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The decedent is the deceased, i.e. the person who left the estate. A decedent has died testate if he or she has left a valid will. If a person dies intestate (without leaving a valid will), the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in effect at the time of death, determine who the heirs are and who will therefore receive the decedent's property. The person who the court appoints to administer the estate for the decedent is called an executor if specified in the will or a personal representative if no executor was specified. Executors and personal representatives are also referred to generically as administrators or fiduciaries. Other people involved in the administration of estates include the Commissioner of Accounts (a local person appointed by the circuit court to oversee the administration of estates), the circuit court clerk and his or her deputies, and the circuit court judges.
The will (last will and testament) is a legal document drawn up by a person and/or his or her attorney to specify how a person's property should be distributed and who should administer the affairs of the estate. A copy of a document is certified by a circuit court deputy clerk to indicate that it is a true and complete copy of the original. An exemplified copy also contains the official seals of the judges and clerk of the circuit court.
To probate a will is to officially prove it as the authentic and valid last will and testament of the deceased and admit it to record. Qualification and appointment of a personal representative may or may not accompany probate. If a decedent owns real estate in multiple jurisdictions in Virginia, the will should be probated in the jurisdiction where he or she resided and then a certified copy recorded in the other jurisdictions. If real estate is owned in another state, an exemplified copy of the will must be probated in that state.
If there is a will, and an executor or executors is named in the will, the person or persons specified will qualify. If there is a will, but no executor is named or the specified executor refuses or ceases to serve, the circuit court may grant administration to an alternate executor or a beneficiary of the will.
If there is no will, the surviving spouse is given preference in the appointment of a personal representative, followed by the other natural distributees (children, parents, etc.). Anyone having an interest in the estate may qualify after 60 days have elapsed since written notice has been given to the other heirs. Whoever is appointed as an executor must take an oath to faithfully perform the duties required and must give bond in an amount at least equal to the value of the estate. If the will does not waive surety, surety must be given on the bond.
No. There are over 200 sections in the Code of Virginia that deal solely with the administration of estates. You should contact the Clerk of Circuit Court's Office if you have any questions regarding probate procedure. You should contact an attorney if you have any questions regarding the legal interpretation of Virginia's estate laws.
The City of Roanoke, along with all other jurisdictions in the State of Virginia, oversees permitting and inspections by use of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC). The provisions of the USBC are based on nationally recognized building and fire codes published by the International Code Council, Inc. The model codes are made part of the USBC through a regulatory process known as incorporation by reference. The USBC also contains administrative provisions governing the use of the model codes and establishing requirements for the enforcement of the code by the local building departments and other code enforcement agencies. The current version of the USBC is known as the 2015 Edition of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and was effective throughout Virginia on September 4, 2018.
Application for a permit shall be made to the building official and a permit shall be obtained prior to commencing any of the following activities: Construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion or demolition of a building or structure, including the installation or altering of any equipment regulated by the USBC; Change of Occupancy of an existing structure when a new certificate is required by the USBC; movement of a lot line that increases the hazard to or decreases the level of safety of an existing building or structure; removing or disturbing any asbestos containing materials during demolition, alteration, renovation of or additions to buildings or structures.
There are a lot of situations (repairs, for one) where a building permit is not required. View Permits required and exemptions to find out what is and is not covered.
View more about building permit requirements online.
Many hearing impaired persons have a TDD (Telecommunicating Device for the Deaf), a keyboard hooked into a telephone. They simply type instead of talk. The 911 dispatchers also have a TDD and can type back to the caller.
Our center is also able to receive text messages to 911. If your phone provider allows, you may send us a text message. Our dispatchers will be able to communicate with you via text just as effectively.
The E-911 Center uses a third party language translation service to provide a translator for the language needed. The translator will stay on the line throughout the call to relay information between the caller and the dispatcher. This service is paid for by the City of Roanoke.
9-1-1 is the 3 digit telephone number designated in the United States as the universal emergency number.
You should call 911 to report any police, fire, or medical emergency. Non-Emergencies can be reported at 540-344-6681.
