Probate Court Proceedings in DC
Probate court proceedings in DC depend on the specific case. In some cases, a person may only have to go to court once while in others, a personal representative may have to go to court several times. A well-versed probate attorney can help guide you through the process to make it as smooth as possible.
How Often Does a Person Have to Go to Court?
How often a person has to go to court for probate proceedings in DC depends on the specific case. If there are no hearings scheduled and no claims made to the estate that would require a hearing, a person could potentially only have to go to court once to make the initial filing of the probate pleadings. Of course, if the person petitioning the court to serve as personal representative hired an attorney, the attorney would be able to file those pleadings on the petitioner’s behalf. In that situation, the person would not have to go to court at all. An attorney could help guide a person through the court process.
Court Proceedings for Probate in DC
Before an estate can be opened and go through probate, a will must be validated. In validating a will, the judge will look at the will to determine if it was properly executed, whether there were witnesses to the will, and whether it was notarized and signed. DC also requires that the will be the original document. If it looks like it is a copy, they will not accept it.
In DC, when probate pleadings are filed with the probate court, a meeting takes place between either the petitioner or the petitioner’s attorney and the deputy clerk for the probate division of the DC Superior Court. That initial meeting is so that the deputy clerk can ensure all of the pleadings and paperwork have been properly filled out prior to opening the case. Once the estate has been opened and a personal representative has been appointed, court proceedings depend on the nature of the hearing. For example, if a personal representative has mishandled the estate in some way or if they have not filed a required pleading in a timely fashion, the court may hold a hearing to determine whether that person should be removed as personal representative.
An Attorney Can Be a Guide Throughout Probate Court Proceedings in DC
Some of the benefits of having a trust and estates lawyer who is experienced with the DC probate process would be having someone to guide you through the entire probate process and give you an idea of what to expect. Many times, people do not understand what is required in administering an estate and the details of getting the initial pleadings filed and accepted by the probate division of the DC Superior Court.
Having an attorney prepare the pleadings and explain what is necessary helps save time in opening the estate. Then, the lawyer could explain to the client what is required by the court in terms of deadlines, guide them through the process, and help if they needed it to locate and collect assets. The lawyer also could be the middleman between the personal representative and beneficiaries of the estate. To discuss how an attorney can help in your case, call today for a consultation.