When I die, how will my will be used to distribute my property?

Before you die, you are in charge of making sure your will is kept in a safe place or with a trusted person. Upon your death, your will is likely to be delivered to the clerk of the county commission. If someone else has your will, they must deliver your will to the executor named in the will or the clerk within thirty days after your death is known to the person in possession of your will. If your will is given to the executor, the executor must then deliver it to the clerk within a reasonable time or file a petition in court to seek appointment of your personal representative. 

After your personal representative gains control to execute your will, he/she will determine what your assets are, pay off your debts, and distribute the rest of your estate to your beneficiaries. The process of your executor administering your will is called probate. 

For more information, see: W. Va. Code §§ 41-5-1, et seq. (2015).