Wills, Disclaimers and Foreign Estate Proceedings


Welcome back to our series on the probate process in Washington DC, brought to you by the Gormley Law Firm! In this post, we’re talking about the case types that are overseen by the Probate Division. In Part 2, we talked about small estate proceedings and large estate proceedings.

In this post, we’re discussing the other three types of cases: Wills, Disclaimers and Foreign Estate Proceedings.

Foreign Estate Proceeding:

A foreign estate proceeding is opened for persons who died after December 31, 1980, domiciled outside of the District of Columbia but owning assets in the District of Columbia at time of death. The personal representative appointed by the court in the jurisdiction of domicile must open a foreign estate proceeding in the District of Columbia before that person will have authority to collect and distribute any of the assets located in the District of Columbia. Because the primary estate is not being opened in the District of Columbia, a personal representative is not appointed in D.C. and letters of administration are not issued.

Foreign estates are governed by D.C. Code, secs. 20-341 through 20-344.

Wills:

A will case is opened for persons who died after December 31, 1980, domiciled outside of the District of Columbia but owning assets in the District of Columbia at time of death. The personal representative appointed by the court in the jurisdiction of domicile must open a foreign estate proceeding in the District of Columbia before that person will have authority to collect and distribute any of the assets located in the District of Columbia. Because the primary estate is not being opened in the District of Columbia, a personal representative is not appointed in D.C. and letters of administration are not issued.

Foreign estates are governed by D.C. Code, secs. 20-341 through 20-344.

Disclaimers:

D.C. Code, sec. 19-1502 defines a disclaimer as the refusal to accept an interest in or power over property. The effect of a disclaimer is to extinguish the interest in a property as if it had never been granted and to allow the interest to pass to an alternate beneficiary.

The law regarding disclaimers may be found in Title 19 of the D.C. Code, Chapter 15.

Disclaimer (DIS) cases remain open indefinitely.

In Part 4, we’ll talk about the process for opening a Small Estate Proceeding. If you missed any of our previous posts, go here for the Index of our Probate Series.

If you need assistance with a probate matter, call the Gormley Law Firm today! Our seasoned legal team can help simplify the probate process and bring peace of mind. Call us now at 1.240.514.2358 or use the Contact Us feature below.

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Probate, Estate Planning and Real Estate Attorney
Brian Gormley, Esq. is an attorney licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia specializing in real estate, probate, estate litigation and other matters. If you need assistance, please use the Contact Feature at the bottom of this page.
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