Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Subtitle II. Wills and Decedents' Estates
Chapter 5. Personal Representatives and Administration of Estates
12/7/2022

Chapter 5. Personal Representatives and Administration of Estates.

Article 1. Appointment and Qualification.

§ 64.2-500. Grant of administration with the will annexed.

A. If the will does not name an executor, or the executor named refuses to accept, fails to give bond, or dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the court or clerk may grant administration with the will annexed to a person who is a residual or substantial legatee under the will, or his designee, or if such person fails to apply for administration within 30 days, to a person who would have been entitled to administration if there had been no will.

B. Administration shall not be granted to any person unless he takes the required oath and gives bond, and the court or clerk is satisfied that he is suitable and competent to perform the duties of his office. Administration shall not be granted to any person under a disability as defined in § 8.01-2.

C. If any beneficiary of the estate objects, a spouse or parent who has been barred from all interest in the estate because of desertion or abandonment as provided under § 64.2-308 or 64.2-308.17, as applicable, may not serve as an administrator of the estate.

Code 1950, § 64-112; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-116; 1979, c. 323; 2000, c. 321; 2012, c. 614; 2016, cc. 187, 269.

§ 64.2-501. Oath of executor or administrator with the will annexed.

An executor or administrator with the will annexed shall take an oath that the writing admitted to record contains the true last will of the decedent, so far as he knows, and that he will faithfully perform the duties of his office to the best of his judgment. Such oath may be taken on behalf of a corporation by its president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, or trust officer.

Code 1950, § 64-113; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-117; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-502. Grant of administration of intestate estate.

A. The court or the clerk who would have jurisdiction as to the probate of a will, if there were a will, has jurisdiction to hear and determine the right of administration of the estate in the case of a person dying intestate. Administration shall be granted as follows:

1. During the first 30 days following the decedent's death, the court or the clerk may grant administration to a sole distributee, or his designee, or in the absence of a sole distributee, to any distributee, or his designee, who presents written waivers of the right to qualify from all other competent distributees.

2. After 30 days have passed since the decedent's death, the court or the clerk may grant administration to the first distributee, or his designee, who applies, provided, that if, during the first 30 days following the decedent's death, more than one distributee notifies the court or the clerk of an intent to qualify after the 30-day period has elapsed, the court or the clerk shall not grant administration to any distributee, or his designee, until the court or the clerk has given all such distributees an opportunity to be heard.

3. After 45 days have passed since the decedent's death, the court or the clerk may grant administration to any nonprofit charitable organization that operated as a conservator or guardian for the decedent at the time of his death if such organization certifies that it has made a diligent search to find an address for any sole distributee and has sent notice by certified mail to the last known address of any such distributee of its intention to apply for administration at least 30 days before such application, or, that it has not been able to find any address for such distributee. However, if, during the first 45 days following the decedent's death, any distributee notifies the court or the clerk of an intent to qualify after the 45-day period has elapsed, the court or the clerk shall not grant administration to any such organization until the court or the clerk has given all such distributees an opportunity to be heard. Qualification of such nonprofit charitable organization is not subject to challenge on account of the failure to make the certification required by this subdivision.

4. After 60 days have passed since the decedent's death, the court or the clerk may grant administration to one or more of the creditors or to any other person, provided such creditor or person other than a distributee certifies that he has made a diligent search to find an address for any sole distributee and has sent notice by certified mail to the last known address of any such distributee of his intention to apply for administration at least 30 days before such application, or that he has not been able to find any address for such distributee. Qualification of a creditor or person other than a distributee is not subject to challenge on account of the failure to make the certification required by this subdivision.

B. When granting administration, if the court determines that it is in the best interests of a decedent's estate, the court may depart from the provisions of this section at any time and grant administration to such person as the court deems appropriate.

C. The court or clerk may admit to probate a will of the decedent after a grant of administration. If administration has been granted to a creditor or person other than a distributee, the court or clerk may grant administration to a distributee who applies for administration and who has not previously been refused administration after reasonable notice has been given to such creditor or other person previously granted administration. Admission of a will to probate or the grant of administration pursuant to this subsection terminates any previous grant of administration.

D. The court or clerk shall not grant administration to any person unless satisfied that he is suitable and competent to perform the duties of his office. The clerk shall require such person to sign under oath that such person is not under a disability as defined in § 8.01-2 or, regardless of whether his civil rights have been restored, has not been convicted of a felony offense of (i) fraud or misrepresentation or (ii) robbery, extortion, burglary, larceny, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, perjury, bribery, treason, or racketeering. However, if the person convicted of such felony offense is the sole distributee of the estate, then the court or clerk may grant administration to such person if he is otherwise suitable and competent to perform the duties of his office.

E. If any beneficiary of the estate objects, a spouse or parent who has been barred from all interest in the estate because of desertion or abandonment as provided under § 64.2-308 or 64.2-308.17, as applicable, may not serve as an administrator of the estate of the deceased spouse or child.

Code 1950, §§ 64-114, 64-115; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-118, 64.1-119; 1978, c. 483; 2000, c. 321; 2002, c. 197; 2006, c. 724; 2012, c. 614; 2015, c. 551; 2016, cc. 187, 269.

§ 64.2-503. Oath and bond of administrator of intestate estate.

An administrator of an intestate estate shall give bond and take an oath that the decedent has left no will, so far as he knows, and that he will faithfully perform the duties of his office to the best of his judgment. Such oath may be taken on behalf of a corporation by its president, a vice-president, secretary, treasurer, or trust officer.

Code 1950, § 64-115; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-119; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-504. Bond of executor or administrator.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, every bond of an executor or administrator shall be, at least, in an amount equal to (i) the full value of the personal estate of the decedent to be administered, or (ii) if the will authorizes the executor or administrator to sell real estate, or receive the rents and profits thereof, the full value of the personal estate and such real estate, or the rents and profits thereof, as the case may be.

B. Upon the request of an executor or administrator, the clerk shall redetermine the amount of the bond in light of any reduction in the current market value of the estate in the executor's or administrator's possession or subject to his power, whether such reduction is due to disbursements, distributions, or valuation of assets, if such reduction is reflected in an accounting that has been confirmed by the court or an inventory that has been approved by the commissioner of accounts and recorded in the clerk's office. This provision shall not apply to any bond set by the court.

Code 1950, § 64-116; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-120; 1996, c. 317; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-505. When security not required.

A. The court or clerk shall require a personal representative to furnish security. However, the court or clerk shall not require a personal representative to furnish security if:

1. All distributees of a decedent's estate or all beneficiaries under the decedent's will are personal representatives of that decedent's estate, whether serving alone or with others who are not distributees or beneficiaries; however, if all personal representatives of a testate decedent are entitled to file a statement in lieu of an accounting under § 64.2-1314, the security shall be required only upon the portion of their bond given in connection with the property passing to beneficiaries who are not personal representatives; or

2. The will waives security of an executor nominated therein.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, upon the motion of a legatee, devisee, or distributee of an estate, or any person who has a pecuniary interest in an estate, the court or clerk may require the personal representative to furnish security. A copy of such motion shall be served upon the personal representative. The court shall conduct a hearing on the motion and may require the personal representative to furnish security in an amount it deems sufficient and may award the movant reasonable attorney fees and costs which shall be paid out of the estate.

C. This section shall be deemed to permit qualification without security where the personal representative is the only distributee or only beneficiary by virtue of one or more instruments of disclaimer filed prior to, or at the time of, such personal representative's qualification.

Code 1950, § 64-117; 1966, c. 325; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-121; 1970, c. 426; 1974, c. 140; 1977, c. 144; 1994, c. 393; 1996, c. 57; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 291; 2015, c. 631.

§ 64.2-506. When letters of administration and order for obtaining probate in due form are required.

