2056(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code but for (i) a direction that accrued income remaining in the hands of a trustee at the death of the surviving spouse of the decedent not be paid to the estate of the surviving spouse or (ii) an authorization to retain unproductive property as an asset of the trust, then, unless the decedent shall have specifically otherwise provided in the will or trust agreement by reference to this section, (a) all accrued and undistributed income of the trust at the death of the surviving spouse shall be paid to the personal representative of the surviving spouse as contemplated by the Uniform Principal and Income Act (§ 64.2-1000 et seq.) and (b) the surviving spouse shall have the right to require the trustee of the trust to make the trust assets productive of income, so as to render the trust eligible for the election provided in § 2056(b)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code.

This section shall apply to all wills and revocable trusts made by decedents dying after December 31, 1981, regardless of when the will or trust was made.

1984, c. 339, § 64.1-74.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-430. Certain marital deduction formula clauses to be construed to refer to federal marital deduction allowable if decedent had died on December 31, 1981.

A. If property passes from the decedent or is acquired from the decedent by reason of the decedent's death under a will executed before September 12, 1981, or a trust created before September 12, 1981, and such will or trust contains a formula providing that the spouse of the decedent is to receive the maximum amount of property qualifying for the marital deduction allowable under federal law, then such formula provision shall be construed as referring to the maximum amount of property eligible for the marital deduction as was allowable under the Internal Revenue Code as if the decedent had died on December 31, 1981, unless the court shall find that the decedent intended to refer to the maximum marital deduction of the Internal Revenue Code in effect at the time of his death, provided that such will or trust is not amended on or after September 12, 1981, and before the death of the decedent to refer specifically to an unlimited marital deduction or an amount qualifying for such deduction, or to otherwise manifest an intent to have the estate qualify for the unlimited marital deduction.

B. If property passes from the decedent or is acquired from the decedent by reason of the decedent's death under a will executed before September 12, 1981, or a trust created before September 12, 1981, and such will or trust contains a formula providing that the spouse of the decedent is to receive the maximum amount of property qualifying for the marital deduction allowable under federal law, but no more than will reduce such federal estate tax to zero or any other pecuniary or fractional share of property determined with reference to the marital deduction, then such provision reducing such bequest to such amount necessary to reduce the federal tax to zero or any other pecuniary or fractional share of property determined with reference to the marital deduction, shall be construed as referring to a computation done as of December 31, 1981, that would have reduced the federal estate tax to zero if the decedent had died on December 31, 1981, unless the court shall find that the decedent intended the computation to be made as of the date of death, provided that such will or trust is not amended on or after September 12, 1981, and before the death of the decedent to refer to the federal estate tax on a date later than September 12, 1981.

C. The proceeding to determine whether the decedent intended that the computation under subsection A or B be made as of the date of death, rather than the earlier 1981 date, shall be filed within 12 months following the death of the testator or grantor. It may be filed by the personal representative or any affected beneficiary under the will or other instrument.

1982, c. 622, § 64.1-62.1; 1983, c. 512; 1987, c. 504; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-431. Certain powers of appointment construed to refer to federal gift tax exclusion in effect on date of execution.

If an instrument executed before September 12, 1981, provides for a power of appointment that may be exercised during any period after December 31, 1981, and such power of appointment is defined in terms of, or by reference to, the maximum amount of property qualifying for the gift tax exclusion under federal law, then such instrument shall be construed as referring to the maximum amount of property eligible for the annual gift tax exclusion as was allowable under the Internal Revenue Code in effect on the date of execution of such instrument provided that the instrument described has not been amended after September 12, 1981, to refer specifically to the federal gift tax exclusion available after December 31, 1981, or the amount qualifying for such exclusion.

1982, c. 622, § 64.1-62.2; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-432. Certain formula clauses to be construed to refer to federal estate and generation-skipping transfer tax laws applicable to estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2009, and before January 1, 2011.