A Communications Officer will answer your call and ask you several questions about your emergency. Based on the nature of the emergency, the dispatcher will summon police, fire, or emergency medical response. When you call 911, tell the dispatcher your exact location, or as much information about your location as possible, the nature of the emergency (someone has a gun, my house is on fire, my neighbor collapsed, etc.), how many people are injured, if any, and names and descriptions of the people involved in the emergency. Answering these questions does not delay the response since the dispatcher will enter your situation in the system as soon as basic information such as location is provided.
Answering the additional questions ensures you get the best response to your situation. Adding any conditions which could make the situation unsafe for responding personnel or bystanders (weapons, gas leaks, disabled vehicles, animals, etc.) is beneficial as well.
Stay on the line until the dispatcher hangs up. You may be able to provide the dispatcher with additional information as emergency personnel respond, or the dispatcher may be able to provide you with emergency instructions.
As soon as your call is received, the information is sent to the appropriate agency for dispatching. All calls must be prioritized to insure the safety of the citizens and the responding personnel. Calls that occurred earlier in the day may be held so more urgent calls may be dispatched first.
Some situations are more urgent than others. Most often these calls are calls in progress, such as breaking-and-entering, assaults, and suicide attempts. All calls involving weapons are considered urgent calls and are dispatched immediately. Weapons can consist of objects such as guns, knives, baseball bats, broom handles, bottles, and razors. All weapons pose a threat to citizens as well as the responding personnel. It is very important to tell the dispatcher if a weapon is or was involved in the emergency.
Callers to 911 may request their information not be shared with responding police, fire or medical personnel if this information is not relevant to the emergency. However all calls to 911 are recorded in case they are needed in later investigations and are a matter of public record. Under Virginia law these records are accessible to the public.
Many hang-up 911 calls are made by children playing on the phone. This is especially true with old deactivated cell phones. By law even deactivate cell phones are still able to dial 911. Each time this happens, a 911 dispatcher will try to immediately call the phone back to determine whether or not there is an emergency. If there is no answer on callback, police are dispatched. If there is an answer on callback, the dispatcher will attempt to speak to an adult to insure all is well. We are unable to call back deactivated cell phones back to verify if there is an emergency or not. If you wish to give your child an old cell phone to play with we ask you to remove the batteries so they don't accidentally call 911 and for their own safety.
We ask adults to not punish children who call 911 and hang up, but rather explain to them 911 should only be used in an emergency. If children are punished for accidentally calling 911, it may scare them from ever using it in the future, whether they have a legitimate emergency or not.
Our Community Involvement Team is able to give presentations to groups of children and demonstrate 911 using our simulator. Children can practice calling 911 in a learning environment, both using a home telephone and a coin telephone. They will see a real dispatcher answer their call for help. They also learn what information will be asked of them and why. We explain kids save lives, too. This program has been very successful in day care centers and elementary schools. The simulator is mainly for children, but we do have a program geared for adults as well. We have found elderly adults enjoy learning how the 911 system works as well.
To arrange a demonstration for your group, please contact the E-911 Center at 540-853-5827.
911 only handles emergency medical needs. If you need transportation for a scheduled appointment contact your medical care provider or insurance company to arrange non-emergency transportation.
The Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection maintains a list of pets missing or located and may be reached at 540-344-4922.
In the city, issues with loose or vicious dogs are handled by the Animal Wardens. Call 911 if it is an emergency situation with a vicious dog or 540-344-6681 for non-emergency situations.
The city Animal Wardens have animal traps that can be utilized based on availability and necessity to help capture stray cats. Monitoring the trap and letting the wardens know when they have captured an animal or when they need to be picked up are your responsibility. Call 540-853-5303 or 540-853-2387 to request a trap.
The city Animal Wardens do not handle wild animals unless they are a direct threat to public safety. This means they typically will only deal with domestic animals (cats and dogs). You can contact a licensed trapper or a critter removal service which you can find in your local phone directory. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries offers a Wildlife Conflict Resolution help line at 855-571-9003, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Power and other utility outages should be reported directly to the appropriate utility. You can call Appalachian Power (AEP) at 800-956-4237
If there is an immediate hazard such as a live wire down or electrical fire then you may call 911 to make the area safe, however AEP will still need to respond to fix the electrical problem.