The court or clerk may issue a certificate of qualification to any personal representative for obtaining probate or letters of administration, which shall be given the same effect as the probate or letters made out in due form. The clerk when required by any personal representative, shall make out such probate or letters in due form that shall be signed by the clerk, sealed with the seal of the court, and certified by the judge to be attested in due form.

Code 1950, § 64-118; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-122; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-507. Clerks to deliver statement of responsibilities.

The clerk of any court in which any person qualifies as executor or administrator of an estate shall deliver to such person, at the time of qualification, a statement in at least the following form: "As an executor or administrator of an estate, you are charged with the responsibility of filing any income, inheritance or estate tax returns required by state or federal law and an accounting of your handling of the estate."

1980, c. 292, § 64.1-122.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-508. Written notice of probate, qualification, and entitlement to copies of inventories, accounts, and reports to be provided to certain parties.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a personal representative of a decedent's estate, including an administrator appointed pursuant to § 64.2-454, or a proponent of a decedent's will when there is no qualification shall provide written notice of qualification or probate, and notice of entitlement to copies of wills, inventories, accounts, and reports, to the following persons:

1. The surviving spouse of the decedent, if any;

2. All heirs at law of the decedent, whether or not there is a will;

3. All living and ascertained beneficiaries under the will of the decedent, including those who may take under § 64.2-418, and beneficiaries of any trust created by the will; and

4. All living and ascertained beneficiaries under any will of the decedent previously probated in the same court.

B. Notice under subsection A need not be provided to the following persons:

1. A personal representative or proponent of the will;

2. Any person who has signed a waiver of right to receive notice;

3. Any person to whom a summons has been issued pursuant to § 64.2-446;

4. Any person who is the subject of a conservatorship, guardianship, or committeeship, if notice is provided to his conservator, guardian, or committee;

5. Any beneficiary of a trust, other than a trust created by the decedent's will, if notice is provided to the trustee of the trust;

6. Any heir or beneficiary who survived the decedent but is deceased at the time of qualification or probate, and such person's successors in interest, if notice is provided to such person's personal representative;

7. Any minor for whom no guardian has been appointed, if notice is provided to his parent or person in loco parentis;

8. Any beneficiary of a pecuniary bequest or of a bequest of tangible personal property, provided in either case the beneficiary is not an heir at law and the value of the bequest is not in excess of $5,000; and

9. Any unborn or unascertained persons.

C. The notice shall include the following information:

1. The name and date of death of the decedent;

2. The name, address, and telephone number of a personal representative or a proponent of a will;

3. The mailing address of the clerk of the court in which the personal representative qualified or the will was probated;

4. A statement as follows: "This notice does not mean that you will receive any money or property";

5. A statement as follows: "If personal representatives qualified on this estate, unless otherwise specifically exempted under Virginia law, they are required by law to file an inventory with the commissioner of accounts within four months after they qualify in the clerk's office, to file an account within 16 months of their qualification, and to file additional accounts within 16 months from the date of their last account period until the estate is settled. If you make written request therefor to the personal representatives, they must mail copies of these documents (not including any supporting vouchers, but including a copy of the decedent's will) to you at the same time the inventory or account is filed with the commissioner of accounts unless (i) you would take only as an heir at law in a case where all of the decedent's probate estate is disposed of by will or (ii) your gift has been satisfied in full before the time of such filing. Your written request may be made at any time; it may relate to one specific filing or to all filings to be made by the personal representative, but it will not be effective for filings made prior to its receipt by a personal representative. A copy of your request may be sent to the commissioner of accounts with whom the filings will be made. After the commissioner of accounts has completed work on an account filed by a personal representative, the commissioner files it and a report thereon in the clerk's office of the court wherein the personal representative qualified. If you make written request therefor to the commissioner before this filing, the commissioner must mail a copy of this report and any attachments (excluding the account) to you on or before the date that they are filed in the clerk's office"; and

6. The mailing address of the commissioner of accounts with whom the inventory and accounts must be filed by the personal representatives, if they are required.

D. Within 30 days after the date of qualification or admission of the will to probate, a personal representative or proponent of the will shall forward notice by delivery or by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the persons entitled to notice at their last known address.

E. Failure to give the notice required by this section shall not (i) affect the validity of the probate of a decedent's will or (ii) render any person required to give notice, who has acted in good faith, liable to any person entitled to receive notice. In determining the limitation period for any rights that may commence upon or accrue by reason of such probate or qualification in favor of any entitled person, the time that elapses from the date that notice should have been given to the date that notice is given shall not be counted, unless the person required to give notice could not determine the name and address of the entitled person after the exercise of reasonable diligence.

F. The personal representative or proponent of the will shall record within four months in the clerk's office where the will is recorded an affidavit stating (i) the names and addresses of the persons to whom he has mailed or delivered notice and when the notice was mailed or delivered to each or (ii) that no notice was required to be given to any person. The commissioner of accounts shall not approve any settlement filed by a personal representative until the affidavit described in this subsection has been recorded. If the personal representative of an estate or the proponent of a will is unable to determine the name and address of any person to whom notice is required after the exercise of reasonable diligence, a statement to that effect in the required affidavit shall be sufficient for purposes of this subsection. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, any person having an interest in an estate may give the notice required by this section and record the affidavit described in this subsection. If this subsection has not been complied with within four months after qualification, the commissioner of accounts shall issue, through the sheriff or other proper officer, a summons to such fiduciary requiring him to comply, and if the fiduciary does not comply, the commissioner shall enforce the filing of the affidavit in the manner set forth in § 64.2-1215.

G. The form of the notice to be given pursuant to this section, which shall contain appropriate instructions regarding its use, shall be provided to each clerk of the circuit court by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court and each clerk shall provide copies of such form to the proponents of a will or those qualifying on an estate.

1993, c. 4, § 64.1-122.2; 2001, cc. 78, 265; 2002, c. 716; 2012, c. 614; 2022, c. 777.

Article 2. List of Heirs and Affidavit of Real Estate.

§ 64.2-509. List of heirs.

A. Every personal representative of a decedent, whether the decedent died testate or intestate, shall, at the time of his qualification, and every proponent of a will where there is no qualification of a personal representative, shall, at the time the will is presented for probate, furnish a list of heirs under oath in accordance with a form provided to each clerk of court by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court or a computer-generated facsimile thereof to the court or clerk where the personal representative qualifies and to the clerk of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where any real estate that is part of the decedent's estate is located.

B. If there has been no qualification of a personal representative within 30 days following the decedent's death, a list of heirs, made under oath in accordance with the form provided to each clerk or a computer-generated facsimile thereof, may be filed by any heir at law of a decedent who died intestate.

C. The clerk shall record the list of heirs in the will book and index the list in the name of the decedent and the heirs. A list of heirs made under oath and recorded pursuant to this section shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained in the list. The cost of recording the list shall be deemed a part of the cost of administration and be paid out of the estate of the decedent.

D. The personal representative shall not receive any compensation for his services until the list of heirs is filed unless he files an affidavit before the commissioner of accounts that the heirs are unknown to him and that after diligent inquiry he has been unable to ascertain their names, ages, or addresses, as the case may be.

E. The list of heirs filed pursuant to this section shall reflect the heirs in existence on the date of the decedent's death. If there are any changes as to who should be included on the list of heirs, an additional list of heirs shall be filed that includes such changes.

Code 1950, § 64-127; 1954, c. 182; 1968, cc. 384, 656, § 64.1-134; 1984, c. 339; 1994, c. 327; 1998, c. 610; 2010, c. 585; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-510. Affidavit relating to real estate of intestate decedent.

