Navigating Probate Court DC



Navigate the complex process of settling an estate with ease by working with the Probate Court in DC. Our team will assist in your probate process.


Understanding the Probate Court in Washington, D.C.

The Probate Court in Washington, D.C., is a specialized court that handles the administration of the decedent’s estates, management of trusts, and the appointment of guardians for minors and individuals unable to care for themselves.

This article will explore the probate process, will contests, guardianship, estate planning, and probate litigation in Washington, D.C.


Estate Planning


Estate planning is the process of preparing for the management and distribution of a person’s assets after they pass away. It involves creating a will, trusts, and other legal documents determining how the assets will be distributed and who will manage the estate. Estate planning can also involve reducing estate taxes and avoiding probate.

Probate Process

The probate process in Washington, D.C., begins with filing a petition with the Probate Court. This petition is usually filed by the personal representative, also known as the executor, who is named in the decedent’s will. The purpose of the petition is to open the estate, determine the assets and liabilities of the decedent, and distribute them to the rightful heirs.

The Probate Court reviews the petition and, if everything is in order, issues a letter of testamentary, which grants the personal representative the authority to administer the estate. The personal representative is then responsible for collecting the assets, paying any debts and taxes owed, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs.

Will Contests

In some cases, an interested party may challenge the validity of a will. This is known as a will contest. In Washington D.C., will contests are heard by the Probate Court. The party challenging the will must provide evidence that the will was not executed properly or that the decedent was under undue influence, coercion, or fraud at the time of execution.



Guardianship is a legal relationship in which the Probate Court appoints a guardian to care for and make decisions on behalf of an individual who is unable to do so due to age, mental incapacity, or physical disability. They are responsible for meeting the individual’s needs and making decisions in their best interest.

In Washington, D.C., the Probate Court handles guardianship cases.

Probate Litigation

In some cases, disputes may arise during the probate process and are required to be adjudicated in a court of law. This is known as probate litigation.

Examples of disputes that may lead to probate litigation include will contests, disputes over the distribution of assets, and the appointment of a personal representative, etc.


Hire a Probate Lawyer in Washington, D.C.


The Probate Court in Washington, D.C., plays an important role in administrating the decedent’s estates, appointing guardians, and resolving probate disputes. Understanding these concepts is essential for individuals and families in the District of Columbia.

Consider hiring a lawyer such as Kevin C. Martin, Attorney at Law, PLLC, for assistance in navigating the courts and various laws and regulations associated with succession. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation today.