Contact the city Solid Waste Management Office at 540-853-2000 - Option 1. Their webpage, linked below, is also an excellent resource for information.
For other non-emergency request for assistance you can call the city at 853-2000.
At that point, it was decided that high-quality, less-restrictive, community-based services would be provided to these children if the funds were managed at the local level.
The Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) is comprised of the supervisory-level staff from the same agencies as the CPMT as well as the parent and private providers. These teams work with the families to develop the Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP). If the services needed are beyond what is available in the participating agencies and there are no other family or community resources available, the team may choose to purchase them with local CSA pool funds.
In the City of Roanoke, "non-mandated" funds are available to some children and families served by the Community Services Board (Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare), Court Services Unit, Roanoke City Public Schools and the local Department of Social Services. These funds are limited, and the City of Roanoke is not required to appropriate funds to serve this population.
Roanoke City Council meetings are held in the City Council Chamber which is located in the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, 215 Church Avenue, S. W., Room 450.
Citizens who wish to speak may register on the date of the meeting at the entrance of the City Council Chamber before 2:00 p.m. Citizens may also pre-register by calling the City Clerk's Office at (540) 853-2541, Monday through Friday, (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.), prior to and including the date of the Council meeting.
Speaker forms will not be accepted for the Council Meeting once the meeting has convened. Any material needing to be distributed to City Council Members must be reviewed by the City Clerk before the start of the meeting.
Speakers appearing before City Council will not be allowed to: Campaign for public office, promote private business ventures, engage in personal attacks, use profanity or vulgar language. Speakers who violate these rules will be declared out of order and shall immediately yield the floor and be seated.
The Office of Planning, Building and Development shall determine the required fees. A statement determining compliance with the Zoning Ordinance will be prepared by the Secretary or Agent to the City Planning Commission and attached to the application.
The applicant is responsible for any and all advertising costs incurred for advertisement of applications for public hearings before the City Planning Commission and City Council and will be billed by the City or the local newspapers for such costs.
For further information, please contact:
Tina M. Carr, Secretary, Roanoke City Planning Commission at (540) 853-1730
The Commissioner of the Revenue will respond to the organization in writing after adetermination of tax-exempt status has been made. If the organization is alreadyeligible for tax-exempt status and the intended use of the property is determined to beconsistent with the mission of the organization, the organization will be so informed inwriting.
For further information, please contact:
Commissioner of the Revenue's Office at (540) 853-2521 City Clerk's Office at (540) 853-2541
You can apply for your marriage license by mail.
Both parties must be present to apply for a marriage license. You must both be at least 18 years of age and present valid government issued identification that is not expired (ie; passport, drivers license, id card). If an interpreter is needed you should bring one with you. Neither the bride or groom can interpret for the other. Your marriage license must be used within 60 days or returned to our office. The license must be returned to our office within five days after the marriage occurs. It can be used anywhere in the state of Virginia and your Officiant must have been approved to perform licenses by any circuit court in Virginia. The costs for the marriage license is $30.00 and we accept cash, MasterCard and Visa. There is a $2.00 convenience fee when a card is used for payment. Once you are married and the Officiant has returned the completed copies of the marriage license you can get certified copies. You may present these to employers, insurers, social security or the DMV. The certified copies are $2.50 each
Brenda S Hamilton is the Clerk of Circuit Court for the City of Roanoke and is authorized to perform marriages. Due to COVID-19 she is not performing wedding ceremonies at this time.
The Circuit Court of the City of Roanoke accepts online payments for criminal and traffic fines and costs. You cannot make payments over the phone. Mail payments may be made by check or money order to the Roanoke City Circuit Court 315 Church Avenue SW, 3rd Floor Roanoke, VA 24016, payable to the Clerk of Circuit Court, and make reference to your case number(s).