A. Any person having an interest in real estate that is part of an intestate decedent's estate, including a personal representative who has qualified, may execute an affidavit, on a form provided to each clerk of the court by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court or a computer-generated facsimile thereof, setting forth briefly (i) a description of the real estate owned by the decedent at the time of his death situated within the jurisdiction where the affidavit is to be recorded; (ii) that the decedent died intestate; and (iii) the names and last known addresses of the decedent's heirs at law. The clerk of the circuit court of the jurisdiction where such real estate or any part thereof is located shall record and index the affidavit as wills are recorded and indexed in the name of the decedent and the heirs.

B. The clerk of the circuit court of the jurisdiction where the affidavit is recorded shall transmit an abstract of the affidavit to the commissioner of the revenue of such jurisdiction. In lieu of a printed paper copy of such abstract, the clerk may provide an electronic abstract or secure remote electronic access to such abstract to the commissioner. Upon receipt of the affidavit, the commissioner may transfer the real estate upon the land books and assess the real estate in accordance therewith.

Code 1950, § 64-127.1; 1952, c. 149; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-135; 1998, c. 610; 2012, c. 614; 2017, c. 42.

Article 3. Authority and General Duties.

§ 64.2-511. Powers of executor before qualification.

A person named in a will as executor shall not exercise the powers of executor until he qualifies as such by taking an oath and giving bond in the court or before the clerk where the will or an authenticated copy thereof is admitted to record, except that he may provide for the burial of the testator, pay reasonable funeral expenses, and preserve the estate from waste.

Code 1950, § 64-128; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-136; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-512. Funeral expenses.

Subject to the provisions of § 64.2-528, reasonable funeral and burial expenses of a decedent shall be considered an obligation of the decedent's estate, which shall be liable for such expenses to (i) the funeral establishment, (ii) the cemetery, (iii) any third-party creditor who finances the payment of such expenses, or (iv) any person authorized to make arrangements for the funeral of the decedent who has paid such expenses. A person who is authorized to make arrangements for the funeral of the decedent shall have the authority to bind the decedent's estate for such expenses and may execute, on behalf of the estate, any necessary instruments.

1999, c. 193, § 64.1-136.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-513. Effect of death, resignation, or removal of sole executor.

Upon the death, resignation, or removal of the sole surviving executor under any last will, administration of the estate of the testator not already administered may be granted, with the will annexed, to any person the court deems appropriate.

Code 1950, § 64-129; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-137; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-514. Duty of every personal representative.

Every personal representative shall administer, well and truly, the whole personal estate of his decedent.

Code 1950, § 64-131; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-139; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-515. Duty of fiduciaries as to joint accounts.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, a fiduciary charged with the administration of the estate of a decedent is not required to assert a claim on behalf of the decedent's estate to any funds on deposit in any financial institution in a joint account held, at the time of the decedent's death, in the name of the decedent and one or more other persons when the terms of the contract of deposit, or the laws of the state in which such funds are deposited, permit such financial institution to pay the funds to (i) any of such persons in whose name the account is held, whether the other, or others, are living or not, or (ii) a named survivor or survivors.

B. The fiduciary shall assert a claim to such funds if he receives a request in writing from any person interested in the estate within six months from the date of the initial qualification of the estate. The fiduciary, or his attorney, shall acknowledge in writing receipt of such request within 10 days, and if the fiduciary is the surviving cotenant of such funds, the fiduciary shall segregate such funds and place such funds in an interest-bearing account, awaiting an appropriate court order concerning the ultimate disposition of such funds. The fiduciary shall not use such funds for his own personal account. However, if the fiduciary accedes to the request that such funds be treated as estate funds, the fiduciary may distribute the funds according to law without any court order.

Code 1950, § 64-131.1; 1966, c. 600; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-140; 1970, c. 425; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-516. Duties of fiduciaries as to certain obligations of the United States.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, a fiduciary charged with the administration of the estate of a decedent is not required to assert a claim to or seek to recover the whole or any part of funds arising from the redemption or payment of bonds of the United States that are paid or payable to others under the applicable laws of the United States or rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

B. The fiduciary shall assert a claim to such funds if he receives a request in writing from any person interested in the estate within six months from the date of the initial qualification of the estate. The fiduciary, or his attorney, shall acknowledge in writing receipt of such request within 10 days, and if the fiduciary is the co-owner of such funds, the fiduciary shall segregate such funds and place such funds in an interest-bearing account, awaiting an appropriate court order concerning the ultimate disposition of such funds. The fiduciary shall not use such funds for his own personal account. However, if the fiduciary accedes to the request that such funds be treated as estate funds, the fiduciary may distribute the funds according to law without any court order.

Code 1950, § 64-131.2; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-141; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-517. Exercise of discretionary powers by surviving executors or administrators with the will annexed.

A. When discretionary powers are conferred upon the executors under any will and some, but not all, of the executors die, resign, or become incapable of acting, the executors or executor remaining shall continue to exercise the discretionary powers conferred by the will, unless the will expressly provides that the discretionary powers cannot be exercised by fewer than all of the original executors named in the will.

B. When discretionary powers are conferred upon the executors under any will and all of the executors or the sole executor if only one is named in the will dies, resigns, or becomes incapable of acting, the administrator with the will annexed appointed by the court shall exercise the discretionary powers conferred by the will upon the original executors or executor, unless the will expressly provides that the discretionary powers can only be exercised by the executors or executor named in the will.

Code 1950, § 64-132; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-142; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-518. When personal representative may renew obligation of decedent.

A. When a decedent is obligated on any note, bond, or other obligation for the payment of money that is due at the time of the decedent's death, or becomes due prior to the settlement of the decedent's estate, the decedent's personal representative may execute, in the same capacity as the decedent was obligated, a new note, bond, or other obligation for the payment of money for no more than the same amount as the sum due on the original obligation, including both principal and interest, which shall be in lieu of the obligation of the decedent, whether made payable to the original holder or another. Any note, bond, or other obligation executed by the personal representative shall be binding upon the estate of the decedent to the same extent and in the same manner as the original note, bond, or other obligation executed by the decedent.

B. The personal representative may renew such note, bond, or other obligation for the payment of money from time to time, provided, that the time for final payment of the note, bond, or other obligation, or any renewal thereof, shall not exceed two years from the qualification of the original personal representative, unless otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

C. The personal representative is not personally liable for any note, bond, or other obligation for the payment of money executed pursuant to this section.

Code 1950, § 64-133; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-143; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-519. Suits upon judgment and contracts of decedent and actions for personal injury or wrongful death.

A personal representative may sue or be sued (i) upon any judgment for or against the decedent, (ii) upon any contract of or with the decedent, or (iii) in any action for personal injury or wrongful death against or on behalf of the estate.

Code 1950, § 64-134; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-144; 2001, c. 223; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-520. Action for goods carried away, or for waste, destruction of, or damage to estate of decedent.

A. Any action for damages for the taking or carrying away of any goods, or for the waste, destruction of, or damage to any estate of or by the decedent, whether such damage be direct or indirect, may be maintained by or against the decedent's personal representative.

B. Any action pursuant to this section shall survive pursuant to § 8.01-25.

Code 1950, § 64-135; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-145; 1977, c. 624; 2004, c. 368; 2012, c. 614; 2017, cc. 43, 93.

§ 64.2-520.1. Action for damages from legal malpractice concerning estate planning.

A. An action for damages to an individual or an individual's estate, including future tax liability, resulting from legal malpractice concerning the individual's estate planning, including the provision of legal advice or the preparation of legal documents, regardless of when executed, shall accrue upon completion of the representation during which the malpractice occurred.

B. Notwithstanding § 55.1-119, but subject to any written agreement between the individual and the defendant that expressly grants standing to a person who is not a party to the representation by specific reference to this subsection, the action may be maintained only by the individual or by the individual's personal representative.

