Candidates for judge of Orphans' Court were asked the fellowing question by The Washington Post:

Qualifications: What does the job require and way are you qualified?

C. Philip Nichols Jr. (D), incumbent, 35, of 8804 Oxwell La., Laurel, is currently chief of the county's orphans' court. A graduate of the University of Baltimore law school, he attended the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev., and was elected president of the state Association of Judges of the Orphans' Court this year.

Qualifications: The position of judge of the orphans' court requires the office holder to preside over contested probate and guardianship trials and, generally, the passing of estates to heirs and guardians of minors. I feel qualified as a result of my experience as an orphans' court judge since my appointment to the bench in 1977 and election to a full term on the court in 1978. Prior to my appointment, I practiced extensively before the orphans' court from 1973 to 1977. As a result of my nearly 10 years of practical experience before the court and my educational background, I believe that I am fully qualified to continue to hold this office.

Steven I. Platt (D), incumbent, 35, of 8209 Sonar Rd., Clinton, has served on the orphan's court in Prince George's County since 1978. A graduate of The American University law school, he completed a course in probate at the National Judicial College. A practicing attorney in Clinton, he has chaired the county's Human Relations Commission.

Qualifications: The orphans' court is the probate court. The job of judge of the orphans' court for Prince George's County requires the education, experience, training and temperament to competently supervise the administration of decedents' estates so as to insure that the probate process is as fast and economical as possible for all of the citizens of Prince George's County, while being fair and compassionate in doing so. I am qualified through my educational background and experience, and my record for the last four years as a sitting orphans' court judges speaks for itself. The incumbent orphans' court judges have professionalized and made more efficient for all of our citizens the process of probate and our court which supervises it. This process was begun by the late chief judge of our court, Mary T. O'Hare, and followed through by those who had the honor of serving with her and after her.

George L. Trees (R), 61, of 201 Creighton Cir., Fort Washington, is president of Oxon Hill Publishing Co. and editor of the Oxon Hill Times. He has been a member of the Maryland Property Tax Appeals Board for two years and is on the board of an international computer company. He has been an editor of local daily and weekly newspapers.

Qualifications: I believe the job requires a person who is able to apply the law in a conscientious manner with a full appreciation of the need and application of such law.My experience on the state Tax Appeal Board has given me both experience and qualifications.

Decatur W. Trotter (D), incumbent, 50, of 3101 Polk Ct., Glenarden, a senior administrator in the Maryland Department of Rehabilitation, was appointed to the orphan's court this year. A former mayor and city councilman in Glenarden, he served four years in the state House of Delegates and is a cofounder of the first minority bank in Maryland.

Qualifications: The office of judge of probate court requires establishing the validity and determinations of wills. I have had extensive involvement with local and national adult and juvenile justice systems. As an elected official on both a local and state level, I have acquired knowledge and experience in interpreting the Maryland judicial codes, as well as municipal ordinances. I am experienced in ongoing juvenile interface and demonstrated comprehension of youth motivations in a variety of circumstances. I have initiated several youth service bureaus in Prince George's County that dealt with the rehabilitation of juveniles before they enter the juvenile justice system.