Probate is the official proving of a will as the authentic and valid last will and testament of a deceased person by admitting the document to record in the appropriate Clerk's Office. Probate of a decedent's estate should take place in the City or County where the deceased person resided at his death. If the decedent died in a nursing home or similar institution, then that person's residence is presumed to be where he or she resided prior to becoming a patient at such institution. It becomes necessary to probate an estate when the decedent owns assets (personal or real estate) solely in his name, i.e., assets that do not have a joint or co-owner with rights of survivorship.

No appointment required.
Walk-ins: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
NO walk-ins after 3:00 pm

Items Required for Probate

  • Original Will & Codicils, if applicable. These will be retained by the Clerk.
  • Certified Death Certificate (This will be returned to you) or a copy of the funeral program, obituary or statement from funeral home.
  • Approximate value of any solely held asset(s). Assets include but are not limited to bank or investment accounts, stocks, bonds,   real estate, automobiles, etc.
  • Names & addresses of the decedent’s heirs-at-law. Heirs-at-law are the decedent’s closest relatives, pursuant to § 64.2-200. They may be different than the Will’s beneficiaries.
  • Valid photo identification. Driver’s license, passport, military ID, or state issued picture ID
  • Fiduciary and Recording Fees will apply. The fee is $1.33 per $1,000.00 value of the decedent’s estate and the actual fee due will be determined at the time you are appointed. We accept cash, check, debit or credit cards for payment. There is a flat $2.00 fee for credit or debit card transactions for $50.00 or less and a 4% service fee for credit or debit card transactions over $50.00.

Have Questions

Where can one go for more information or answers to specific questions:
  • Talk to the Clerk of the Circuit Court or the probate clerk. They will give you specific instructions at the time of probate.
  • Talk to your attorney.
  • View Probate in Virginia Administration of Estates (PDF), a comprehensive guide to assist persons who are involved in the administration of a decedent’s estate in Virginia, prepared and issued by the Virginia Court Clerks’ Association.