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Best Probate Lawyers in Fairfield

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Absolute Trust Counsel logo
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Absolute Trust Counsel

2890 N. Main Street, Suite 206, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Since its founding in 1997, Absolute Trust Counsel has focused its practice on California estate law. It works with families in Fairfield and the surrounding communities whose estates are required to undergo the probate court system. Its legal team, led by former business lawyer Kirsten Howe, also helps clients administer their deceased loved ones' trusts that involve business holdings. Additionally, the firm assists people with Medi-Cal and special needs planning. Howe serves on the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council Diablo Valley.

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
4.8 / 5 (21)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)

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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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California Probate and Trust, PC logo
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California Probate and Trust, PC

1851 Heritage Ln Suite 128, Sacramento, CA 95815
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

California Probate and Trust, PC, represents elders and families in the Fairfield metro. The firm assists clients in a wide range of probate-related concerns, including debt, financial problems, tax disputes, and will validity. It handles various aspects of probate, such as asset inventory, property distribution, and settlement of debt and taxes left by the decedent. The firm's founder, R. Dustin MacFarlane, serves as a volunteer attorney for the Alzheimer's Association, He is also an associate member of the California Assisted Living 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (190)

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4.0
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Feldman Law Group logo
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Feldman Law Group

1855 Olympic Boulevard Suite 125, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Feldman Law Group is a law firm serving the community of Fairfield. With over 35 years of experience, the firm helps clients with a wide range of legal needs, from probate, estate planning, and conservatorship to trust litigation and elder law. The founding attorney, Aaron Feldman, has a unique focus on special needs planning serving people with mental and physical limitations. Feldman is also a certified mediator and a member of the American Society of Special Needs Planners.

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

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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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Gaw Estate Planning logo
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Gaw Estate Planning

1500 Third Street, Suite F, Napa, CA 94559
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  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

Founded in 2018, Gaw Estate Planning serves clients in the Fairfield metro. The boutique firm's services are exclusively focused on estate planning and related matters. Handling basic to high-end estate planning, the practice caters to clients of all economic backgrounds. Its probate services include the representation of the estate's administrator or executor. Founder David B. Gaw has over 45 years of experience in estate planning and trust administration and is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate 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
Google
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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James L. Arrasmith Attorney at Law logo
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James L. Arrasmith Attorney at Law

9719 Lincoln Village Drive Suite 504, Sacramento, CA 95827
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Business Description

James L. Arrasmith, Attorney at Law, addresses the needs of individuals and families facing legal issues. Arrasmith is a Sacramento-based attorney that extends his services to those in Fairfield and the surrounding communities, providing probate administration, personal injury, business law, and asset protection representation. He works with clients throughout the probate process, from filing the petition with the court to distributing the decedent's assets. His mission is to facilitate clients in attaining their desired case outcomes while making his services accessible to those in need.

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 (25)
Yelp
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.
5.0
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Law Office of Joan Grimes logo
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Law Office of Joan Grimes

1600 S. Main Street, Suite 100, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of Joan Grimes provides estate planning and probate services to clients in Fairfield. It helps craft comprehensive estate plans customized according to individuals' and familys' needs. It handles the creation of wills, revocable and irrevocable living trusts, advance health care directives, and powers of attorney. It offers legal representation throughout the probate of any size or complexity of estate and trust administration. Firm attorney Joan Grimes has over 30 years of legal experience. She is the Northern California Bankruptcy Forum president.

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.
4.5
Avvo
4.5 / 5 (20)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)

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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 Robert Jeff Busch logo
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Law Office of Robert Jeff Busch

1652 W. Texas Street, Suite 128, Fairfield, CA 94533
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of Robert Jeff Busch caters to clients in Fairfield. The firm walks clients through the probate process and counsels them on issues related to trust administration. It also works on estate planning documents like trusts, powers of attorney, and wills. The firm additionally takes on family law cases and represents clients in mediation proceedings over disputes involving child custody and spousal support. Its primary attorney, Robert Jeff Busch, offers special programs for healthcare professionals, veterans, and teachers.