C. An action for damages pursuant to this section in which a written contract for legal services existed between the individual and the defendant shall be brought within five years after the cause of action accrues as provided in this section. An action for damages pursuant to this section in which an unwritten contract for legal services existed between the individual and the defendant shall be brought within three years after the cause of action accrues as provided in this section.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no such action shall be based upon damages that may reasonably be avoided or that result from a change of law subsequent to the representation upon which the action is based.

E. Any action pursuant to this section shall survive pursuant to § 8.01-25.

2017, cc. 43, 93.

§ 64.2-520.2. Reliance on certificate of qualification of a personal representative.

A. Any individual or entity conducting business in good faith with a personal representative who presents a currently effective certificate of qualification may presume that the personal representative is properly authorized to act as to any matter or transaction. A person that refuses in violation of this section to accept a certificate of qualification is subject to (i) a court order mandating acceptance of the certificate of qualification and (ii) liability for reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in any action or proceeding that confirms the validity of the certificate of qualification or mandates acceptance of the certificate of qualification.

B. A person shall either accept or reject a certificate of qualification no later than seven business days after presentation of such certificate of qualification for acceptance. A person is not required to accept a certificate of qualification for a transaction if:

1. Engaging in the transaction with the personal representative would be inconsistent with state or federal law;

2. The person has actual knowledge of the termination of the personal representative's authority or of the certificate of qualification before exercise of the power;

3. The person in good faith believes that the certificate of qualification is not valid or that the personal representative does not have the authority to perform the act requested; or

4. The person believes in good faith that the transaction may involve, facilitate, result in, or contribute to financial exploitation.

2020, c. 702.

Article 4. Power with Respect to Real Estate.

§ 64.2-521. Personal representatives to sell real estate devised to be sold, and to receive certain rents.

A. If the will devises real estate to be sold and no person other than the executor is appointed to sell such real estate, the executor has the power to sell and convey such real estate and to receive the proceeds of sale or the rents and profits of any real estate that the executors are authorized by the will to receive.

B. Unless a contrary intent is clearly set out in the will, if no executor qualifies, or those qualifying die, resign, or are removed, an administrator with the will annexed has the power to sell or convey the real estate devised by the will to be sold and to receive the proceeds of sale or the rents and profits of any real estate.

Code 1950, §§ 64-136, 64-137; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-146, 64.1-147; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-522. Personal representatives to pay over sale proceeds and rents to persons entitled.

An executor or administrator shall faithfully pay the rents and profits or proceeds of sale of real estate that lawfully come into his possession, or into the possession of any person for him, to such persons entitled thereto.

Code 1950, § 64-141; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-151; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-523. Personal representative may execute deed pursuant to written contract of decedent.

When any decedent has executed and delivered a bona fide written contract of sale, purchase option, or other agreement binding such deceased person, his heirs, personal representatives, or assigns, to convey any real property or any interest therein, his personal representatives may execute a deed and do all things necessary to effect the transfer of title to such real property or any interest therein to the purchaser upon the purchaser's full compliance with the terms and conditions of such contract, option, or agreement. Such transfer shall be as effective as if it had been made by the decedent. The contract, option, or agreement shall be attached to any deed executed by a personal representative pursuant to this section and the clerk shall record such contract, option, or agreement in the deed book. Any personal representative duly qualified in any other state, upon taking an oath that the decedent owed no debts in the Commonwealth and posting bond upon such terms and in such amount as may be fixed by the clerk, but not less than the value of the decedent's interest to be conveyed, may convey real property or any interest therein under the provisions of this section without qualifying in the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 64-138; 1958, c. 416; 1966, c. 346; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-148; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-524. Validation of certain conveyances by foreign executor.

A. Every conveyance of real estate within the Commonwealth made prior to June 30, 1986, by the executor under a will that, prior to such sale, has been probated according to the laws of another state without the qualification of the executor in the Commonwealth, shall be as valid and effective to pass the title of such real estate as if the executor had qualified in the Commonwealth, provided that (i) the will under which the executor acted was duly executed according to the laws of the Commonwealth, (ii) the will confers upon the executor the power to convey the real estate, and (iii) an authenticated copy of such will has been admitted to probate in the Commonwealth in the county or city in which the real estate or any part thereof is located.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any conveyance of real estate within the Commonwealth made on or after June 30, 1986, by an executor described in subsection A or the trustee of a testamentary trust established in a will where the will, prior to such sale, has been probated according to the laws of another state shall, without the qualification of the executor or the testamentary trustee in the Commonwealth, be valid and effective to pass the title of such real estate provided that (i) the executor or testamentary trustee had duly qualified according to the laws of the state where the will was probated, (ii) the will under which the executor or testamentary trustee acted was duly executed according to the laws of the Commonwealth as a valid will and confers upon the executor or testamentary trustee the power to convey the real estate so conveyed, and (iii) an authenticated copy of such will has been admitted to probate in the Commonwealth in the county or city in which the real estate or any part thereof is situated.

Code 1950, §§ 64-139, 64-140; 1958, c. 558; 1960, c. 279; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-149, 64.1-150; 1996, c. 93; 2012, cc. 61, 614.

Article 5. Liability of Personal Estate to Debts.

§ 64.2-525. Debtor's appointment as executor.

The appointment of a debtor of the estate as executor shall not extinguish his debt to the estate.

Code 1950, § 64-142; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-152; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-526. What personal estate to be sold; use of proceeds.

A. Subject to the provisions of Article 2 (§ 64.2-309 et seq.) of Chapter 3 and excluding personal estate that the will directs not to be sold, the personal representative shall sell such assets of the personal estate where the retention of such assets is likely to result in an impairment of value. In conducting such a sale, the personal representative may give reasonable credit and take bond with good security.

B. If, after the sale pursuant to subsection A, the personal estate is not sufficient to pay the funeral expenses, charges of administration, debts, and legacies, the personal representative shall sell so much of the remaining personal estate as is necessary to pay such obligations. In conducting such a sale, the personal representative shall give as much consideration as practicable to preserving specific bequests in the will and to the provisions of Article 2 (§ 64.2-309 et seq.) of Chapter 3.

C. Unless necessary for the payment of funeral expenses, charges of administration, or debts, the personal representative shall not sell personal estate that the will directs not to be sold.

Code 1950, §§ 64-143, 64-144, 64-145; 1966, c. 331; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-153, 64.1-154, 64.1-155; 1981, c. 580; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-527. Estate held for another's life; inclusion in personal estate.

Any estate for the life of another shall go to the personal representative of the party entitled to the estate and shall be applied and distributed as the personal estate of such party.

Code 1950, § 64-146; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-156; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-528. Order in which debts and demands of decedents to be paid.

When the assets of the decedent in his personal representative's possession are not sufficient to satisfy all debts and demands against him, they shall be applied to the payment of such debts and demands in the following order:

1. Costs and expenses of administration;

2. The allowances provided in Article 2 (§ 64.2-309 et seq.) of Chapter 3;

3. Funeral expenses not to exceed $4,000;

4. Debts and taxes with preference under federal law;

5. Medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, including compensation of persons attending him not to exceed $2,150 for each hospital and nursing home and $425 for each person furnishing services or goods;

6. Debts and taxes due the Commonwealth;

7. Debts due as trustee for persons under disabilities; as receiver or commissioner under decree of court of the Commonwealth; as personal representative, guardian, conservator, or committee when the qualification was in the Commonwealth; and for moneys collected by anyone to the credit of another and not paid over, regardless of whether or not a bond has been executed for the faithful performance of the duties of the party so collecting such funds;

8. Debts for child support arrearages;

9. Debts and taxes due localities and municipal corporations of the Commonwealth; and

10. All other claims.

No preference shall be given in the payment of any claim over any other claim of the same class, and a claim due and payable shall not be entitled to a preference over a claim not due.

