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Estate Administration Final Account

The final account distributes all remaining assets of the estate.  The estate account must show a zero balance on hand.   The fiduciary must file an originally signed tax certificate with the final account.  A final account will not be approved until six months have elapsed from the date of qualification.

The final account of a fiduciary is subject to special scrutiny.  The distributions to the beneficiaries must conform to the requirements of the will or the laws of descent and distribution, whichever are applicable. Thus, the fiduciary must address any disproportionate distributions made in prior accounts and the fiduciary must satisfy all specific bequests. Often events outside the probate record affect distributions. If corporate beneficiaries go out of existence or if individual beneficiaries pass away prior to probate of the will, these facts may not be apparent on the face of the probate record. A simple statement of facts attached to the final account can greatly assist in the review and approval of that account.

In addition, when the will calls for direct distribution to minor children, executors also seek alternatives to the appointment of guardians for the minors. The commissioner’s office can assist in several ways. Under § 64.2-1904 of the Virginia Code, a fiduciary may make a distribution for a minor directly to an account established pursuant to the Virginia Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (“VUTMA”)1 in any amount if expressly authorized in the will or trust. Similarly under § 64.2-105.17 of the Virginia Code, a fiduciary is authorized to transfer funds in any amount to a VUTMA account for a beneficiary who is a minor or under a disability. Under § 64.2-558 of the Virginia Code, a commissioner is authorized to approve such distributions without regard to amount or value.

In the absence of authority in the will or trust, if the trust is for the benefit of minor children or the distribution is direct to the minor, under § 64.2-1905 of the Virginia Code, a fiduciary may make a distribution for a minor to a VUTMA account. However, the statutory provision is limited to a distribution of $25,000 absent Court approval.2  Under § 8.01-606 of the Virginia Code, if a person is due funds in the amount of $25,000 or less, the commissioner may direct the payment of those funds to the persons entitled to those amounts without the intervention of a fiduciary. In Fairfax, the commissioner will permit the direct disbursement to a VUMTA account where a testamentary trust is created solely for beneficiaries who are minors, either under § 8.01-606, § 64.2-1904, or § 64.2-1905 or using § 64.2-105.17 where both the executor and the trustee concur.

Since a final account needs to show a zero balance, most fiduciaries question how the final filing fee can be paid to the commissioner.  The fiduciary should calculate the final account filing fee using the fee schedule under the Commissioner’s Fees tab. 3  Once determined, there are several ways to pay the fee:

  • Prepay the filing fee and report the payment as a disbursement on the account.  Please include “prepayment of final account” on the memo of your check.
  • Advance the filing fee to your attorney’s escrow account.  Your attorney can pay the fee from his account when the final account is filed. 
  • Advance the filing fee to your personal account.  You may then pay the fee from your personal account when the final account is filed. 
  • Pay the filing fee from the estate account when you file and submit the zero bank statement once the check clears.  Please include a statement in your cover letter that a copy of the bank statement will be forthcoming.  Your account will not be approved until the statement is provided.


1  Va. Code Ann. §§ 64.2-1900-2028 et seq.

2  Va. Code Ann. § 64.2-1905.C  (effective July 1, 2014; prior thereto the limit was $10,000).

3  If you are uncertain about figuring the fee, email a copy of the final account summary page to and request a fee quote.



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