Notice of Appointment in DC
A notice of appointment in DC is meant to tell all interested parties that an estate has been opened. This allows any creditors to claim the debts they are owed and any beneficiaries to collect their inheritance. This is an extremely important part of the probate process and a failure to file a notice within the timeframe could result in a person being removed as a representative. Therefore, it is important to work with a knowledgeable probate lawyer who can help guide you through the process.
What is a Notice of Appointment?
In DC, a notice of appointment, notice to creditors, and notice to interested persons of the estate are notices that must be sent out to all of the interested parties so they understand that a petition has been filed in order to open a probate estate. The notice of appointment is filed by the personal representative of the estate. Once a person has petitioned the court to be appointed as personal representative and is appointed, they become the petitioner. They are then responsible for making sure that the notice has been initially filed with the court and for ensuring that the notice of appointment is mailed to the creditors and interested persons of the estate.
In addition to the notice of appointment being published in two newspapers for three consecutive weeks, the notice is also required to be mailed by the personal representative to all of the interested persons of the estate and all known creditors. An attorney can further explain how to file a notice of appointment.
Under DC law, the information that must be included in the notice of appointment is the name of the estate, the assigned case number after the court has appointed the personal representative, the name of the decedent, the date of the decedent’s death, and the address and phone number of the personal representative. It also must include the newspapers in which the notice of appointment will be published and the date of publication.
Delivering the Notice
The notice of appointment is mailed to interested persons and creditors of the estate by certified mail return receipt requested. That is so the personal representative receives proof of service signed by the interested persons and creditors that they received notice. The personal representative then provides that proof of service to the court to show that they mailed the notice of appointment to the interested persons and creditors within the 20-day time limit.
Who Does Not Receive Notice?
The only persons who are not entitled to receive a mailing of the notice of appointment is anyone not considered interested persons of the estate. Interested persons of the estate include named legatees in the person’s will and heirs to the estate. Heirs are people who would take a portion of the estate if there was no will and legatees are people who are named in a will.
Timeframe of Filing a Notice
The notice of appointment, along with the other pleadings to open the estate administration process in DC, must be sent via certified mail to interested persons within 20 days after the appointment of the personal representative. As a whole, the probate process in DC can take anywhere from a few months up to a year, and sometimes longer.
The length of the process depends on the estate’s circumstances and its size. Typically, the larger the estate, the more time it may take to close it, because the personal representative is responsible for collecting, marshaling, and distributing to beneficiaries. An attorney can further explain the timeline for filing a notice.
Filing an Affidavit in DC
In DC, the personal representative is responsible for filing a verification and certificate of notice after mailing the notice of appointment. The verification and certificate of notice certifies to the court that they have complied with the rule that specifies that the personal representative must send the notice of appointment by certified mail return receipt requested within 20 days of being appointed. Along with the verification and certificate of notice, the personal representative must also attach the two proofs of publication that newspapers supply, to indicate to the court that the newspapers have published the notice for three consecutive weeks.
What Happens if A Person Fails to File a Notice?
The failure to file a notice of appointment will not affect the validity of a will. The court will make a determination of whether a proposed will is valid. However, if the personal representative failed to timely file the notice of appointment, then they could potentially be removed as personal representative after the court holds a hearing to determine why the notice was not timely mailed to the interested persons and creditors of the estate.
Learn More About Filing a Notice of Appointment in DC
When opening an estate, it is necessary to file a notice of appointment in DC. For help navigating the process, reach out today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.