Code 1950, § 64-147; 1956, c. 231; 1966, c. 274; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-157; 1972, c. 96; 1981, c. 580; 1986, c. 109; 1993, c. 259; 1996, c. 84; 1997, c. 801; 2007, c. 735; 2008, cc. 666, 817; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 532; 2017, c. 591.

§ 64.2-529. Creditors to be paid in order of their classification; class paid ratably; when representative not liable for paying debt.

No payment shall be made to creditors of any one class until all those of the preceding class have been fully paid, and if the assets are not sufficient to pay all the creditors of any one class, the creditors of such class shall be paid ratably; but a personal representative who, after 12 months from his qualification, pays a debt or demand of his decedent is not personally liable for any debt or demand against the decedent of an equal or superior class, whether it is of record or not, unless he had notice of such debt or demand before making such payment.

Code 1950, § 64-148; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-158; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-530. Lien acquired during lifetime of decedent not affected.

The provisions of §§ 64.2-528 and 64.2-529 shall not affect any lien acquired during the lifetime of the decedent.

Code 1950, § 64-149; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-159; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-531. Nonexoneration; payment of lien if granted by agent.

A. Unless a contrary intent is clearly set out in the will or in a transfer on death deed, (i) real or personal property that is the subject of a specific devise or bequest in the will or (ii) real property subject to a transfer on death deed passes, subject to any mortgage, pledge, security interest, or other lien existing at the date of death of the testator, without the right of exoneration. A general directive in the will to pay debts shall not be evidence of a contrary intent that the mortgage, pledge, security interest, or other lien be exonerated prior to passing to the legatee.

B. The personal representative may give written notice to the creditor holding any debt to which subsection A applies that there is no right of exoneration for such debt pursuant to this section. Such notice shall include a copy of this section. Any such notice shall be sent by certified mail (i) to the address the creditor last provided to the debtor as the address to which notices to the creditor are to be sent; (ii) if the personal representative cannot reasonably determine the address to which notices to the creditor are to be sent, to the address the creditor last provided to the debtor as the address at which payments to the creditor are to be made; or (iii) if the personal representative cannot reasonably determine either the address to which notices to the creditor are to be sent or at which payments to the creditor are to be made, to (a) the address of the creditor's registered agent on file with the Virginia State Corporation Commission or (b) if there is no such registered agent on file, to the creditor's last known address. The creditor holding such debt may file a claim for such debt with the commissioner of accounts pursuant to § 64.2-552 on or before the later of one year after the qualification of the personal representative of the decedent's estate or six months after the personal representative gives such written notice to the creditor. Once the personal representative has given notice to the creditor as provided in this section, unless the creditor files a timely claim against the estate as set forth in this subsection, the liability of a personal representative or his surety for such debt shall not exceed the assets of the decedent remaining in the possession of the personal representative and available for application to the debt pursuant to § 64.2-528 at the time the creditor presents a demand for payment of such debt to the personal representative. Nothing in this section shall affect either the liability of the estate for such debt to the extent of the decedent's assets remaining at the time a claim is filed or the liability of the beneficiaries that receive the decedent's assets to the extent of such receipt.

In the event that any such claim is timely filed with the commissioner of accounts, the personal representative shall give the specific beneficiary receiving such real or personal property written notice, within 90 days after such claim is filed, to obtain from the creditor the release of the estate from such claim. The notice to a beneficiary may be made to the personal representative of a deceased beneficiary whose estate is a beneficiary, an attorney-in-fact for a beneficiary, a guardian or conservator of an incapacitated beneficiary, a committee of a convict or insane beneficiary, or the duly qualified guardian of a minor or, if none exists, a custodial parent of a minor. If the estate has not been released from such claim after the later of 180 days from such notice or one year from qualification, the personal representative may (a) sell the real or personal property that is the subject of a specific devise or bequest and that is also subject to the claim, (b) apply the proceeds of sale to the satisfaction of the claim, and (c) distribute any excess proceeds from such sale of the specific beneficiary of such property. If the proceeds of such sale are insufficient to satisfy the debt in full, the deficiency shall remain a debt of the estate to be satisfied from the other assets of the estate in accordance with applicable law. If such real property is subject to a transfer on death deed and is also subject to the claim, the personal representative may proceed as provided in § 64.2-634 to enforce the liability for such claim against such property.

C. Subsection A shall not apply to any mortgage, pledge, security interest, or other lien existing at the date of death of the testator against any specifically devised or bequeathed real or personal property, or any real property subject to a transfer on death deed, that was granted by an agent acting within the authority of a durable power of attorney for the testator while the testator was incapacitated. For the purposes of this section, (i) no adjudication of the testator's incapacity is necessary, (ii) the acts of an agent within the authority of a durable power of attorney are rebuttably presumed to be for an incapacitated testator, and (iii) an incapacitated testator is one who is impaired by reason of mental illness, intellectual disability, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause creating a lack of sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions. This subsection shall not apply (a) if the mortgage, pledge, security interest, or other lien granted by the agent on the specific property is thereafter ratified by the testator while he is not incapacitated or (b) if the durable power of attorney was limited to one or more specific purposes and was not general in nature.

D. Subsection A shall not apply to any mortgage, pledge, security interest, or other lien existing at the date of the death of the testator against any specific devise or bequest of any real or personal property, or any real property subject to a transfer on death deed, that was granted by a conservator, guardian, or committee of the testator. This subsection shall not apply if, after the mortgage, pledge, security interest, or other lien granted by the conservator, guardian, or committee, there is an adjudication that the testator's disability has ceased and the testator survives that adjudication by at least one year.

E. Nothing in this section shall affect the priority of a secured debt with respect to the collateral securing such debt.

2007, c. 341, § 64.1-157.1; 2012, cc. 476, 507, 614; 2013, c. 390; 2017, cc. 34, 139.

Article 6. Liability of Real Estate to Debts.

§ 64.2-532. Real estate of decedent as assets for payment of debts.

If a decedent's personal estate is insufficient to satisfy the decedent's debts and lawful demands against his estate, all real estate of the decedent, including such real estate that remains after satisfying the debts with which the real estate was charged or was subject to under the decedent's will, are assets for the payment of the decedent's debts and all lawful demands against his estate. A decedent's real estate shall be applied to his debts and lawful demands against his estate in the same order that the personal estate of a decedent is applied pursuant to § 64.2-528.

Code 1950, § 64-171; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-181; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-533. Administration of assets for payment of debts.

The circuit court in which a report of the accounts of a decedent's personal representative and of the debts and demands against the decedent's estate is or may be filed may administer the real estate of the decedent in the possession of the decedent's personal representative that is an asset for the payment of the decedent's debts and demands against the decedent's estate, or any circuit court may administer such real estate.

Code 1950, § 64-172; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-182; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-534. Liability of heir or devisee for value of real estate sold and conveyed; validity of premature conveyances.

A. Any heir or devisee who sells and conveys any real estate that is an asset for the payment of a decedent's debts or lawful demands against his estate pursuant to § 64.2-532 is liable for the value of such real estate, with interest, to those persons entitled to be paid out of the real estate.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the real estate sold or conveyed is not liable to those persons entitled to be paid out of the real estate provided that (i) the sale was made more than one year after the death of the decedent, (ii) the conveyance was bona fide, and (iii) at the time of such conveyance, no action has been commenced for the administration of the real estate and no reports have been filed of the debts and demands of such creditors.

C. No sale and conveyance of such real estate made by an heir or devisee within one year after the death of the decedent is valid against creditors of such decedent, except as otherwise provided in § 64.2-535, provided that any sale and conveyance made within one year after the death of a decedent is valid against creditors as if it were made more than one year after the death of the decedent if no action has been commenced for the administration of the real estate and no report of the debts and demands has been filed within one year after the death of the decedent.

Code 1950, § 64-173; 1950, p. 606; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-183; 2012, c. 614; 2015, c. 332.

