Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Standard Probate Proceeding.


§ 20–321. Nature of proceeding.

A standard probate proceeding is a proceeding for the probate of a will or a determination of the decedent’s intestacy, particularly when due execution of a will cannot be presumed under section 20-312 , and for the appointment of a personal representative. This proceeding is instituted when an interested person or creditor files a petition for a standard probate proceeding with the Court in accordance with the provisions of section 20-304 ; and the filing of a complaint shall not be required for these purposes. This proceeding is conducted after notice as provided in section 20-323 . If no petition for abbreviated or standard probate is filed within a reasonable time, the Register, with the approval of the Court, may file a petition for standard probate.


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155; Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-241, § 3(n), 42 DCR 63.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-321.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-101.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241: See Application of Law 10-241 and Emergency act amendment notes to § 20-304.


§ 20–322. When mandatory.

A proceeding for standard probate shall be instituted:

(a) if, at any time before abbreviated probate,

(1) an interested person or creditor makes a request; or

(2) it appears to the Court that the petition for abbreviated probate is materially incomplete or incorrect in any respect; or

(b) in accordance with the provisions of section 20-331.


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-322.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-312.


§ 20–323. Notice of request for standard probate; form.

(a) When given. — A person filing a petition for standard probate shall promptly give notice to all known interested persons. In addition, the petitioner shall publish a notice once a week for 2 successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the District of Columbia and in any other publication the Court may provide by Rule.

(b) Form of notice. — The notice required by this section shall be in the form prescribed by the Rules.


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-323.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-311 and § 20-321.


§ 20–324. Action on petition.

In a standard probate proceeding:

(1) Proof of due execution shall be made by affidavit of the witnesses as provided in paragraph (3) of this section unless the Court orders otherwise.

(2) After proof of due execution, the Court shall enter an order admitting the will to probate or determining that the decedent died intestate. At this time, the Court shall also appoint or reappoint one or more personal representatives, may order that the administration will be supervised as provided in section 20-402, and, if appropriate, revoke, modify, or confirm any action taken at any prior abbreviated probate, small estates or standard probate proceeding.

(3) Affidavits of due execution shall be in substantially the following form:

On this _____ day of __________ 19 ___, _______________ personally appeared and, under oath answered the following questions as follows:

1. Were you one of the witnesses who signed the attached written document which is dated ____________ and is said to be the last will and testament of __________ of the District of Columbia who is now dead? (Please initial appropriate box.)

____ Yes ____ No

2. Did sign the attached document while

(the testator)

in your presence?

____ Yes ____ No

3. Did say the attached document was to be a

(the testator)

part of his will?

____ Yes ____ No

4. At the time he signed the attached document, did __________

(the testator)

seem to you to be of sound mind and aware of what he was doing?

____ Yes ____ No

5. Did ask you to sign the attached document

(the testator)

as a witness?

____ Yes ____ No

6. When you signed the attached document as a witness, were

(the testator)

and all of the other witnesses who signed the document present?

____ Yes ____ No

7. Were you present when each of the other witnesses signed the attached document?

____ Yes ____ No

8. Did ask the other people who signed the

(the testator)

attached document to do so as witnesses?

____ Yes ____ No

9. Was present when each of the witnesses signed

(the testator)

the attached document?

____ Yes ____ No

10. What is your date of birth? __________

11. Do you know of any will or codicil of __________ other than the

(the testator)

attached document?

____ Yes ____ No


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155; Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-241, § 3(o), 42 DCR 63; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 19(b), 44 DCR 1271.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-324.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241: See Application of Law 10-241 and Emergency act amendment notes to § 20-304.