In order to obtain a concealed handgun permit you must be 21 years of age or older, have a valid government-issued photo ID, be a resident of the City of Roanoke, and provide proof of competency with a handgun. Click Here
Cecilia Mcghee 540-853-6712
Kim Simmons 540-853-5832
Kara Stapleton 540-853-6710
Until further notice appointments are required for all probate matters.
Each application must be made under oath or affirmation, and will require the following information: address, date and place of birth, felony conviction, names (yours, parents), and whether you're presently incarcerated.
The fee to apply for adult name change and a child name change is $41, payable by cash, check or a Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card. Effective July 1, 2012, the following service fees apply if using a Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card. The service fee for charges $50 and under will be $2. The service fee for charges over $50 will be assessed at 4%.
The license tax is reduced to $14 for owners of vehicles with National Guard tags.
Virginia now allows all registered voters to vote absentee in person or by mailed ballot without having to have an excuse or reason before Election Day. Voters wishing to vote before Election Day should complete an application online to receive a ballot by mail. The deadline to return a mailed ballot is Election Day at 7:00 pm. Alternately, voters wishing to vote before Election Day can vote in person in the office Voter Registration and Elections located at 317 Kimball Avenue NE. Acceptable identification is required.
The courthouse is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:45 P.M.
Adult visitors are admitted Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 7:30PM-11 PM. Children ages 13 and under are permitted on Saturdays from 8AM-11 AM. Approved visitors will be permitted to visit for approximately 20 minutes and visit only once during a 7 day period. Currently in person visits have been suspended due to COVID-19.
Cash, certified checks or money orders may be mailed to the individual in care of the Roanoke City Jail. Also, secure drop boxes are located in the visitation lobby at 324 Campbell Avenue, the Jail Annex lobby and also in the Roanoke City Jail Administrative Office lobby at 317 Church Avenue.
Certified checks and money orders must be made out to the order of the Roanoke City Jail Inmate Fund and put the inmate’s name in the memo section. There is also a kiosk in the main jail lobby that accepts cash ($5 or more) or credit/debit cards. Money posted to an inmate's account using the kiosk will be available for use immediately. There is a fee to use this service which is deducted at the time of the deposit. In order for someone to leave money on an inmate's account using this system, the person must have either the inmate's ID number or the inmate's NAME and DATE OF BIRTH. The person must also have a valid government issued ID with a 2D bar code or magnetic strip. Money may also be deposited via the internet. Persons may visit the following: govpaynow.com, mycropay.com or MoneyGram (Walmart) to make online deposits.
The mailing address for inmates is:
Smart Communications - Roanoke City Jail
Inmate Name - ID Number
3735 Franklin RD SW #275
Roanoke, Va 24016
The inmate's name and ID number must be clearly printed on the outside of the envelope or postcard to ensure the mail is posted correctly. Mail not containing the inmate ID Number and name will be "Return to Sender."
Cash is no longer accepted through postal mail. Please mail envelopes containing a money order and a blank cover page to the following address:
Roanoke City Jail
Attention: Inmate Accounts
324 Campbell Ave SW
Roanoke, VA 24016
Make Money orders payable to:
Roanoke City Jail Inmate Fund c/o "Inmate's Full Legal Name"
* In the memo line: Inmate ID Number
Please include your contact information if there is a discrepancy.
Star City Alerts is the City of Roanoke’s official emergency alert and notification system. This system is used to send alerts to the public during emergencies. Star City Alerts is a free service that allows you to sign up online to receive customized alerts via text message, email, and voice message.
In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable community notifications. These include notifications about severe weather, safety, health, utility disruptions, major traffic incidents, and more. This service is provided by the City of Roanoke at no cost to the public; however, message and data rates may apply.
When emergencies happen, be the first to know. The City of Roanoke uses Star City Alerts to send official, real-time alerts to the public with information about potentially life-saving actions they may need to take to keep themselves and their families safe. By signing up for Star City Alerts, you are taking a large step toward improving your personal safety.
When an emergency occurs that meets the criteria for sending out an alert to the public, the City of Roanoke’s emergency dispatchers will gather the necessary information and push out an alert to the affected area. Alerts can be sent out city-wide to everyone who has opted-in to the system, or to a specific area or neighborhood for more localized events.