§ 64.2-535. When sale and conveyance within one year valid against creditors; proceeds paid to special commissioner; bond to obtain proceeds.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Net proceeds" means the purchase price for the real estate, including money, deferred purchase money obligations, and other securities, remaining after the payment of the expenses of sale ordinarily paid by the seller in sales of such real estate and the discharge of indebtedness and encumbrances that the real estate is primarily liable for by law.

B. Any sale and conveyance of real estate that is an asset for the payment of a decedent's debts or lawful demands against his estate pursuant to § 64.2-532 made within one year after the death of the decedent is valid against creditors of such decedent, if such real estate is sold and conveyed pursuant to a decree of a court of competent jurisdiction in an action for partition, sale of lands of persons under a disability, or other judicial sale, and the net proceeds of sale are paid to a special commissioner appointed by the court.

C. The special commissioner shall hold the net proceeds paid to him in lieu of the real estate subject to the claims of the decedent's creditors in the same manner and to the same extent as such real estate would have been if not sold until at least one year after the death of the decedent. If no claim has been asserted against the net proceeds, the special commissioner shall distribute the net proceeds to those creditors entitled thereto in proportion to their interest in the real estate upon (i) the expiration of the one-year period or (ii) at any time within the one-year period upon posting bond with such surety as may be prescribed by the court to secure any claims against the real estate or net proceeds.

D. A purchaser of any real estate sold and conveyed in accordance with this section is not required to see to the application of the purchase money.

E. The special commissioner who receives and holds such net proceeds or refunding bond shall give such bond as required by the court appointing him.

Code 1950, § 64-173.1; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-184; 1996, c. 65; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-536. Liability of heir or devisee; action by personal representative or creditor; recording notice of lis pendens; evidence.

An heir or devisee may be sued by the personal representative or any creditor to whom a claim is due for which the estate descended or devised is liable, or for which the heir or devisee is liable with regard to such estate. Any judgment for such a claim entered against the personal representative of the decedent is prima facie evidence of the claim against the heir or devisee in a suit against the heir or devisee by the personal representative or any creditor. In any suit by the personal representative or any creditor pursuant to this article, he shall record a notice of lis pendens as required by § 8.01-268 at the time of filing such suit. The personal representative or creditor has the burden to show to the satisfaction of the court that there are not sufficient personal assets in the estate to satisfy all claims against the estate.

Code 1950, § 64-174; 1968, cc. 515, 656, § 64.1-185; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-537. Action to enforce claim of less than $100; notice.

No action may be brought pursuant to this article where the amount of the claim does not exceed $100, unless, at least 30 days before the action was filed, the person or estate that is liable has been given notice that such action would be brought if the amount of the claim was not paid within such time.

Code 1950, § 64-175; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-186; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 532.

§ 64.2-538. Lien acquired during lifetime of decedent not affected.

This article shall not affect any lien acquired during the lifetime of the decedent.

Code 1950, § 64-176; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-187; 2012, c. 614.

Article 7. Apportionment of Estate Taxes.

§ 64.2-539. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article:

"Gross estate" includes any property or interest that is required to be included in the gross estate of the decedent under the estate tax law of the United States, increased by any "adjusted taxable gifts" as defined in § 2001(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

"Persons interested in the estate" includes all persons, firms, and corporations who may be entitled to receive or who have received any property or interest that is required to be included in the gross estate of the decedent or any benefit whatsoever with respect to any such property or interest, whether under a will, by intestacy, or by reason of any transfer, trust, estate, interest, right, power, or relinquishment of power taxable under any estate tax law of the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States heretofore or hereafter enacted.

Code 1950, § 64-150; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-160; 1979, c. 559; 1981, c. 98; 1994, c. 917; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-540. Apportionment required.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, whenever it appears upon any settlement of accounts or in any other appropriate action or proceeding that an executor, administrator, curator, trustee, or other person acting in a fiduciary capacity has paid an estate tax levied or assessed under the provisions of any estate tax law of the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, upon or with respect to any property required to be included in the gross estate of a decedent under the provisions of any such law, the amount of the tax so paid, together with any interest and penalty required by the taxing authority to be paid, shall be prorated among the persons interested in the estate to whom such property is or may be transferred or to whom any benefit accrues. Such apportionment shall be made in the proportion that the value of the property, interest, or benefit of each such person bears to the total value of the property, interests, and benefits received by all such persons interested in the estate. However, in making such proration each person shall have the benefit of any exemptions, deductions, and exclusions allowed by law in respect of the person or the property passing to him, and where a trust is created or other provision is made giving a person an interest in income, an estate for years, an estate for life, or any other temporary interest or estate in any property or fund, the tax on such temporary interest or estate shall be charged against and paid out of the corpus of such property or fund without apportionment between the temporary interests or estates and any remainder interests, and any interest and penalty required by the taxing authority to be paid may be charged against either the temporary interest, estate, or corpus, or partially against the temporary interest, estate, or corpus, as determined by the fiduciary paying the tax, provided that the determination is made so as to fairly balance all interests in the property or fund.

B. The amount of tax paid upon or with respect to property included in the decedent's gross estate under § 2044 of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, or any successor provision relating to certain property for which the marital deduction was previously allowed, shall be the excess of (i) the total estate tax levied or assessed under the provisions of the estate tax laws of the Commonwealth, any other state, and the United States over (ii) the estate tax that would have been levied or assessed under those provisions if the § 2044 property had not been included in the gross estate. The tax paid upon or with respect to the § 2044 property shall be prorated according to subsection A as if no other estate tax were payable under the laws of the Commonwealth, any other state, and the United States, and as if the § 2044 property constituted the entire gross estate; but it shall be prorated only among the persons interested in the estate to whom such property is or may be transferred or to whom any benefit of such property accrues. The tax determined under clause (ii) shall be prorated according to subsection A as if no other estate tax were payable under the laws of the Commonwealth, any other state, and the United States, and as if the § 2044 property were not included in the gross estate. This subsection shall apply only to estates of persons dying on or after July 1, 1986.

C. The personal representative of an estate which for tax purposes includes § 2044 property owes a duty of good faith and fair dealing to all persons interested in the estate to whom or for whom the § 2044 property may be transferred or held. The duty of good faith includes a duty to keep such persons or their designated representative reasonably informed as to the contents of the returns to be filed and as to all administrative and judicial proceedings that concern the taxes to be paid with respect to the § 2044 property, and to provide copies of the relevant portions of all returns to be filed with respect to such taxes. The designated representative of such persons shall be invited to attend any administrative conference or proceeding where valuation issues may be discussed that would have a bearing on the taxes to be paid with respect to the § 2044 property. This subsection shall apply only to estates of persons for which a federal estate tax return is required to be filed on or after July 1, 1994.

Code 1950, § 64-151; 1952, c. 294; 1954, c. 664; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-161; 1979, c. 559; 1986, c. 399; 1994, c. 917; 1997, c. 254; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-541. Recovery by executor when part of estate not in his possession.

If any property required to be included in the gross estate is not in the possession of the executor, administrator, or other fiduciary, he shall recover from the person who is in possession of such property, or from the persons interested in the estate, the amount of tax payable by the persons interested in the estate that is chargeable to such persons under the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 64-152; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-162; 1986, c. 399; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-542. Transfers not required until tax ascertained or security given.

An executor, administrator, or other fiduciary is not required to transfer, pay over, or distribute any fund or property subject to an estate tax imposed by the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States until the devisee, legatee, distributee, or other person to whom such property is transferred pays such fiduciary the amount of such tax due, or, if the apportionment of tax has not been determined, furnishes adequate security for such payment.

Code 1950, § 64-153; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-163; 1994, c. 917; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-543. Contrary provisions of will or other instrument to govern.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Includable beneficial interest" means any property, interest, or benefit included in a person's estate for estate tax purposes that passes pursuant to an instrument other than such person's will.