A. A will, trust, or other instrument of a decedent who dies after December 31, 2009, and before January 1, 2011, that contains a formula referring to the "unified credit," "estate tax exemption," "applicable exemption amount," "applicable credit amount," "applicable exclusion amount," "generation-skipping transfer tax exemption," "GST exemption," "marital deduction," "maximum marital deduction," "unlimited marital deduction," "inclusion ratio," "applicable fraction," or any section of the Internal Revenue Code relating to the federal estate tax or generation-skipping transfer tax, or that measures a share of an estate or trust based on the amount that can pass free of federal estate taxes or the amount that can pass free of federal generation-skipping transfer taxes, or that is otherwise based on a similar provision of federal estate tax or generation-skipping transfer tax law, shall be deemed to refer to the federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax laws as they apply with respect to estates of decedents dying in 2010 regardless of whether the decedent's personal representative or other fiduciary elects not to have the estate tax apply with respect to the estate. This provision shall not apply with respect to a will, trust, or other instrument that manifests an intent that a contrary rule shall apply.

B. The personal representative, trustee, other fiduciary, or any affected beneficiary under the will, trust, or other instrument may bring a proceeding to determine whether the decedent intended that the will, trust, or other instrument be construed in a manner other than as provided in subsection A. A proceeding under this section shall be commenced prior to January 1, 2012. In such a proceeding, the court may consider extrinsic evidence that contradicts the plain meaning of the will, trust, or other instrument. The court shall have the power to modify a provision of a will, trust, or other instrument that refers to the federal estate tax or generation-skipping transfer tax laws as described in subsection A to (i) conform the terms to the decedent's intention or (ii) achieve the decedent's tax objectives in a manner that is not contrary to the decedent's probable intention. The court may provide that its decision, including any decision to modify a provision of a will, trust, or other instrument, shall be effective as of the date of the decedent's death. A person who commences a proceeding under this section has the burdens of proof, by clear and convincing evidence, and persuasion in establishing the decedent's intention that the will, trust, or other instrument be construed in a manner other than as provided in subsection A.

C. For purposes of this section, interested persons may enter into a binding agreement to determine whether the decedent intended that the will, trust, or other instrument shall be construed in a manner other than as provided in subsection A, and to conform the terms of the will, trust, or other instrument to the decedent's intention without court approval as provided in subsection B. Any interested person may petition the court to approve the agreement or to determine whether all interested persons are parties to the agreement, either in person or by adequate representation where permitted by law, and whether the agreement contains terms the court could have properly approved. In the case of a trust, the agreement may be by nonjudicial settlement agreement pursuant to § 64.2-709. "Interested person" means any person whose consent is required in order to achieve a binding settlement were the settlement to be approved by the court.

2010, c. 238, § 64.1-62.4; 2011, c. 679; 2012, c. 614; 2013, c. 784.

Article 4. Uniform International Wills Act.

§ 64.2-433. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Authorized person" and "person authorized to act in connection with international wills" means a person who by § 64.2-441 or by the laws of the United States, including members of the diplomatic and consular service of the United States designated by Foreign Service Regulations, is empowered to supervise the execution of international wills.

"International will" means a will executed in conformity with §§ 64.2-434 through 64.2-437.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.2; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-434. Validity.

A. A will shall be valid as regards form, irrespective particularly of the place where it is made, of the location of the assets, and of the nationality, domicile, or residence of the testator, if it is made in the form of an international will complying with the requirements of this article.

B. The invalidity of the will as an international will shall not affect its formal validity as a will of another kind.

C. This article shall not apply to the form of testamentary dispositions made by two or more persons in one instrument.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.3; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-435. Requirements.

A. The will shall be made in writing. It need not be written by the testator himself. It may be written in any language, by hand or by any other means.

B. The testator shall declare in the presence of two witnesses and of a person authorized to act in connection with international wills that the document is his will and that he knows the contents thereof. The testator need not inform the witnesses, or the authorized person, of the contents of the will.

C. In the presence of the witnesses, and of the authorized person, the testator shall sign the will or, if he has previously signed it, shall acknowledge his signature.

D. When the testator is unable to sign, the absence of his signature does not affect the validity of the international will if the testator indicates the reason for his inability to sign and the authorized person makes note thereof on the will. In these cases, it is permissible for any other person present, including the authorized person or one of the witnesses, at the direction of the testator to sign the testator's name for him, if the authorized person makes note of this also on the will, but it is not required that any person sign the testator's name for him.

