Resigning as Administrator of a Virginia Estate
I qualified as an administrator of my aunt’s estate. I don’t want to be an administrator any more. What can I do?
There’s a way you can resign. Don’t get too excited–resigning isn’t as easy as qualifying.
To resign, Virginia law says you need the permission of the court. Yes, you read that correctly–it’s the court, not the clerk’s office or the commissioner of accounts, whose permission you need. That’s in § 64.2-1424 of the Virginia Code.
So, how do you get the court’s permission? You prepare and file a petition (which is basically a legal document requesting that the court allow you to resign). You’ll also need the documents that go with the petition–an order and a certificate of service. While you might be able to figure everything out on your own, it’s probably a good idea to get the help of a Virginia lawyer who regularly handles probate matters for this. Even after you do all that, the court doesn’t have to let you resign–the court has the discretion to allow you to resign or not.
Having someone to take over as administrator will be important to the court. If you’re serving with others as a co-administrator and the others will continue serving after you resign, no one needs to be appointed to take over upon your resignation. If you’re serving alone, the court can appoint an administrator de bonis non. “De bonis non” is Latin for “of the goods not administered”, and you may see it abbreviated as “d.b.n.”
Even after you’ve resigned, you’re still responsible (i.e., liable) for everything you did while you were serving as administrator. And you still have to file your accounting for the time you were serving.
An important note: the explanation in this post doesn’t apply if you haven’t gone to the clerk’s office and qualified yet.Tags: Choosing Fiduciaries Probate