The estate of the average Virginian today is much more complex and diversified than the estate of the nineteenth century Virginia citizen, and consequently, problems of modem probate have become increasingly complicated. In 1870 the typical Virginian farmed, and land was the chief measure of his wealth. The farm, livestock, and household furnishings were normally the extent of his estate. Income and death taxes were unknown, and trusts were rare.
Thomas S. Word Jr.,
Updating Virginia's Probate Law,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol4/iss2/3