E. The witnesses and the authorized person shall there and then attest the will by signing in the presence of the testator.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.4; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-436. Other points of form.

A. The signatures shall be placed at the end of the will. If the will consists of several sheets, each sheet shall be signed by the testator or, if he is unable to sign, by the person signing on his behalf or, if there is no such person, by the authorized person. In addition, each sheet shall be numbered.

B. The date of the will shall be the date of its signature by the authorized person. That date shall be noted at the end of the will by the authorized person.

C. The authorized person shall ask the testator whether he wishes to make a declaration concerning the safekeeping of his will. If so, and at the express request of the testator, the place where he intends to have his will kept shall be mentioned in the certificate provided for in § 64.2-437.

D. A will executed in compliance with § 64.2-435 shall not be invalid merely because it does not comply with this section.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.5; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-437. Certificate.

The authorized person shall attach to the will a certificate to be signed by him establishing that the requirements of this article for valid execution of an international will have been complied with. The authorized person shall keep a copy of the certificate and deliver another to the testator. The certificate shall be substantially in the following form:

CERTIFICATE

(Convention of October 26, 1973)

I,................… (name, address and capacity), a person authorized
to act in connection with international wills
Certify that on..............…(date)............… (place)
(testator)........................… (name, address, date and place of
birth)in my presence and that of the witnesses
(a)..........................… (name, address, date and place of
birth)
(b)..........................… (name, address, date and place of
birth)
has declared that the attached document is his will and that he knows
the contents thereof.

I furthermore certify that:

(a) in my presence and in that of the witnesses

(1) the testator has signed the will or has acknowledged his
signature previously affixed.

*(2) following a declaration of the testator stating that he was
unable to sign his will for the following reason
..........................… I have mentioned this declaration
on the will
*and the signature has been affixed by (name and address)

(b) the witnesses and I have signed the will;
*(c) each page of the will has been signed by
..........................… and numbered;

(d) I have satisfied myself as to the identity of the testator and of
the witnesses as designated above;

(e) the witnesses met the conditions requisite to act as such
according to the law under which I am acting;

(f) the testator has requested me to include the following statement

concerning the safekeeping of his will:

PLACE OF EXECUTION
DATE
SIGNATURE and, if necessary, SEAL.

* to be completed if appropriate

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.6; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-438. Effect of certificate.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the certificate of the authorized person shall be conclusive of the formal validity of the instrument as a will under this article. The absence or irregularity of a certificate shall not affect the formal validity of a will under this article.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.7; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-439. Revocation.

The international will shall be subject to the ordinary rules of revocation of wills.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.8; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-440. Source and construction.

Sections 64.2-433 through 64.2-439 derive from Annex to Convention of October 26, 1973, Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will. In interpreting and applying this article, regard shall be had to its international origin and to the need for uniformity in its interpretation.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.9; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-441. Persons authorized to act in relation to international will; eligibility; recognition by authorizing agency.

Individuals who have been admitted to practice law before the courts of the Commonwealth and who are members in good standing of the Virginia State Bar are hereby declared to be authorized persons in relation to international wills.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.10; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-442. International will information registration.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall establish a registry system by which authorized persons may register in a central information center, information regarding the execution of international wills, keeping that information in strictest confidence until the death of the testator and then making it available to any person desiring information about any will who presents a death certificate or other satisfactory evidence of the testator's death to the center. Information that may be received, preserved in confidence until death, and reported as indicated is limited to the name, social security or any other individual-identifying number established by law, address, and date and place of birth of the testator, and the intended place of deposit or safekeeping of the instrument pending the death of the testator. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, at the request of the authorized person, may cause the information he receives about execution of any international will to be transmitted to the registry system of another jurisdiction as identified by the testator, if that other system adheres to rules protecting the confidentiality of the information similar to those established in the Commonwealth.

1995, c. 443, § 64.1-96.11; 2001, c. 85; 2012, c. 614.

Article 5. Probate.

§ 64.2-443. Jurisdiction of probate of wills.

A. The circuit courts shall have jurisdiction of the probate of wills. A will shall be offered for probate in the circuit court in the county or city wherein the decedent has a known place of residence; if he has no such known place of residence, then in a county or city wherein any real estate lies that is devised or owned by the decedent; and if there is no such real estate, then in the county or city wherein he dies or a county or city wherein he has estate.

