District of Columbia Code Division III. Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations. § 20-101. Definitions.




When used in this title, unless otherwise apparent from the context the term:

(a) “Abbreviated probate proceeding” means the type of proceeding defined in section 20-311 .

(b) “Court” means the Probate Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

(c) “Heir” means a person entitled to property of an intestate decedent pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 19.

(d)(1) “Interested person” means (A) any person named in the will to serve as personal representative, until the appointment of a personal representative;  (B) a personal representative;  (C) any legatee in being, whether such legatee's interest is vested or contingent, until the legacy is paid in full;  (D) an heir, except that an heir ceases to be an interested person once a will has been admitted to probate;  provided, that, an heir is an interested person for the purpose of any proceeding to contest the validity of the will and following any determination that the decedent died intestate as to some or all of the estate;  and (E) Any creditor of the decedent, including those persons whose rights accrue at the time of death, who has timely presented a claim in excess of $500 that has not been barred or discharged.

(2)(A) If an interested person, as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, is legally disabled, the following persons shall also be interested persons unless the Court has appointed a guardian ad litem:

(i) the judicially appointed guardian, committee or conservator for such person, if any;  or

(ii) if there is no judicially appointed guardian, committee or conservator, then the parent or other person having assumed responsibility for such person, or an attorney-in-fact for such person (subject to the terms of the power of attorney), or any other person with legal authority to act for such person.

(B) If the Court has appointed a guardian ad litem under section 20-108 , the guardian ad litem shall be an interested person.

(C) Any guardian, guardian ad litem, committee, conservator, parent, attorney-in-fact, or other legal representative of an interested person who is under any legal disability may act on behalf of such interested person in all matters under this title without the need for any specific authorization from any court, except to the extent otherwise prohibited by a court or by the instrument granting and defining the scope of such representative's powers.

(3) An heir or legatee whose interest is contingent solely on whether some other heir or legatee survives the decedent or survives by a stated period shall not be an interested person unless and until the other heir or legatee dies within such period.

(e) “Intestate decedent” means a person who dies without leaving a valid will.

(f) “Legacy” means a disposition of property made in a will.

(g) “Legatee” means the surviving spouse of the decedent or a person who, under the terms of a will, would receive a legacy.  Legatee includes a trustee of a trust created under or referred to in the decedent's will but not a beneficiary of the trust unless each trustee is also a petitioning party or acting personal representative.

(h) “Letters” means the official instrument by which a personal representative is appointed by the Court to administer the estate of a decedent.

(i) “Metropolitan area” means Prince Georges County, and Montgomery County, Maryland;  Arlington County, Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, and the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

(j) “Personal representative” means a person, other than a special administrator, who has been appointed by the Court to administer the estate of a decedent.

(k) “Probate” means the admission to record of a decedent's will or the determination of a decedent's intestacy.

(l) “Property” means both real and personal property and any interest in such property that is owned by the decedent and that does not pass at the time of the decedent's death to another person by the terms of the instrument under which it is held, or by operation of law.

(m) “Register” means the Register of Wills.

(n) “Residuary legatee” means the person to whom a testate decedent bequeaths the surplus of such decedent's estate, subject to all debts and other legacies specifically mentioned in the will.

(o) “Rules” means the rules promulgated by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia applicable to the Probate Division of that Court.

(p) “Special administrator” means an administrator appointed as provided in section 20-531 .

(q) “Special appraiser” means an appraiser who is not an employee of the Office of the Register.

(r) “Standard probate proceeding” means the type of proceeding defined in section 20-321 .

(s) “Standing appraiser” means an appraiser who is an employee of the Office of the Register.

(t) “Testate decedent” means a person who dies leaving a valid will.

(u) “Supervised administration” or “supervised personal representative” means that the administration and the representative have been ordered to be supervised in accordance with this title.

(v) “Unsupervised personal representative” means a personal representative who is not subject to continued court supervision pursuant to this title.





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