B. The provisions of this article shall not impair the right or power of any person by will or by written instrument executed inter vivos to make direction for the payment of estate taxes and to designate the fund or property out of which such payment shall be made. Such designated funds or property may, in addition to any property passing by testate or intestate succession, include any includable beneficial interest. Unless a larger amount is charged to a specific includable beneficial interest by the instrument creating the interest, the maximum amount of tax that each such includable beneficial interest may be charged shall be limited to its share, as determined pursuant to § 64.2-540 for the apportionment of taxes.

Code 1950, § 64-155; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-165; 1994, c. 917; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-544. Construction of direction to pay all taxes imposed on account of testator's death.

A. A general direction in a will, trust instrument, or other document to pay all taxes imposed on account of a testator's or settlor's death or similar language shall not be construed to include the following taxes unless the testator or settlor expressly manifests an intention that such taxes be paid out of his estate, trust, or other property by reference to the particular chapter, title, or section of the Internal Revenue Code providing for such taxes:

1. Additional tax imposed upon disposition or cessation of qualified use by the qualified heir with respect to qualified use property under § 2032A;

2. Taxes on general power of appointment property includable in the estate of the testator or settlor under § 2041;

3. Taxes on qualified terminable interest property includable in the estate of the testator or settlor under § 2044;

4. Taxes payable under § 2056A, upon a taxable event with respect to a qualified domestic trust as defined in that section;

5. Any generation-skipping transfer tax under Chapter 13 except direct skips occurring at death for estates of decedents dying on or after July 1, 1994; and

6. Taxes payable under § 4980A, on excess retirement accumulation.

B. Unless a contrary intention is manifest, such taxes shall be apportioned and charged to each item of funds or property generating them in the manner provided in this article.

C. The reference in subsection A to any section or chapter is to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and shall be deemed to refer to any corresponding successor sections, chapters, or Code.

1994, c. 917, § 64.1-165.1; 2012, c. 614.

Article 8. Liability of Representatives; Administrators De Bonis Non.

§ 64.2-545. Transfer of assets to administrator de bonis non; administration of assets.

A. If the powers of a personal representative have ceased and there is an administrator de bonis non of the decedent's estate, the personal representative may pay and deliver to such administrator de bonis non, with the consent of the court or clerk before which the administrator de bonis non qualified, the assets of the decedent, whether converted or not, for which such former personal representative is responsible. The court or clerk shall not consent to the payment and delivery of such assets to the administrator de bonis non unless the administrator de bonis non gives a bond sufficient to cover the additional assets to be paid or delivered to him. The administrator de bonis non shall administer such assets paid or delivered to him as assets received in due course of administration. The administrator de bonis non shall provide a receipt for such assets in the form of a voucher in the settlement of the accounts of the former personal representative. The former personal representative shall not be liable for the assets lawfully paid or delivered to the administrator de bonis non.

B. The administrator de bonis non may bring an action against the former personal representative or his estate for mismanagement or to compel the payment and delivery to the administrator de bonis non of the assets of the decedent that were wrongfully converted by the former personal representative.

C. Nothing contained in this section shall (i) limit the liability of the former personal representative and his sureties for any breach of duty committed by him with respect to the assets of the decedent's estate before they were paid over and delivered to the administrator de bonis non by him or (ii) bar the beneficiaries, creditors, or any other parties in interest from bringing any action against the former personal representative for his acts or omissions while serving as the personal representative.

Code 1950, § 64-156; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-166; 1991, c. 58; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-546. Action against representative of executor for waste.

An action may be maintained for waste of a decedent's estate against (i) the personal representative of a person who, without any lawful authority, assumes to act as an executor or (ii) the personal representative of a rightful executor or administrator.

Code 1950, § 64-157; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-167; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-547. Revival of judgment by administrator de bonis non.

If an action is pending or a judgment has been rendered in the Commonwealth in favor of a personal representative upon a contract made during or for a cause of action that accrued in the lifetime of the decedent, the administrator de bonis non of the decedent may petition for execution upon such judgment, or to revive the pending action if the personal representative who brought the action could have maintained the same.

Code 1950, § 64-158; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-168; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-548. Action against surety of personal representative; procedure.

A. An action may be brought against the surety of the personal representative for failure of the personal representative to discharge his duties faithfully if an execution on a judgment against a personal representative is returned unsatisfied.

B. The surety may plead any pleas and offer any evidence that the personal representative could have made or offered in an action against the surety of the personal representative for a devastavit.

Code 1950, §§ 64-159, 64-160; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-169, 64.1-170; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-549. Liability of personal representative or his surety.

The liability of a personal representative or his surety shall not exceed the assets of the decedent by reason of any omission or mistake in pleading or false pleading by such representative.

Code 1950, § 64-160; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-170; 2012, c. 614.

Article 9. Settlement of Accounts and Distribution.

§ 64.2-550. Proceedings for receiving proof of debts by commissioners of accounts.

A. A commissioner of accounts who has for settlement the accounts of a personal representative of a decedent shall, when requested to so do by a personal representative or any creditor, legatee, or distributee of a decedent, or may at any other time determined by the commissioner of accounts, even though no accounting is pending, conduct a hearing for receiving proof of debts and demands against the decedent or the decedent's estate. The commissioner of accounts shall publish notice of the hearing at least 10 days before the date set for the hearing in a newspaper published or having general circulation in the jurisdiction where the personal representative qualified. and shall also post a notice of the time and place of the hearing at the front door of the courthouse of the court of the jurisdiction where the personal representative qualified. The commissioner of accounts may adjourn the hearing from time to time as necessary.

B. The personal representative shall give written notice by personal service or by regular, certified, or registered mail at least 10 days before the date set for the hearing to any claimant of a disputed claim that is known to the personal representative at the last address of the claimant known to the personal representative. The notice shall inform the claimant of his right to attend the hearing and present his case, his right to obtain another hearing date if the commissioner of accounts finds the initial date inappropriate, and the fact that the claimant will be bound by any adverse ruling. The personal representative shall also inform the claimant of his right to file exceptions with the circuit court in the event of an adverse ruling. The personal representative shall file proof of any mailing or service of notice with the commissioner of accounts.

C. The commissioner of accounts may direct the personal representative, the claimant, or both of them to institute a proceeding in the circuit court to establish the validity or invalidity of any claim or demand that the commissioner of accounts deems not otherwise sufficiently proved.

Code 1950, §§ 64-161, 64-162; 1966, c. 335; 1968, cc. 385, 656, §§ 64.1-171, 64.1-172; 1981, c. 484; 1989, c. 492; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-551. Account of debts by commissioners of accounts.

The commissioner of accounts, within 60 days from the date of the hearing for receiving proof of debts and demands against the decedent or the decedent's estate or the date of the last adjournment of any such hearing, shall make out an account of all such debts or demands as have been sufficiently proved, stating separately the debts and demands of each class.

Code 1950, § 64-162; 1966, c. 335; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-172; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-552. How claims filed before commissioners of accounts; tolling of limitations period.

A. Any person who seeks to prove that he has a debt or demand against the decedent or the decedent's estate shall file his claim in writing with the commissioner of accounts, who shall endorse upon it the date of the filing and sign the endorsement in his official character.

B. If the commissioner of accounts recommends in writing the recovery or enforcement of a claim for a debt or demand against the decedent or the decedent's estate, the filing of such claim with the commissioner of accounts pursuant to subsection A shall toll any limitations period that would otherwise bar an action for the recovery or enforcement of the claim or bar the filing of such claim until the termination of the proceedings commenced under § 64.2-550.

Code 1950, § 64-163; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-173; 1989, c. 492; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-553. When court to order payment of debts.

