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Trust Cases Filed in the Probate Division

A trust is created when property is held by one person or entity for the benefit of another or others. Trusts are used for estate planning, and they allow you to place specific conditions/restrictions on how and when your assets are distributed after your death, reduce the amount you pay in estate and gift taxes, and distribute assets to heirs without cost, delay and filing in the probate court. We’ll talk more about trusts in a future series of articles.

Guardianship of Minor Estates

Guardianships of minor estates are used to protect the assets of minor children. They are opened for children under the age of 18 who live in the District of Columbia and who are entitled to receive assets. A guardian of a minor’s estate is responsible for managing and safeguarding the minor’s property until the minor becomes 18 and is different from a guardian/custodian appointed by the Family Court to manage a minor’s personal affairs (e.g., placement, education, health care). Guardianships of minor’s estates cases are governed by D.C. Code, sec. 21-101 et seq.

Foreign Intervention Proceedings

A foreign intervention case is opened when a guardian or conservator of an incapacitated adult who has been appointed by another jurisdiction needs authority to transact business or make health care decisions in the District of Columbia and (1) a guardian or conservator has not been appointed in the District of Columbia and (2) a petition for a protective proceeding is not pending in the District of Columbia.

Intervention Proceedings

You might be less familiar with the other types of cases handled in probate practice. These cases are called “intervention” proceedings, and include conservatorship and guardianship. These two types of proceedings are filed when a friend, family member or any other interested person is concerned about the welfare of a person and files a petition to become conservator or guardian of a person who may be unable to care for themselves in some way, usually their finances and health.

The Pros and Cons of Arbitration

Although you can technically represent yourself in a legal arbitration process, it is not advisable. If more is at stake than what a lawyer will cost you, and you are able to afford a lawyer, making the choice to retain legal representation may be a very smart decision. An arbitration lawyer will allow you to avoid a steep learning curve about the actual process, the topic of the dispute, and other important elements.

Disclaimer Cases

A disclaimer is essentially a way for someone who doesn’t want to accept property from a decedent to allow it to pass to someone else. There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to disclaim. For example, if a house is in bad condition and the beneficiary doesn’t want to take on the responsibility or cost to repair it, he/she could disclaim it and allow another beneficiary to deal with it. Or, a beneficiary may feel that a family heirloom would be better appreciated by another family member, he/she could disclaim the interest in the heirloom.

Opening a Will Case

By now, you know all about small estate proceedings, large estate proceedings, foreign estates, and in this post we’re talking about will cases. These cases aren’t really proceedings – but if there is a will, it must be filed with the Probate Division before or at the same time as the estate proceeding is opened.

How to Open a Foreign Estate Proceeding

Our previous post covered foreign estates and when to use them. In this post, we’re discussing the mechanics of how to open a foreign estate case. The process for opening a foreign estate case in Washington DC requires that the personal representative of the foreign estate file the following documents:

Foreign Estates Proceedings

We know that probate can be a dry, boring subject, but it’s good to have a basic working knowledge of the process before you need to navigate it. The Gormley Law firm is pleased to bring you this information, and don’t forget: we’re here to help! If you have a probate matter, give us a call at 1.240.514.2358 or use the Contact Us feature below!