Probate Division

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of handling a decedent's estate. It may include probating a will, if there is one, and the appointment of someone as executor or administrator to handle the estate.
  • Probate must take place in the county or city where the decedent last resided.
  • If the decedent was in a nursing home, probate will usually take place where they resided prior to entering the nursing home.
  • Rockingham County Circuit Court jurisdiction would include anyone residing in Rockingham County or the City of Harrisonburg.
  • Probate is not mandatory. The estate may not need to be probated if the decedent:
    • Held their entire assets jointly with survivorship with someone else
    • Held everything in a living trust
  • Probate assets would only include things held solely in the decedent's name alone with no beneficiary listed.

How to Schedule an Appointment For Probate

Deputy Clerk Cindy Cline specializes in the probate process and is prepared to set up an appointment with you once you have gathered the necessary information. Due to the time involved in preparing the paperwork for probating a will and/or appointing an executor or administrator, appointments are required.
More information and guides are available.

Helpful Guide

For more information, view A Guide to the Administration of Decedents’ Estates in Virginia created by The Virginia Bar Association that answers many commonly asked questions about estates from the funeral to qualifying as a personal representative of the estate.