B. Where any person has become, either voluntarily or involuntarily, a patient in a nursing home, convalescent home, or similar institution due to advanced age or impaired health, the place of legal residence of the person shall be rebuttably presumed to be the same as it was before he became a patient.

Code 1950, §§ 64-72, 64-72.1; 1966, c. 330; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-75, 64.1-76; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-444. Clerks may probate wills.

A. The clerk of any circuit court, or any duly qualified deputy of such clerk, may admit wills to probate, appoint and qualify executors, administrators, and curators of decedents, and require and take from them the necessary bonds, in the same manner and with like effect as the circuit court.

B. The clerk shall keep an order book, in which shall be entered all orders made by him, or his deputy, in performance of his duties pursuant to subsection A, except probate orders that are recorded in the will book need not be entered in the order book.

C. All wills heretofore admitted to probate by any duly qualified deputy clerk of any circuit court are deemed to have been properly admitted to probate to the same extent as if the clerk had acted in the proceeding.

Code 1950, § 64-73; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-77; 1973, c. 217; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-445. Appeal from order of clerk.

Any person interested in the probate of the will may appeal any order entered pursuant to § 64.2-444 within six months after the entering of such an order, without giving any bond, to the circuit court whose clerk, or deputy, has made the order. Upon application for such appeal, the clerk or deputy shall enter forthwith in his order or will book an order allowing such appeal. The appeal shall be given precedence on the court's docket. The matter shall be heard de novo by the court and a copy of its final order shall be entered into the clerk's order or will book. At any time after such appeal is allowed, the court may enter an order for the protection of the persons interested in the probate of the will or for the protection or preservation of any property involved as it finds necessary.

Code 1950, § 64-74; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-78; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-446. Motion for probate; process against persons interested in probate.

A. A person offering, or intending to offer, to a circuit court or to the clerk of the circuit court a will for probate, may request that the clerk of such court summon any person interested in the probate of the will to appear to show cause why the will should not be admitted to probate. Upon such request, the clerk shall, or in the absence of such request the court may, summon all persons interested in the probate of the will to appear to show cause why the will should not be admitted to probate.

B. The court shall hear the motion to admit the will to probate when all persons interested in the probate of the will have been summoned or otherwise appear as parties. Upon the request of any person interested in the probate of the will, the court shall order a trial by jury to ascertain whether any paper produced is the will of the decedent. The court shall enter a final order as to the probate.

C. In the absence of a request that the clerk summon any person interested in the probate of the will to appear to show cause why the will should not be admitted to probate, the court in which the will is offered for probate may proceed to admit or reject the will without summoning any party.

Code 1950, §§ 64-75, 64-76, 64-78, 64-79, 64-81; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-79, 64.1-80, 64.1-82, 64.1-83, 64.1-85; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-447. Use of depositions.

A. The deposition of a witness who subscribed a will attesting that the will is the will of the testator, or in the case of a holographic will, a witness attesting that the will is wholly in the handwriting of the testator, may be admitted as evidence to prove the will if the witness (i) resides outside of the Commonwealth or (ii) resides in the Commonwealth but is unable to testify for any reason before the court or clerk where the will is offered. For the purpose of taking such depositions, the person offering the will for probate shall be permitted to withdraw the will temporarily, leaving an attested copy with the court or clerk, or the clerk may give such person a certified copy of the will.

B. The deposition of such witnesses shall be taken and certified in accordance with § 8.01-420.4 and the Rules of Supreme Court of Virginia, except that no notice of the time and place of taking the deposition need be given unless the probate is opposed by some person interested in the probate of the will. Such deposition may be taken prior to the time that the will is offered for probate and may be filed at the same time the will is offered for probate, provided, that if probate is opposed by some person interested in the probate of the will, such person shall have the right to examine such witness.

Code 1950, § 64-83; 1966, c. 314; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-87; 1981, c. 183; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-448. Complaint to impeach or establish a will; limitation of action; venue.

