JGB Probate Process

The JGB Process

A Virginia Firm Handling Estate Planning & Probate

Probate can be daunting for the surviving family and the Personal Representative or Executor. At the beginning of the probate process, a Personal Representative encounters piles of paper and faces many decisions in the midst of a very difficult time. Johnson, Gasink & Baxter, LLP (JGB) helps families navigate the probate process so they can focus on their families instead of forms, courts, and deadlines.

Learn more about the probate process below. If you need legal assistance, contact our attorneys at 888.487.9899 to schedule a consultation at one of our Virginia offices.

Initial Meeting

Our first step is to meet with the Personal Representative to review the case. We will listen and learn about the will, the assets in the estate, and any other circumstances that may affect the case. At the end of the meeting, we will provide a quote for our legal fees to help administer the estate.

The Handbook

Once we are hired, we provide a copy of our proprietary handbook for estate administration. This book guides the Personal Representative through the entire process from start to finish.

It includes:

  • Definitions
  • Sample forms
  • A ‘playbook’ for what to expect

Initial Qualification

We coordinate your initial meeting with the Probate Clerk. We will prepare you and your paperwork for the meeting and will send someone to attend with you, when possible. We have found that our advice in this step alone has saved clients a lot of time and thousands of dollars. With careful guidance from JGB, this is a short and pleasant meeting without any surprises.

Initial filings

Various papers need to be filed in the first 30 days after qualification. We prepare and proof the initial filings for the Personal Representatives. All you have to do is approve and sign.

The Inventory

The first major filing of the estate is the Inventory. JGB helps you:

  • Collect relevant paperwork
  • Sift through confusing details
  • Prepare the Inventory for your signature
  • Coordinate the filings with the court
  • Make sure everything is done within deadlines

Debts & Distributions

Personal Representatives can be stressed by not knowing what bill or beneficiary should be paid or whose claim gets priority over the others. JGB provides guidance to the Personal Representatives so that he or she knows when it is appropriate to disperse funds.


The most onerous task in a typical probate is the Accounting, which requires a Personal Representative to explain the status and disposition of every cent of the estate to the Commissioner of Accounts. The accounting is a complicated form. JGB helps collate and process the information, coordinates with the assigned Commissioner so that the accounting follows local formatting rules, and prepares the paperwork.

All the client needs to do is give us the statements and information, then approve and sign the filing. We will make sure everything is correct and on-time.

Closing the Estate

JGB remains involved until the last cent is distributed and the Commissioner of Accounts has closed the estate. A probate can last from six months to more than three years. We will stand by your side until the estate is done and you are released from your duty by the Commissioner.

Create an Estate Plan that Changes with Your Growing Needs

At JGB, we know that tomorrow may bring sudden and unexpected surprises or life-changing events. For that reason, enjoying the present can be a gift that is easily taken for granted. Instead of worrying about the future, take a proactive step by implementing an effective estate plan can help give you the peace of mind you need despite life’s changes.

Don’t get lost in the mire of the complex legalities. Simply knowing that you have done everything within your reasonable control to help protect your legacy and your loved ones can be one of the most critical things you can do to ensure the financial security and well-being of your family. Our TrustGuard™ service makes it easier to maintain an up-to-date estate plan that can be modified and managed as your life changes.



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