A. Property specifically bequeathed or devised shall not be used to satisfy the right to exempt property and the homestead allowance if there are sufficient assets in the estate otherwise to satisfy such rights. Subject to this restriction, the surviving spouse or the guardian of the minor children may select property of the estate as exempt property and the homestead allowance. The personal representative may make these selections if the surviving spouse or the guardian of the minor children is unable or fails to do so within a reasonable time, or if there is no guardian of the minor children. The personal representative may execute a deed of distribution to establish the ownership of property taken as the homestead allowance or exempt property, which deed, if executed, shall (i) describe the property with reasonable certainty and (ii) state the value of each asset included therein. The personal representative may determine the family allowance in a lump sum or periodic installments in accordance with § 64.2-309. The personal representative may disburse funds of the estate in payment of the family allowance and in payment of any part of the exempt property or the homestead allowance that is payable in cash.
B. The personal representative or any interested person aggrieved by any selection, determination, payment, proposed payment, or failure to act under this section may petition the circuit court for appropriate relief, including the award of a family allowance that is larger or smaller than what the personal representative determined or could have determined. Such petition may be ex parte; provided, however, that the court in its discretion may require such notice to and the convening of interested parties as it may deem proper in each case.
1981, c. 580, § 64.1-151.4; 1996, c. 549; 2001, c. 368; 2012, c. 614.