- USD 0.99
PRYOR, Chief Judge: This is an appeal from the trial court's ruling in favor of appellee Robert J. Green in a contract action by appellant for recovery of legal fees he charged for his attempt to non-judicially dispose of the estate of Lucille Green, appellee's mother. The only issue on appeal is whether the trial court was correct in holding that the provisions of the District of Columbia Probate Reform Act of 1980 (D.C. Code §§ 20-101 et seq. (1981)) and, in particular, D.C. Code § 20-105 (1981) and D.C. Code § 19-301 (1981), cannot be interpreted so as to allow for the non-judicial Disposition of an estate that compromises more property than contemplated by the express exception in D.C. Code § 20-357 (1981). Appellant, an attorney, was hired by the family of Lucille Green, who died intestate on September 10, 1981, 1 to facilitate the Disposition of her estate. He prepared a trust deed that purportedly transferred the heirs' (grantors') interests in the estate of Robert J. Green as trustee (grantee). No personal representative was appointed, and the trust deed was never executed. When the family refused to pay their bill for legal services, appellant never brought suit. Appellee claimed that the Probate Reform Act of 1980, and specifically D.C. Code § 20-105 (1981), operates to vest legal title to all a decedent's property in the personal representative, and, therefore, appointment of a personal representative is a prerequisite to probate and distribution and precludes the possibility of non-judicial distribution. Appellant, in essence, argues that D.C. Code § 20-105 constitutes an instruction about what to do when a personal representative is appointed, but when, as here, no personal representative is appointed, non-judicial Dispositions are still viable, as they were at common law.