This is part 8 of our series on navigating the probate process in Washington, DC, presented by the Gormley Law Firm. Call us today at 1.240.514.2358 for a free consultation to discuss your situation!
Previously, we told you about filing an abbreviated probate petition in the Probate Division. (If you missed it, here’s part 7!) In this post, we’re discussing Standard Probate petitions and how they are different than abbreviated probate.
A standard probate petition is filed by a person who is not in highest priority to serve or by a creditor or when the will is irregular on its face, for example: the will is torn, contains cross-outs or handwritten editorials, or is a photocopy.
Standard probate requires two publications:
First, the Notice of Standard Probate, which is published before the appointment of a personal representative so that interested persons have an opportunity to object to the appointment or to the relief requested, such as an admission of a copy of a will; and
Second, the Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors and Notice to Unknown Heirs, is published after the personal representative’s appointment.
Also, note that Standard Probate proceedings are expected to move quickly to completion. The Office of the Register of Wills monitors standard probate petitions using a calendar system to ensure they move forward to the appointment of a fiduciary. Each case is reviewed 60 days from filing, and if not completed, a notice is issued to petitioners to complete standard probate within 14 days, and thereafter a recommendation to dismiss the case may be submitted to the court.
Finally, don’t forget that there are differences in the forms used to open a large estate depending upon the date of death. Two sets of forms are available: those for deaths on July 1, 1995, to the present and those for deaths on and after January 1, 1981, through June 30, 1995.
No forms are available for dates of death before January 1, 1981. Because those older cases may be complicated, it’s important to consult with an experienced probate lawyer near Washington DC to ensure the proper forms are filed. Call the Gormley Law Office to learn more about how we can help you with your probate case in Washington, DC!