Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Chapter 5. Personal Representatives and Administration of Estates
12/4/2022

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.