A. Upon confirmation of a report of the accounts of any personal representative and of the debts and demands against the decedent's estate pursuant to Chapter 12 (§ 64.2-1200 et seq.), the court shall order that so much of the estate in the possession of the personal representative as is proper be applied to the payment of such debts and demands. The court, in its discretion, may order that a portion of the estate be reserved to pay all or a proportion of a claim of a surety for the decedent or any other contingent claim against the estate, or to pay all or a proportion of any other claim not finally passed upon, provided that creditors of the same class shall be paid in the same proportion.

B. For any claim allowed subsequent to any dividend where the court ordered that a portion of the estate be reserved to pay such a claim, the court shall order that the claim be paid from the estate in the possession of the personal representative, regardless of the existence of any debt or demand of superior dignity for which no reservation has been ordered. The claim shall be paid in the same proportion as creditors of the same class, provided, however, that whether there be enough reserved to pay the claim pursuant to this subsection shall not affect any dividend already paid.

C. If there are assets remaining in the possession of the personal representative after claims are paid pursuant to subsections A and B, or if further assets come into the possession of the personal representative, such surplus shall be divided among all the decedent's creditors who have proved debts and demands against the decedent's estate in the order and proportion in which they may be entitled.

Code 1950, §§ 64-164, 64-165, 64-166; 1968, c. 656, §§ 64.1-174, 64.1-175, 64.1-176; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-554. When distribution may be required; refunding bond.

A personal representative shall not be compelled to pay any legacy made in the will or to distribute the estate of the decedent for six months from the date of the order conferring authority on the first executor or administrator of such decedent and, except when it is otherwise specifically provided for in the will, the personal representative shall not be compelled to make such payment or distribution until the legatee or distributee gives a bond, executed by himself or some other person, with sufficient surety, to refund a due proportion of any debts or demands subsequently proved against the decedent or the decedent's estate and of the costs of the recovery of such debts or demands. Such bond shall be filed and recorded in the clerk's office of the court that may have decreed such payment or distribution or in which the accounts of such representative may be recorded.

Code 1950, § 64-167; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-177; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-555. When fiduciaries are protected by refunding bonds.

If any personal representative pays any legacy made in the will or distributes any of the estate of the decedent and a proper refunding bond for what is so paid or distributed, with sufficient surety at the time it was made, is filed and recorded pursuant to § 64.2-554, such personal representative shall not be personally liable for any debt or demand against the decedent, whether it be of record or not, unless, within six months from his qualification or before such payment or distribution, he had notice of such debt or demand. However, if any creditor of the decedent establishes a debt or demand against the decedent's estate by judgment therefor or by confirmation of a report of the commissioner of accounts that allows the debt or demand, a suit may be maintained on such refunding bond, in the name of the obligee or his personal representative, for the benefit of such creditor, and a recovery shall be had thereon to the same extent that would have been had if such obligee or his personal representative had satisfied such debt or demand.

Code 1950, § 64-168; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-178; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-556. Order to creditors to show cause against distribution of estate to legatees or distributees; liability of legatees or distributees to refund.

A. When a report of the accounts of any personal representative and of the debts and demands against the decedent's estate has been filed in the office of a clerk of a court, whether under §§ 64.2-550 and 64.2-551 or in a civil action, the court, after six months from the qualification of the personal representative, may, on motion of the personal representative, or a successor or substitute personal representative, or on motion of a legatee or distributee of the decedent, enter an order for the creditors and all other persons interested in the estate of the decedent to show cause on the day named in the order against the payment and delivery of the estate of the decedent to his legatees or distributees. A copy of the order shall be published once a week for two successive weeks, in one or more newspapers, as the court directs; the costs of such publication shall be paid by the petitioner or applicant. On or after the day named in the order, the court may order the payment and delivery to the legatees or distributees of the whole or a part of the money and other estate not before distributed, with or without a refunding bond, as it prescribes. However, every legatee or distributee to whom any such payment or delivery is made, and his representatives, may, in a suit brought against him within five years after such payment or delivery is made, be adjudged to refund a due proportion of any claims enforceable against the decedent or his estate that have been finally allowed by the commissioner of accounts or the court, or that were not presented to the commissioner of accounts, and the costs of the recovery of such claim. In the event any claim becomes known to the fiduciary after the notice for debts and demands but prior to the entry of an order of distribution, the claimant, if the claim is disputed, shall be given notice in the form provided in § 64.2-550 and the order of distribution shall not be entered until after expiration of 10 days from the giving of such notice. If the claimant, within such 10-day period, indicates his desire to pursue the claim, the commissioner of accounts shall schedule a date for hearing the claim and for reporting thereon if action thereon is contemplated under § 64.2-550.

B. Any personal representative who has in good faith complied with the provisions of this section and has, in compliance with or, as subsequently approved by, the order of the court, paid and delivered the money or other estate in his possession to any party that the court has adjudged entitled thereto shall not be liable for any demands of creditors and all other persons.

C. Any personal representative who has in good faith complied with the provisions of this section and has, in compliance with, or as subsequently approved by, the order of the court, paid and delivered the money or other estate in his possession to any party that the court has adjudged entitled thereto, even if such distribution shall be prior to the expiration of the period of one year provided in § 64.2-302, Article 1.1 (§ 64.2-308.1 et seq.) of Chapter 3, or § 64.2-313, 64.2-448, or 64.2-457, shall not be liable for any demands of spouses, persons seeking to impeach the will or establish another will, or purchasers of real estate from the personal representative, provided that the personal representative has contacted any surviving spouse known to it having rights of renunciation and ascertained that the surviving spouse had no plan to renounce the will, such intent to be stated in writing in the case of renunciation under § 64.2-302 or Article 1.1 (§ 64.2-308.1 et seq.) of Chapter 3, as applicable, and that the personal representative has not been notified in writing of any person's intent to impeach the will or establish a later will in the case of persons claiming under § 64.2-448 or 64.2-457 or under a later will.

D. In the case of such distribution prior to the expiration of such one-year period, the personal representative shall take refunding bonds, without surety, to the next of kin or legatees to whom distribution is made, to protect against the contingencies specified in this section.

Code 1950, § 64-169; 1966, c. 335; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-179; 1980, c. 439; 1982, c. 588; 1989, c. 492; 1991, c. 527; 1996, c. 352; 2005, c. 681; 2012, c. 614; 2016, cc. 187, 269.

§ 64.2-557. Form for notice to show cause under § 64.2-556.

Any notice to show cause published or posted in pursuance of the requirements of § 64.2-556 may be substantially in the form following:

Virginia: In the _______________ Court of _______________

the __________ day of _______________

Re: ____________________, deceased.

SHOW CAUSE ORDER

It appearing that a report of the accounts of ____________________, Personal Representative of the estate of ____________________, deceased, and of the debts and demands against (his) (her) estate has been filed in the Clerk's Office, and that six months have elapsed since the qualification, on motion of ____________________, (a distributee;) (a legatee;) (the personal representative;) IT IS ORDERED that the creditors of, and all others interested in, the estate do show cause, if any they can, on the __________ day of _______________ (before this Court at its courtroom) at ____________________ against the payment and delivery of the Estate of ____________________, deceased, to (the distributees) (the legatees) (without requiring refunding bonds) (with or without refunding bonds as the Court prescribes).

A Copy -- Teste:
________________________________________
Clerk

________________________________________, p.q.

Code 1950, § 64-170; 1968, c. 656, § 64.1-180; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-558. Distribution to persons standing in loco parentis to certain beneficiaries.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a distribution to a person standing in loco parentis to an incapacitated person or an infant pursuant to authorization under subdivision B 17 of § 64.2-105 or a comparable provision in a will or trust instrument may be approved by the commissioner of accounts without regard to the amount or value of the fund or property.

1980, c. 507, § 64.1-180.1; 1997, c. 801; 2012, c. 614.