Probate Lawyer in Washington, D.C.

Estate administration is the process estates must undergo before the decedent’s assets can be distributed to beneficiaries pursuant to the decedent’s will , or if there is no will, pursuant to the laws of intestate succession.

At the helm of estate administration is the executor or administrator, who begins overseeing the estate once they are officially appointed to the role by the court.

As part of administering an estate, the appointed individual has certain responsibilities in administering the estate such as:

  1. Marshalling all the assets of the estate
  2. Paying taxes owed by estate
  3. Filing accounting reports

Marshalling the assets requires the appointed individual to locate, identify, and take possession of all of the decedent’s assets.

The appointed individual should keep complete and accurate records of all transactions and all assets and liability of the decedent from the date of death of the decedent until the appointment of the personal representative has been terminated.

Assets include but are not limited to money in any form (cash, bank accocertificates of deposit), investments (stock, mutual funds, bonds, brokerage accounts), real estate, personal effects (automobiles, paintings, furniture, unclaimed property, and ownership interests in closely held businesses or partnerships.

Not all assets go through probate, some may pass directly to the joint owner or named beneficiary outside the estate proceeding.

The personal representative may need to obtain documentation about these assets for tax purposes, but they are not part of the probate estate. An attorney can advice you regarding whether an asset is a probate asset or a non-probate asset.

The personal representative must file all required tax returns and may be liable for failing to do so and/or for failing to pay taxes from estate assets.

The returns that need to be filed include the decedent’s final federal and District of Columbia income tax returns for the year in which the decedent died (and any missing returns for previous years), federal and/or District Columbia estate tax returns, federal and/or District of Columbia estate income tax returns, and District of Columbia inheritance tax returns.

Many estates in the District of Columbia for decedent’s dying after July 1, 1995, are unsupervised by Court order.

In unsupervised estates, the personal representative must file the original proofs of publication of the Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors and Unknown Heirs from the two newspapers and a document titled Verification and Certificate of Notice within ninety days from the date of the appointment of the personal representative.

How can Lopez Law Firm help with your Probate?

Let the Lopez Law Firm help you in the administration of a probate estate.

The process requires attention to various requirements that a person faced with the administration may be overwhelming. Call us at (202) 769-0505.

Check out these posts for more information on Probate

What is probate: Authenticating and administering a decedent’s estate

Estate Planning can be more complicated when you have not taken into account children out of marriage and even unrecognized children. Learn more about how to address this situation.

Avoid probate: What exactly means and how to do it

What exactly does it mean to avoid probate? Is it actually a good idea? How can you make it happen? Keep reading to learn better about this legal matter. 

Is probate expensive? Considerations on the cost of probate processes

What exactly does it mean to avoid probate? Is it actually a good idea? How can you make it happen? Keep reading to learn better about this legal matter. 

Probate with no will: How is Estate distributed in this case?

What does occur with a probate with no will? How are the estate’s assets distributed if there is not a will to follow? Let’s find out. 

Steps to probate: How a probate court validates and distributes Estate

Probate is one of the most complex legal processes to deal with at some point. Learn about the different stages a probate carries out, and why counting on a specialized probate lawyer for these cases is quite valuable. 

Assets not considered in a probate case

Let’s dive in deeply into this estate and probate concepts, which assets are applicable and which are not and their corresponding examples, exceptions and inventorying procedure.

PHONE: 202.769.0505

1200 18th St NW Suite 700
Washington, DC