How was title held to the property? If it was Joint Tenant and you were named, it may go to you by operation by law.
If this is not an option, then you will have to use the intestacy laws of DC that determine how assets are to be distributed when there is no Will. Usually family members have priority on the distribution of the estate. I have attached a link that provides information about the intestacy laws in DC
It is possible but unlikely if one of the heirs steps forward to administer the estate. You should employ an experienced probate attorney in the county of the last residence of the decedents.
If you like the answer, please click “best answer” or “helpful”, its good for your Karma
Disclaimer: California attorney Robert Miller has practiced for over 46 years and restricts his practice to real estate and probate matters in the Central District of Los Angeles. Any opinion expressed is for general informational purposes only, no attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this answer, and no action or inaction should be contemplated without first employing and consulting with a competent attorney convenient to the questioner.
If the two owners were married to one another and held the property as tenants by the entirety, and assuming that the spouse who post-deceased left the deed alone (that is, did not grant joint ownership or a tenancy-in-common ownership), and there was no will, then the property would pass according to the laws of intestacy. The best bet is to take a look at the deed, rather than ask hypothetical questions.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.
This is a tough one from your description, and, if that is the best description you can write, you really need a local probate lawyer to straighten this out. Let me make some assumptions based on my best reading of your message. Let's assume that the property was in the District and was held by Deed by your mother and father as tenants by the entireties. That is to say that it was purchased or transferred into the entireties when each of the five unities of entireties title were present and that was the intention of the parties. Let's further assume that you, and, perhaps, others, are the only children of your mother and your father and there were no step-parents involved. There is no Will and the second parent to die passed after 1981. In that setting, the property passed by entireties to the survivor of the two spouses. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, title springs to the personal representative (PR) once an estate is filed. That PR, upon receiving Letters of Administration (provided the estate is a large estate over $40,000) can sell the property to pay bills and distribute the proceeds to the heirs. If the second parent was your parent and that parent had not remarried, you have priority to become the PR. The Court will not appoint a conservator to do this for you, because conservators are appointed for living people who need help of the court. You can ask the court to appoint a PR from the Bar, but, if your siblings agree or if your credit is adequate to support a bond, you can take that role yourself and be compensated for it as well as control the sale. If you let someone else do it, they will control the sale. With the services of a competent, local lawyer, there is little for you to do.
We do this sort of probate work all the time.
Reading an answer on the Internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are represented by me when we have both signed a retainer agreement (on paper or electronically) and some money has changed hands. Usually, you will have been asked specific questions about your situation and all potential conflicts of interest will have been resolved. Until then, you have no more right to rely on this answer than if you read it in a novel.