Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Suspension and Termination of Powers.


§ 20–521. Restraining acts of personal representatives.

(a) On the petition of any interested person, the Court by temporary order and for good cause shown may restrain a supervised personal representative from performing specified acts of administration, disbursement, or distribution, or exercising any powers or discharging any duties of such office, or make any other order to secure proper performance of the supervised personal representative’s duty, if it appears to the Court that the supervised personal representative otherwise may take some action which would unreasonably jeopardize the interest of the petitioner. Persons with whom the supervised personal representative may transact business may be made parties.

(b) The matter shall be set for hearing within 10 days unless the parties otherwise agree. Notice as the Court directs shall be given to the supervised personal representative and his attorney of record, if any, and to any other parties named defendant in the petition.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-521.

Cross References

Estate administration, accountings required, see § 20-724.

Editor's Notes

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


§ 20–522. Termination; general.

The appointment of a personal representative shall be terminated in accordance with Chapter 13 of this title (Closing the Estate) or by the personal representative’s death, disability, resignation, or removal as provided in sections 20-524 through 20-527 .


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-522.


§ 20–523. Termination; effect.

(a) Powers and duties. — Termination ends the rights and powers of the personal representative as conferred by will or by this title. Except as provided in section 20-524, a personal representative whose appointment has been terminated shall: (1) unless otherwise ordered by the Court, perform acts necessary to protect property belonging to the estate; and (2) deliver such property to the special administrator or the successor personal representative, if any.

(b) Liability. — Termination does not discharge a personal representative from liability for transactions or omissions occurring before termination or reduce the personal representative’s duty to protect property subject to such representative’s control, to account for such property and to deliver such property to the special administrator or successor representative. Termination does not affect the personal jurisdiction consented to pursuant to section 20-501 in proceedings which may be commenced against such representative arising out of the performance of duties as personal representative. If the personal representative fails to account for and deliver the property belonging to the estate to the successor personal representative or special administrator, as required by subsection (a), the Court may enter judgment against the personal representative and the personal representative’s surety.

(c) Acts prior to termination. — All lawful acts of a personal representative prior to the termination of appointment shall remain valid and effective.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-523.


§ 20–524. Termination; death or disability.

The appointment of a personal representative shall be terminated by his death or by a judicial determination of his disability. Upon the death or a judicial determination of disability of a personal representative, any interested person (including a person indicated in the decedent’s will as the successor personal representative to the personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability) may apply to the court for the appointment of a special administrator or successor personal representative. Unless there is a surviving copersonal representative, the personal representative of a deceased personal representative or the person appointed to protect the estate of a personal representative under legal disability shall: (a) have the duty to protect property belonging to the estate that was being administered by the personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability; (b) have the power to perform acts necessary for the protection of property of such estate; (c) immediately apply to the Court for the appointment of a special administrator or successor personal representative to carry on the administration of the estate which was being administered by the personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability; and (d) immediately account for and deliver the property of such estate to a successor personal representative or special administrator. If the personal representative of a deceased personal representative or the person appointed to protect the estate of a personal representative under legal disability fails to account to and deliver the property belonging to the estate as required by this section, the Court may enter judgment against the estate of the personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability and the surety of the personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability.


(June 24, 1980, D.C. Law 3-72, § 101, 27 DCR 2155; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 34(b), 53 DCR 6198.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-524.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-522 and § 20-523.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability” for “deceased or disabled personal representative” and “deceased or the disabled personal representative” and substituted “surety of the personal representative who is deceased or has been determined to have a disability” for “deceased or disabled personal representative’s surety”.


§ 20–525. Termination; resignation.

A personal representative may resign by filing a written statement of resignation with the Register after giving at least 15 days written notice to all interested persons of intention to resign. If, within such 15 days, no one applies for the appointment of a successor personal representative or special administrator and no appointment is made, the resigning personal representative may apply to the Court for the appointment of a successor. Upon the appointment of such successor, the resigning personal representative shall immediately account for and deliver the property belonging to the estate to the successor personal representative or special administrator. The resignation of a personal representative shall be effective upon approval by the Court.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-525.


§ 20–526. Termination; removal.

(a) Cause for removal. — A personal representative shall be removed from office upon a finding by the Court that such representative: (1) misrepresented material facts in the proceedings leading to the appointment; (2) willfully disregarded an order of the Court; (3) is unable, for any reason, to discharge the duties and powers effectively; (4) has mismanaged property; or (5) has failed, without reasonable excuse, to perform any material duty of such office; provided, that the Court may continue the personal representative in office following a finding in accordance with paragraph (5) if the Court finds that such continuance would be in the best interests of the estate and would not adversely affect the rights of interested persons or creditors.

(b) Hearing. — The Court shall conduct a hearing prior to the removal of a personal representative. Such hearing may be held on the Court’s own motion, on motion of the Register, or on the written petition of any interested person. The Register shall give notice of such hearing to all interested persons and the Court shall conduct the hearing within a reasonable time thereafter. Upon receipt of such notice, the personal representative may exercise only the powers of a special administrator, as provided in by section 20-533.

(c) Appointment of successor. — At the time of removal of a personal representative, the Court shall appoint a successor personal representative or a special administrator.

(d) Duty of removed personal representative. — A personal representative who has been removed from office shall immediately account for and deliver the property belonging to the estate to the successor personal representative or special administrator.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-526.


§ 20–527. Termination; change in proceeding.

Upon a timely request for standard probate, a personal representative previously appointed shall have only the powers and duties of a special administrator until the appointment of a personal representative in the standard probate proceeding, subject to any order in the standard probate proceeding. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the reappointment of a person who was previously appointed in an abbreviated probate proceeding or a small estates proceeding.


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

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 20-527.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 20-725.