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Monday - Friday | 8 am - 5 pm

400 West Stephen Street, 1st Floor, Suite 108
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25401


Fax 304-267-7830

Will Lorensen, Supervisor

Janet C. Holzhauser, Deputy

Colleen Stephens, Deputy, Ext: 6104

Christina Isenberg, Coordinator, Ext: 6102


is a process that includes determining when a Will is valid as well as administering the estate of deceased person. Probate protects the rights of creditors to claim against an estate and insures any remaining assets are distributed to the person or persons entitled to receive them, either by Will or intestacy.


In 1982 the West Virginia legislature created within the County Commission (Council) the Office of Fiduciary Supervisor (West Virginia Code 44, Article 3A). Known as the “optional procedure” for estate settlement this statute aids and assists County Commissions (Councils) in the administration of wills and estates. The 1982 legislature required use of the optional procedure in Kanawha County. A number of West Virginia counties have adopted the optional procedure as did Berkeley County in 1987.


assists in the probate process. We do not provide legal advice. Most estates are settled in less than one year, many in six months or less. An attorney is not required however estates with extraordinary issues may require the representative seek legal counsel.


Carefully read the following to prepare for qualification and appointment as Fiduciary (Executor/Administrator) of an estate. Although you may be named Executor/ix by Will you do not have legal authority to serve in that capacity until the Will is admitted to probate and you’ve signed an application, affidavit and oath for which security may be required. When death occurs the probate process should begin within thirty (30) days.

If you would like to expedite the process when visiting then please be sure to fill out/print out the documents included in the checklists before your visit.

Immediate Appointment of an Estate Representative will not be Possible in every Situation.

Depending upon estate circumstances requirements for appointment will vary. Letters of Administration will not be issued until all qualification requirements are met.