Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. Appointment and Issuance of Letters; Bond; Accrual of Duties and Powers.


§ 20–501. Conditions of appointment.

As a condition to appointment, a personal representative, whether in a supervised or unsupervised administration, shall file (a) a statement of acceptance of the duties of the office, (b) any required bond, and (c) a written consent to personal jurisdiction in any action brought in the District of Columbia against such personal representative, where service of process is effected pursuant to the rules of the Court at such representative’s address shown in the proceedings or, in the case of a nonresident personal representative, pursuant to the provisions of section 20-303(b)(7) .


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-501.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-523.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of § 4 of D.C. Law 10-241, see § 2 of the Probate Reform Act of 1994 Emergency Amendment Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-79, June 28, 1995, 42 DCR 3452).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241:

10-241: Section 4 of D.C. Law 10-241, as amended by § 2 of D.C. Law 11-54, provided that the act shall be applicable to estates of decedents who died on or after July 1, 1995.


§ 20–502. Bond; form.

(a) When required. — Unless excused from giving bond by the decedent’s will or written waiver of all interested persons, each personal representative shall execute a bond to the District of Columbia for the benefit of interested persons and creditors with a surety or sureties approved by the Court. Whenever a personal representative is excused from giving a bond by the decedent’s will, or by the written waiver of 1 or more interested persons, no bond shall be given (except as provided below). In the absence of a waiver by the testator, the interest of any interested person who does not waive bond shall be protected but no waiver of bond shall be permitted on behalf of a person who is not a competent adult except as provided in section 20-101(d)(2)(C).

(a-1) Demand for bond. — Any person having an interest in the estate worth in excess of $1,000, or any creditor having a claim in excess of $1,000, may make a written demand that a personal representative give bond in an amount not exceeding the value of the person’s or creditor’s interest in the estate. The demand must be filed with the Register and a copy mailed to the personal representative, if appointment and qualification have occurred. Upon a request for bond, the Court may set a hearing to determine if bond is required.

(b) When not required. —

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), no bond shall be required of banks and trust companies authorized under District of Columbia laws to act as personal representatives and national banks, except as otherwise provided by law or Court Rule.

(2) No bond shall be required for any period following the distribution of all known assets and satisfaction of all known claims.

(c) Surety. — The surety on any bond required by subsection (a) may be any corporation authorized to act as a surety in the District of Columbia. All sureties and the personal representative shall be jointly and severally liable on the bond, unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

(d) Penalty. —

(1) The penalty sum of any bond required by subsection (a) shall be fixed by the Court in an amount not exceeding the probable maximum value of the personal and D.C. real property of the estate at any time during administration.

(2) Repealed.

(3) The Court may permit the penalty sum of the bond to be reduced by the amount of cash belonging to the estate that is deposited with a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, building association, building and loan association, or federal savings and loan association approved by the Court in an account expressly made subject to withdrawal only in a manner that is approved by the Court.

(3A) The Court may permit the penalty sum of the bond to be reduced by the value of any real or personal property which, at the request of the personal representative or pursuant to Court Order upon good cause shown, cannot be sold or distributed without prior Court authorization.

(4) The penalty sum may be increased or decreased by the Court at its discretion for good cause at any time during administration.

(e) Filing; certified copy. — Every bond executed by a personal representative shall be filed in the office of the Register. Any person may obtain from the Register a certified copy of such bond.

(f) Premium payable out of estate. — Bond premiums shall be chargeable against the property of the estate.

(g) Form of bond. — A bond shall be in the form prescribed by the Rules.


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155; Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-241, § 3(v), 42 DCR 63; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 13(a), 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-502.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-532.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241: See Application of Law 10-241 and Emergency act amendment notes to § 20-501.


§ 20–503. Issuance and content of letters.

After appointment, letters shall be issued to the personal representative by the Register. Letters shall contain:

(a) the name and address of the Court;

(b) the name of the decedent and the personal representative;

(c) the date of appointment of the personal representative;

(d) the date the will, if any, was admitted to probate;

(e) the signature of the Register and the seal of the Court;

(f) the date the letters were issued; and

(g) whether the administration is supervised or unsupervised and, if supervised, any limitations on the powers of the personal representative.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-503.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241: See Application of Law 10-241 and Emergency act amendment notes to § 20-501.


§ 20–504. Form of letters.

Letters of administration shall be in substantially the following form:

LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION

To all persons who may be interested in the estate of _______________, deceased:

Administration of the estate of the deceased has been granted on _________ to _________ (and the will of the deceased was probated on ______________________). This administration (is) (is not) (strike the inapplicable language) subject to continuing supervision of the Court. The powers of the personal representative (are not limited) (are limited as follows: _________ ). The appointment is in full force and effect as of this date.

(SEAL)

Witness:

Dated:

Register of Wills.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-504.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-744.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241: See Application of Law 10-241 and Emergency act amendment notes to § 20-501.


§ 20–505. Time of accrual of duties and powers.

The duties and powers of a personal representative commence upon the issuance of the letters. Good faith acts beneficial to the estate which in fact were committed by the personal representative prior to issuance of letters shall have the same effect as acts occurring after the issuance of letters. A personal representative may ratify acts done on behalf of the estate by others if the personal representative is authorized to perform such acts.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-505.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 10-241: See Application of Law 10-241 and Emergency act amendment notes to § 20-501.