A. A person interested in the probate of the will who has not otherwise been before the court or clerk in a proceeding to probate the will pursuant to § 64.2-444 or in an ex parte proceeding to probate the will pursuant to subsection B of § 64.2-446 may file a complaint to impeach or establish the will within one year from the date of the order entered by the court in exercise of its original jurisdiction or after an appeal of an order entered by the clerk, or, if no appeal from an order entered by the clerk is taken, from the date of the order entered by the clerk.

B. A person interested in the probate of the will who had been proceeded against by an order of publication pursuant to subsection B of § 64.2-449 may file a complaint to impeach or establish the will within two years from the date of the order entered by the court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, unless he actually appeared as a party or had been personally served with a summons to appear.

C. A person interested in the probate of the will who has not otherwise been before the court and who was a minor at the time of the order pursuant to § 64.2-444 or 64.2-446 may file a complaint to impeach or establish the will within one year after such person reaches the age of maturity or is judicially declared emancipated.

D. A person interested in the probate of the will who has not otherwise been before the court and who was incapacitated at the time of the order pursuant to § 64.2-444 or 64.2-446 may file a complaint to impeach or establish the will within one year after such person is restored to capacity.

E. Upon the filing of a complaint to impeach or establish the will pursuant to this section, the court shall order a trial by jury to ascertain whether what was offered for probate is the will of the testator. The court may require all testamentary papers of the testator be produced and direct the jury to ascertain whether any paper produced is the will of the testator. The court shall decide whether to admit the will to probate.

F. The venue for filing a complaint to impeach or establish the will shall be as specified in subdivision 7 of § 8.01-261.

G. Subject to the provisions of § 8.01-428, a final order determining whether to admit a will to probate bars any subsequent complaint to impeach or establish a will.

Code 1950, §§ 64-80, 64-84 through 64-86; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-84, 64.1-88 through 64.1-90; 1972, c. 825; 1977, c. 624; 1996, c. 58; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-449. Procedure in probate proceedings.

A. In every probate proceeding, the court or clerk may require all testamentary papers of the testator be produced and may compel the production of the will of a testator that is in the custody of any person.

B. A summons may be served by an order of publication on any person interested in the probate of the will in accordance with § 8.01-316.

C. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for any person interested in the probate of the will in accordance with § 8.01-9.

D. The record of the testimony given by witnesses in court on the motion to admit a will to probate and any out of court depositions of witnesses who cannot be produced at a jury trial may be admitted as evidence and given such weight as the jury deems proper.

Code 1950, §§ 64-77, 64-82, 64-87; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-81, 64.1-86, 64.1-91; 2012, c. 614; 2015, c. 631.

§ 64.2-450. Probate of copy of will proved outside the Commonwealth; authenticated copy.

When a will relative to an estate within the Commonwealth has been proved in another jurisdiction, an authenticated copy of the will and the certificate of probate of the will may be offered for probate in the Commonwealth, and there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the will was duly executed and admitted to probate as a will of personal estate in the jurisdiction of the testator's domicile and the circuit court, or the clerk of such court, where it is offered shall admit such copy to probate as a will of personal estate in the Commonwealth. If such copy indicates that the will was admitted to probate in a court of another jurisdiction and was so executed as to be a valid will of real estate in the Commonwealth by the law of the Commonwealth, such copy may be admitted to probate as a will of real estate. An authenticated copy of any will which has been self-proved under the laws of another state shall, when offered with its authenticated certificate of probate, be admitted to probate as a will of personal estate and real estate.

Code 1950, § 64-88; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-92; 1977, c. 249; 1980, c. 264; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-451. Appointment of curator; when made; his duties.

The court or the clerk of such court, or his duly qualified deputy, may appoint a curator of the estate of a decedent during a contest about the decedent's will, during the infancy or in the absence of an executor, or until administration of the estate be granted and may require the curator to give a bond in a reasonable penalty. The curator shall ensure that the estate is not wasted before the qualification of an executor or administrator, or before such estate lawfully comes into possession of such executor or administrator. The curator may demand, sue for, recover, and receive the decedent's personal estate and all debts due to the testator. The curator may lease or receive the rents and profits of any real estate that the decedent possessed when he died. The curator shall pay debts, to the extent that there are sufficient assets to do so in the order of payment prescribed by law, and may be sued in the same manner as an executor or administrator. Upon the qualification of an executor or administrator, the curator shall account for and pay and deliver to him such estate as he controls or may be liable for.

