Code of the District of Columbia

§ 19–301. Course of descents generally.

The real estate in the District of Columbia, of a deceased person, male or female, if not devised, shall descend in fee simple, and the surplus of the personal estate of a deceased resident of the District, if not bequeathed, shall be distributed, to the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner, children, and other persons in the manner provided by this chapter. The heirs specified by this section take the real estate as tenants in common in the same proportions as they take the surplus personal estate as provided by this chapter.


(Sept. 14, 1965, 79 Stat. 697, Pub. L. 89-183, § 1; June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 204(b), 27 DCR 2155; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 5(b), 35 DCR 147; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(l), 53 DCR 1035.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 19-301.

1973 Ed., § 19-301.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 14-504, § 19-114, and § 19-317.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79 substituted “surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner,” for “surviving spouse,”.

Cross References

Adopted children inheritance by, see § 16-312.

Fraternal benefit association, distribution of death benefits, see § 31-5701.

Insurance policy proceeds, distribution, see § 14-504.

Wrongful death actions, distribution of proceeds, see § 16-