This is part 10 of our probate series in Washington, DC. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! (And if you missed any of the previous nine articles, check out our index to the entire probate series to see what you’ve missed.)
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!
Petitions to open large estates are filed at the Probate Division’s Legal Branch. An Assistant Deputy Register of Wills looks over your petition to ensure that all of the necessary documents have been submitted and that the filings comply with minimum legal requirements.
After the petition is accepted for filing, the petition, including a draft order and the recommendation of the Office of the Register of Wills regarding the disposition of the petition, are transmitted to a judge. It takes about six days from the date of filing for the Legal Branch to submit the petition to the court.
An order signed by a judge is needed to admit the will to probate (if there is a will), appoint the fiduciary (i.e., the personal representative or special administrator), determine whether the administration of the estate is to be supervised or unsupervised, approve or waive bond, and order payment of the allowances provided for by law, and other related matters.
Below is a visual of how the cases flow through the probate system: