As a nominated trustee do I need to qualify before the clerk of court in the county where the trusts are going to be created?

My mother’s Will, which created 2 testamentary trusts, was probated in PA. However; the trusts are going to be established in VA. Since the Will was not probated in VA but the trusts created by the Will are going to be established there, do I as the person who was nominated in the Will as testamentary trustee, need to formally qualify before the clerk of the circuit court?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are the designated trustee of the resulting trust set forth in the Will of your mother, there is no need at all for court intervention or approval for these two trusts or of you as the designated trustee. The reason for this is that Wills are probated through the court system and a probate is a public record.

Likewise, when a person passes away without a Will and there are assets that need to be distributed, an intestate proceeding is filed by an interested person in the superior court of the county and state where the deceased person last lived. An intestacy proceeding is a public proceeding.

However, when it comes to a trust, a trust is not a public record document unless there is a dispute between beneficiaries of the trust.

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