West Virginia offers a probate shortcut for "small estates." This makes it easier for survivors to transfer property left by a person who has died. You may be able to transfer a large amount of property using the following probate shortcut -- saving time, money, and hassle.
West Virginia has a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, an executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.
You can use the simplified small estate process in West Virginia if the value of the estate, not counting real estate, is $100,000 or less; or if the personal representative is the sole beneficiary of the estate; or if surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary of the estate; or if all the beneficiaries state that no disputes are likely, there are enough assets to pay debts and taxes, and the executor agrees. W. Va. Code § 44-3A-5.
For help determining if an estate qualifies for one of these probate shortcuts, or handling an estate in general, see The Executor's Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo), or Estate Planning Basics, by Denis Clifford (Nolo).