Hearings conducted by the commissioner are heard in the Commissioner of Accounts Office, not the Courthouse. On some occasions, simpler hearings may be held remotely. While the hearings are informal, the commissioner will require advocates to present testimony and exhibits in support of their positions and routinely will request briefs from counsel on complex issues of law.
The commissioner charges the estate for the conduct of the hearing, the preparation and filing of the report, and the cost of advertising. The charge for uncontested debts and demand hearings is set forth in the Commissioner’s Fee Schedule on this website. For all other hearings, the commissioner charges hearing fees based upon the time required, complexity of the issues presented, and efforts required to prepare and file the report.
The commissioner prepares a report after the hearing and receipt of any subsequent briefs, and files it with the Court. A commissioner’s report will stand confirmed by law fifteen days after the report has been filed with the court in the absence of any objections being filed thereto.
If the parties file exceptions to the report, the Circuit Court reviews those exceptions and has plenary authority to accept or reject the findings and conclusions of the commissioner.
To file an exception to the commissioner’s report, a party must follow the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Probate Division’s “Procedures for Filing an Exception to a Personal Representative’s Accounting or a Commissioner of Accounts’ Report”. The Commissioner of Accounts Office cannot assist with this procedure. Any questions should be directed to your legal counsel.
Debts & Demands
Either the fiduciary or the claimant can request a debts and demands hearing before the commissioner. The fiduciary must give disputed notice to the creditor if the estate disputes a claim.
In the case of an insolvent estate, the commissioner recommends that the personal representative file an interim accounting as soon as practical and that the fiduciary request a hearing on debts and demands to determine the validity and priority of the claims against the estate in accordance with Virginia Code § 64.2-528.
Determination of priorities among competing claims is complex, and if a fiduciary makes disbursements which do not reflect the priorities which Virginia law establishes, the fiduciary may be personally responsible for any improper payments.
After notice, including advertisement, and an opportunity to be heard, the commissioner shall determine the claim(s) and file the report with the Court. Such reports are to be filed within 60 days of the hearing.
Virginia Code § 64.2 – 1209
Generally, a hearing pursuant to § 64.2-1209 may encompass “anything which could be insisted upon or objected to by [an] interested person as if the commissioner of accounts were acting under an order of a Circuit Court.”
This office will not hold a hearing pursuant to § 64.2-1209 if the matter is the subject of a suit pending before the Court. Additionally, this office typically will not hold a hearing pursuant to § 64.2-1209 until after the first account is filed.