This service is provided by the City of Roanoke at no cost to the public; however, message and data rates may apply depending on your provider and phone services.
While Star City Alerts is an excellent system, we cannot guarantee that you will receive notification in all cases. Disasters and emergencies are chaotic and unpredictable, and notification is dependent on external providers such as your wireless carrier or email delivery service outside the City of Roanoke’s control. Star City Alerts will use several means of communications to try to ensure that should any one communications method, technology, or delivery option be unavailable to reach residents, other methods will be used to improve the likelihood that citizens will see the message.
Signing up for Star City Alerts is easy! Go to https://www.smart911.com/smart911/ref/reg.action?pa=roanokeva and register your contact information. To update your existing Star City Alerts preferences, click here.
Star City Alerts is available to anyone who lives, works, travels through, or visits the City of Roanoke. The address can be your home location, work location, or any other location you care about.
You can visit your local library to sign up online for Star City Alerts.
Emergency alerts are sent 24/7 when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable community notifications. These include notifications about: o Severe weather o Safety risks o Health risks o Transportation disruption o Special event information o Test messages
You are not able to reply to texts or emails sent by Star City Alerts. Voice messages provide a dial-back number to replay an alert message.
Once you have signed up online at https://www.smart911.com/smart911/ref/reg.action?pa=roanokeva and confirmed your contact information within the system, you will begin receiving alerts.
Follow the below steps to change your Star City Alerts preferences (for example, to reduce the number of messages of a certain type, or to change the contacts used for each kind of message):
1. Go to Login page for Star City Alerts
2. Login using your Star City Alerts username and password (If you’ve forgotten these, follow the instructions on the page under “Forgot Username or Password?”)
3. Once signed in, click the ‘Preferences’ tab at the top
4. Under ‘Notification Preferences’, you can make changes to both the phone numbers and email addresses on which you want to receive Star City Alerts messages by clicking or unclicking the checkboxes
5. You can also choose what alerts you want to receive and the method you wish to receive them by (text, voice, email)
a. For example, if you wish to turn off all messages regarding Transportation Disruptions, simply uncheck the box to the left of “Transportation Disruption”
b. If you wish instead only to receive emails for Transportation Disruption notifications, instead uncheck the “Text” and / or “Voice” choices, so that only “Email” remains checked
The frequency for which you receive alerts depends on the addresses you provide and the types of alerts you select to receive as well as the frequency of actual emergencies. Emergency alerts will only be sent when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. Community notifications will be sent when the criteria for sending an alert are met. This system is not intended to bombard you with information. The City of Roanoke will only send you alerts about the information you select to receive. To change your alert settings, login to Star City Alerts and edit your preferences.
If a call completes and is sent to your answering machine or voice mail system, a message is left. If a phone call is not answered or busy, the system redials your number several times.
No, your information is private and will not be used or distributed in any manner. The information that you provide is exempt from public disclosure and will be used for emergency purposes only.
Personal information provided to Star City Alerts is private and only used to notify you for official City of Roanoke communications and to support the City of Roanoke’s emergency services. Your information is not used for marketing purposes and will not be sold to telemarketers or data-mining organizations. A variety of “opt-in” mechanisms are available to ensure you are getting just the messages you want to receive, delivered via the devices and communications modes that you choose. Star City Alerts utilizes the highest standards in physical and computer security technologies and conducts regular audits to ensure all information is kept secure. Privacy policies are also outlined in the Terms and Conditions you review when you sign up to receive Star City Alerts notifications.
Lists of tax sale properties to be auctioned are posted on this website. Lists are usually not available until 3 weeks prior to the auction. Lists are published in the legal section of The Roanoke Times for three weeks in advance of the auction date. As soon as the list of properties is finalized, it is published on this website. Lists, when available, are also provided by Billings and Collections in the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, Room 252.
All types of properties are sold at a tax sale. This includes vacant lots, vacant buildings, residential parcels, commercial parcels, and manufacturing parcels as well as occupied buildings. For zoning information, check out the city's Geographical Information System.