Code 1950, § 64-89; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-93; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-452. How will may be made self-proved; affidavits of witnesses.

A will, at the time of its execution or at any subsequent date, may be made self-proved by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the affidavits of the attesting witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the Commonwealth or the laws of the state where acknowledgment occurred, or before an officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the United States Department of State to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed, and evidenced by the officer's certificate, attached or annexed to the will. The officer's certificate shall be substantially as follows in form and content:

STATE OF VIRGINIA

COUNTY/CITY OF _____________________

Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared _____________________, _____________________, and _____________________, known to me to be the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument and, all of these persons being by me first duly sworn, _____________________, the testator, declared to me and to the witnesses in my presence that said instrument is his last will and testament and that he had willingly signed or directed another to sign the same for him, and executed it in the presence of said witnesses as his free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; that said witnesses stated before me that the foregoing will was executed and acknowledged by the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of said witnesses who, in his presence and at his request, and in the presence of each other, did subscribe their names thereto as attesting witnesses on the day of the date of said will, and that the testator, at the time of the execution of said will, was over the age of eighteen years and of sound and disposing mind and memory.

________________________________________
Testator

________________________________________
Witness

________________________________________
Witness

Subscribed, sworn and acknowledged before me by_____________________, the testator, and subscribed and sworn before me by_____________________ and _____________________, witnesses, this __________ day of _______________, A.D., __________.

SIGNED ________________________________________

________________________________________
(OFFICIAL CAPACITY OF OFFICER)

The affidavits of any such witnesses taken as provided by this section, whenever made, shall be accepted by the court as if it had been taken ore tenus before such court, notwithstanding that the officer did not attach or affix his official seal thereto. Any codicil that is self-proved under the provisions of this section that, by its terms, expressly confirms, ratifies, and republishes a will except as altered by the codicil shall have the effect of self-proving the will whether or not the will was so executed originally.

1972, c. 116, § 64.1-87.1; 1977, c. 333; 1979, c. 322; 1983, c. 83; 1985, c. 429; 1986, c. 524; 1990, c. 64; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-453. How will may be made self-proved; acknowledgment of witnesses.

A will, at the time of its execution or at any subsequent date, may be made self-proved by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the attesting witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the Commonwealth or the laws of the state where the acknowledgment occurred, or before an officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the United States Department of State to perform notarial acts in the place in which the act is performed, and evidenced by the officer's certificate, attached or annexed to the will. The officer's certificate shall be substantially as follows in form and content:

STATE OF VIRGINIA

CITY/COUNTY OF _____________________

Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared _____________________, _____________________, and _____________________, known to me to be the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument and, all of these persons being by me first duly sworn, _____________________, the testator, declared to me and to the witnesses in my presence that said instrument is his last will and testament and that he had willingly signed or directed another to sign the same for him, and executed it in the presence of said witnesses as his free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; that said witnesses stated before me that the foregoing will was executed and acknowledged by the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of said witnesses who, in his presence and at his request, and in the presence of each other, did subscribe their names thereto as attesting witnesses on the day of the date of said will, and that the testator, at the time of the execution of said will, was over the age of eighteen years and of sound and disposing mind and memory.

Sworn and acknowledged before me by _____________________, the testator, and _____________________ and _____________________, witnesses, this __________ day of _______________ A.D.,__________.

SIGNED ________________________________________

________________________________________
(OFFICIAL CAPACITY OF OFFICER)

Any codicil that is self-proved under the provisions of this section that, by its terms, expressly confirms, ratifies, and republishes a will except as altered by the codicil shall have the effect of self-proving the will whether or not the will was so executed originally.

1983, c. 83, § 64.1-87.2; 1985, c. 429; 1990, c. 64; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-454. Appointment of administrator for prosecution of action for personal injury or wrongful death against or on behalf of estate of deceased resident or nonresident.

