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Best Probate Lawyers in Downey

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Kaiser Law Group logo
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Kaiser Law Group

5150 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA 90804
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Kaiser Law Group is a legal firm that's been representing individuals and families in the Downey area with probate and estate planning matters since 2007. Its attorneys guide clients through the court process and work to minimize expenses, frustration, and conflict. The team helps with all probate-related matters, including filing the will, paying creditors, locating assets, and distributing the remaining assets to heirs. Founder Curtis Kaiser is board-certified in probate law by the California State Board of Legal Specializations.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (23)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Law Office of Helen Paik Austin logo
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Law Office of Helen Paik Austin

17122 Bellflower Boulevard, Bellflower, CA 90706
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

The Law Office of Helen Paik Austin serves clients in Downey and its surrounding areas. The firm helps individuals in estate planning cases, including wills, powers of attorney, advance health care directives, probate, and trust administration. It has also assisted clients with guardianship matters and domestic violence survivors with restraining orders, child custody, and dissolution of marriage. Founder Helen Paik Austin began her career in the public interest sector, providing free legal services to low-income clients.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of John A. Bunnett logo
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Law Office of John A. Bunnett

8136 2nd Street, Downey, CA 90241
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Law Office of John A. Bunnett provides legal representation to clients in Southern California with concerns regarding estate planning, real estate, and personal injury. Established in 1983, the law firm is based in Downey and handles real estate law, wills, trusts, and probate. The firm also deals with cases related to business law, construction law, and civil appeals. Bunnett is a member of the American Bar Association and a former president of the Southeast District Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.9
Google
4.3 / 5 (4)
Yelp
2.5 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Miller & Miller Bazemore logo
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Miller & Miller Bazemore

4952 Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92649
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Miller & Miller Bazemore is a law office that serves clients in Downey and the surrounding areas. Lawyers at the firm handle probate, trust administration, living trust, asset protection, estate planning, and business planning. They deal with pour-over wills, deed transfer documents, powers of attorney, and advance healthcare directives. Sandra Miller and Ethan Miller-Bazemore, the firm's founding attorneys, both served in the Board of Governors of the Long Beach Bar Association. Furthermore, Miller and Bazemore have been featured at Metro Magazine's Top Attorneys In Orange County.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (75)
Google
4.9 / 5 (15)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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My Attorney LA logo
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My Attorney LA

13601 Whittier Boulevard, Whittier, CA 90605
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

My Attorney LA is an estate planning and probate legal firm in the Downey area representing individuals, families, and businesses. Its attorney helps clients understand their responsibilities and guide them step-by-step through the probate process. The legal team assists with validating the will, petitioning the court to appoint an executor when no will exists, notifying creditors, locating heirs, gathering all assets, filing final tax returns, paying the deceased's bills, and distributing the remaining assets.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)
Facebook
4.2 / 5 (5)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (2)

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Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Novas Law Group logo
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Novas Law Group

8141 2nd Street, Downey, CA 90241
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Novas Law Group is a legal firm offering comprehensive estate planning and administration services. The probate attorney in Downey helps administrators and executors understand their responsibilities and guides them through the complex court proceedings. Its legal team assists with each step, including filing the will with the proper county court, locating all assets, publishing a public notice, paying the estate's debts, and distributing the remaining assets to heirs. Services are available in English and Spanish.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Detail
––
The Kelly Law Firm logo
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The Kelly Law Firm

3777 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90807
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Kelly Law Firm is available to serve Downey clients. It helps individuals and families who either need to probate a will or if they need to go through a probate process without a will. Its owner, Paul R. Kelly, renders litigation representation in cases concerning estate and trust disputes. He also provides trust administration, while he is further experienced with elder financial abuse cases and conservatorships. Kelly was a trial judge before his private law practice.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Law Offices of David A. Shapiro logo
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The Law Offices of David A. Shapiro

5757 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of David A. Shapiro helps clients in Downey who are in need of legal assistance with probate cases and processes. Its lawyer, David Shapiro, carries experience in various facets of the law including trusts, wills, conservatorships, and real estate. He also provides representation and assistance regarding guardianships, elder abuse, and spousal property petitions. He is a member of several legal industry associations including The Beverly Hills Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.0 / 5 (11)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Detail
TLD Law logo
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TLD Law

8141 2nd Street, Downey, CA 90241
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Founded in 1961, TLD Law is a legal firm representing clients throughout Southern California. Its probate lawyers in Downey, with additional offices in Long Beach, Irvine, and Beverly Hills, guides administrators through the court process, including filing the will, preparing small estate affidavits, and representing individuals in summary probate proceedings. The legal team also handles probate litigation involving will contests and claims against the estate. Other practice areas include estate planning and family, real estate, and employment law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (5)
Google
3.7 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Tree of Life Law Firm logo
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Tree of Life Law Firm

2219 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Tree of Life Law Firm is a virtual legal practice representing individuals throughout California. The probate attorneys near Downey help clients' families avoid the probate process through extensive estate, tax, special needs, charitable giving, and family legacy planning. Its legal team also assists executors following a loved one's death to ensure a smooth transfer of wealth to heirs according to the deceased's will. Additional services include regular reviews of existing plans to account for life changes.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (16)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (10)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Trent C. Marcus logo
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Trent C. Marcus

