Inheritance Law in Virginia

When a person creates an estate plan, they do so to prepare for what will happen to their assets after their death. In doing so, they may create a will or trust to ensure the assets do not fall into the wrong hands. An estate plan allows an individual to give their possessions to their beneficiaries. A beneficiary is a person or an entity that inherits a deceased individual’s assets. While an estate goes through probate, beneficiaries may find it helpful to contact an experienced attorney for assistance to protect their rights to certain assets during this process.

Minor Beneficiaries

When people leave their estate to beneficiaries, they sometimes leave assets to younger children for them to have when they grow older. If an estate, trust, or life insurance policy is left to a child beneficiary, a Guardian may be required to oversee and manage them. This can be until the child is 18 years old or an otherwise specified age. There are some cases in which this is stated in the will or trust. Other times, an individual passes away without a plan. It is important for beneficiaries to have the help of an attorney during this time, as the process can sometimes become difficult.

Tax Obligation

In the state of Virginia, there is no estate or inheritance tax. However, this does not mean there are no taxes to file after an individual dies. These taxes may include:

  • Final individual federal income tax returns
  • Final individual state income tax returns
  • Federal estate and trust income tax return
  • Federal estate tax return


When an individual passes away, the will in their estate plan must go through probate. This process works to see if a will is a valid document. There are some cases in which a beneficiary may be suspicious of the content within a will and believe that the document may not be legal.  In the event of this, the beneficiary may wish to contest a will is they believe the following:

  • The deceased did not sign their will
  • There were not witnesses present to the signing
  • The deceased was coerced into signing their will

If a beneficiary is not convinced the will was properly created, they may contest it to determine its validity. An experienced attorney can advise a beneficiary through this process.

Contact our Firm

If you are a beneficiary to an estate and wish to seek more information about your rights, contact JD Katz, Attorneys at Law today.

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.