An administrator may be appointed in any case in which it is represented that either a civil action for personal injury or death by wrongful act, or both, arising within the Commonwealth is contemplated against or on behalf of the estate or the beneficiaries of the estate of a resident or nonresident of the Commonwealth who has died within or outside the Commonwealth if at least 60 days have elapsed since the decedent's death and an executor or administrator of the estate has not been appointed under § 64.2-500 or 64.2-502, solely for the purpose of prosecution or defense of any such actions, by the clerk of the circuit court in the county or city in which jurisdiction and venue would have been properly laid for such actions if the person for whom the appointment is sought had survived. An administrator appointed pursuant to this section may prosecute actions for both personal injury and death by wrongful act.

If a fiduciary has been appointed in a foreign jurisdiction, the fiduciary may qualify as administrator. The appointment of a fiduciary in a foreign jurisdiction shall not preclude a resident or nonresident from qualifying as an administrator for the purposes of maintaining a wrongful death action pursuant to § 8.01-50 or a personal injury action in the Commonwealth.

A resident and nonresident may be appointed as coadministrators.

1970, c. 475, § 64.1-75.1; 2001, c. 376; 2003, c. 265; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 528; 2015, cc. 124, 129, 130.

Article 6. Recordation and Effect.

§ 64.2-455. Wills to be recorded; recording copies; effect; transfer to The Library of Virginia.

A. Every will or authenticated copy admitted to probate by any circuit court or clerk of any circuit court shall be recorded by the clerk and remain in the clerk's office, except during such time as the same may be carried to another court under a subpoena duces tecum or as otherwise provided in § 17.1-213. A certified copy of such will or of any authenticated copy may be recorded in any county or city wherein there is any estate, real or personal, devised or bequeathed by such will.

B. The personal representative of the testator shall cause a certified copy of any will or of any authenticated copy so admitted to record to be recorded in any county or city wherein there is any real estate of which the testator possessed at the time of his death or that is devised by his will.

C. Every will or certified copy when recorded shall have the effect of notice to all persons of any devise or disposal by the will of real estate situated in a county or city in which such will or copy is so recorded.

D. With the approval of the judges of a circuit court of any county or city, the clerk of such court may transfer such original wills from his office to the Archives Division of The Library of Virginia. A copy of any will that has been microfilmed or stored in an electronic medium, prepared from such microfilmed or electronic record and certified as authentic by the clerk or his designee, shall constitute a certified copy of the will for any purpose arising under this title for which a certified copy of the will is required.

Code 1950, § 64-90; 1964, c. 169; 1966, c. 254; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-94; 1978, c. 366; 1994, c. 64; 2001, c. 836; 2002, c. 832; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-456. Bona fide purchaser of real estate without notice of devise protected.

The title of a bona fide purchaser without notice from the heir at law of a person who has died heretofore, or who may die hereafter, having title to any real estate of inheritance in the Commonwealth, shall not be affected by a devise of such real estate made by the decedent, unless within one year after the testator's death the will devising the same or, if such will has been probated outside of the Commonwealth, an authenticated copy thereof and the certificate of probate shall be filed for probate before the court or clerk having jurisdiction for that purpose and shall afterwards be admitted to probate and recorded in the proper court or clerk's office as a will of real estate.

Code 1950, § 64-91; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-95; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-457. Bona fide purchaser of real estate without notice of devise protected; later will.

The title of a bona fide purchaser without notice from the devisee, or from the personal representative with power to sell, encumber, lease, or exchange, under the will of a person who has died heretofore, or may die hereafter, having title to any real estate of inheritance in the Commonwealth, shall not be affected by any other devise of such real estate made by the testator in another will, unless within one year after the testator's death such other will or, if such other will has been probated outside of the Commonwealth, an authenticated copy thereof and the certificate of probate shall be filed for probate before the court or clerk having jurisdiction for that purpose and shall afterwards be admitted to probate and recorded in the proper court or clerk's office as a will of real estate.

Code 1950, § 64-92; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-96; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-458. Bona fide purchaser of real estate without notice of devise protected; intestacy.

The title of a bona fide purchaser without notice from the devisee, or from the personal representative with power to sell, encumber, lease, or exchange, under the will of a person who has died heretofore, or may die hereafter, having title to any real estate of inheritance in the Commonwealth, shall not be affected by the later impeachment of the testator's will that results in intestacy, unless within one year after the testator's death a complaint is filed before the court having jurisdiction for that purpose.

1991, c. 197, § 64.1-96.1; 2012, c. 614.

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