19900 Beach Boulevard, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Trent C. Marcus provides legal advice for probate clients in Downey and the surrounding areas. His services include filing petitions for probate, handling administration, and publishing notices. He can also assist with distributing properties through wills, revocable living trusts, and powers of attorney. In addition, the lawyer helps create and reviews different types of contracts, including license and lease agreements. Marcus worked various jobs, such as a soccer coach and handyman, before starting his career in law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (77)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (25)
Google
5.0 / 5 (19)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Velasco Law Group logo
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Velasco Law Group

10631 Paramount Boulevard, Downey, CA 90241
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Velasco Law Group represents individuals in legal matters following a loved one's death. The probate attorneys in Downey use their extensive knowledge and experience to help clients understand their duties and guide them through the court proceedings. Services are available in English and Spanish. Other practice areas include small and large estate planning, asset protection. Paul D. Valasco Esq. is certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.9 / 5 (8)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a probate attorney do?

Probate attorneys are licensed professionals who represent executors and heirs after someone has died. They provide personalized legal advice, assist with tax planning, settle debts, and facilitate the distribution of assets. Probate attorneys typically represent clients during administrative proceedings overseen by probate courts, although some litigators focus on handling disputes and lawsuits related to contested estates.

What is probate court?

Probate court works with the family or beneficiaries of a deceased person to validate their last will and testament. The courts review the individual's will to identify and calculate assets, pay off remaining debts, and distribute the remaining property to beneficiaries per the deceased person's requests. Depending on state laws, property valued under a certain amount may not require probate.

How long do you have to file probate after death?

The amount of time loved ones have to file a will after a person dies varies from state to state. While California courts require probate to be filed within one year, New York has no deadline. That being said, it's advisable to file probate as quickly as possible once a person has died, as the process itself can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year.

Does life insurance go through probate?

Life insurance doesn't need to go through the probate courts if the deceased individual has named a beneficiary on their policy. However, life insurance policies without beneficiaries, or with beneficiaries who are either deceased themselves or cannot be contacted, go directly to the deceased individual's estate. When this happens, life insurance proceeds must go through probate court to determine how funds should be allocated.

Do household items go through probate?

While the exact rules do vary from state to state, most household items don't require probate and are automatically left to immediate families unless otherwise stated in the deceased person's will. When it comes to property, only items above a certain value or held in title are required to go through probate in most states.

Do bank accounts with beneficiaries have to go through probate?

In the event a beneficiary has been named, bank accounts are not required to go through probate and will be paid directly to the person designated by the deceased individual. However, should that individual be deceased themselves or if contact cannot be made after a certain period of time, funds will be allocated to the estate and put through the probate process.

What happens if no probate is filed?

Depending on the circumstances, probate may not be required in all cases. If a person passes on and their remaining property is jointly owned, it automatically transfers to the other owner. However, if a property is not jointly owned and no probate has been filed, the executor of the will won't be able to transfer titles or cash assets to beneficiaries. Be aware that the specific laws surrounding probate requirements vary from state to state.

What is probate real estate?

Probate real estate is the process that happens when a realtor steps in to handle the sale or transfer of a deceased person's owned home to another individual. In some cases, the house is sold as a means of liquidating assets, and proceeds from the sale are used to pay debts or are distributed to beneficiaries.

Can I probate a will or estate without an attorney?

It is possible to probate a will and close an estate without hiring an attorney. However, it requires multiple steps and an understanding of the law. The first step is to petition the court to appoint a representative for the estate. Next, the executor must notify all heirs and creditors before switching ownership from the decedent to the estate. Once all debts, taxes, and final expenses have been paid, funds can be transferred to heirs. To close an estate, the executor must submit a report showing the court that all obligations and final wishes have been satisfied. While a will and estate may seem straightforward, things can get complicated quickly if multiple heirs are involved, or if disputes or disagreements arise over distribution. A probate lawyer can help navigate these disputes effectively, and take pressure off the executor when beneficiaries aren’t getting along.

How many years can an estate remain in probate?

If the will or proposed distribution of property is contested, an estate may remain in probate for several years. The timeline depends on how long relatives have to initiate probate, how long creditors have to come forward, and how busy the courts are. In some states, such as Florida, relatives have just 10 days to initiate probate, and the entire process takes approximately six months. In other areas, such as Massachusetts, the process can last one to two years, although the majority of probate activities occur in the first nine months. The value of the estate also affects the duration of the case. For example, California and Texas have simplified procedures for smaller estates, such as those valued at $150,000 or less.

When is a will's probate an automatic process?

Probate is the legal process of validating a last will and testament to ensure that the decedent's wishes are followed. A probate judge may automatically clear wills if they're accompanied by an affidavit from the decedent, a notary, and a witness. Some assets, including financial accounts with designated beneficiaries, and funds held by certain types of trusts don't have to go through probate.

What does it mean when property is under probate?

Real estate that's under probate is typically liquidated through the court system, which is most common when someone dies without a will. Home buyers who are interested in this type of property must follow special rules regarding deposits, which are sometimes nonrefundable, and buyer's premiums. Additionally, the court must approve the purchase price.

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