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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (11)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)
Avvo
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.
5.0
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Manfred & Hunt, LLP logo
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Manfred & Hunt, LLP

2025 Redwood Rd #5, Napa, CA 94558
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Manfred & Hunt, LLP, caters to individuals and families in Fairfield and neighboring areas. It takes on a customized approach to probate cases by drafting revocable living trusts, designating beneficiaries, and using deeds. The firm also assists in preparing essential documents in estate planning and distributing trust funds. Throughout the years, the firm's co-founder, Mike Manfred, has conducted various presentations and prepared materials for the Continuing Education of the Bar in estate planning and trust administration fields.

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 (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
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Matthew M. Hart Attorney at Law logo
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Matthew M. Hart Attorney at Law

3432 Hillcrest Ave., Suite 125, Antioch, CA 94531
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Matthew M. Hart, Attorney at Law, helps clients in Fairfield manage their estates and prepare for incapacity or death. Principal Matthew Hart is a certified legal specialist in the area of estate law and guides personal representatives and beneficiaries through the probate process. Hart creates wills, trusts, advanced health care directives, and durable powers of attorney to help clients protect their assets for future generations. The legal practice aims to provide estate planning services that incorporate faith-based principles.

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.
4.7
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.
5.0
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Matthew W. Harris logo
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Matthew W. Harris

700 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 199, Larkspur, CA 94939
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Matthew W. Harris provides probate assistance to personal representatives and families in Fairfield. He helps clients fulfill their duties in both testate and intestate probate, including filing the will in court, collecting the decedent's assets, paying fees, and informing government agencies and creditors of the death. He mediates estate disputes between representatives and beneficiaries. Harris also facilitates the preservation of legacies through estate planning, conservatorship, trust administration, and elder law. He serves on the Probate, Estate Planning, and Trust Committee of the American 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.
5.0
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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McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher LLP logo
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McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher LLP

3480 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 250, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
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  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges & Ambacher LLP caters to families and individuals embroiled in probate lawsuits in Fairfield. Its legal team aggressively litigates claims of breach of fiduciary duty, undue influence, forgery, and fraud. The firm also handles elder abuse, medical malpractice, toxic torts, and insurance defense. It has been operating since 1954 and is actively involved in the community. Its team hosts activities to raise funds for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)
Yelp
1.0 / 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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––
Michael Blacksburg logo
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Michael Blacksburg

315 Noe St, San Francisco, CA 94114
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Michael Blacksburg is a local law firm catering to individuals and families in Fairfield. It focuses on estate planning, including probate and will-based planning. It also handles trust-based planning and family wealth and legacy planning. One of its attorneys, Terrance Heath, has been in practice since 1996, with experience in probate and trust litigation and a focus on LGBTQ+ clients and their families. He is a Family Law Specialist certified 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (32)

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
––
Mullin Law Firm logo
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Mullin Law Firm

1355 Willow Way Suite 110, Concord, CA 94520
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

The Mullin Law Firm serves clients in Fairfield and its surrounding areas. Founder Ronald K. Mullin has over 40 years of legal experience. He assists individuals and families in matters involving probate and estate administration, such as wills and conservatorships. He also helps clients with living trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives. His other areas of practice include mediation and arbitration. Mullin also worked as a police officer in Concord for seven years.

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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (15)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (14)
Google
4.7 / 5 (3)
Nancy Rose Law PC logo
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Nancy Rose Law PC

952 School Street, Napa, CA 94559
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Nancy Rose Law PC handles probate cases for clients residing in the Fairfield area. Nancy Rose assists the bereaved family by proving the validity of the deceased person's will in court, gathering the assets, settling the liabilities, and distributing the remaining properties as the will directs. She also provides estate planning and trust administration services for individuals who are preparing for the inevitable. Her expertise in navigating different family dynamics stems from her experience as an award-winning author, speaker, and parent educator.

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 (15)

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
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Detail
Reynolds Law LLP logo
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Reynolds Law LLP

1411 Oliver Road, Fairfield, CA 94534
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Founded in 2015, Reynolds Law LLP is a legal practice representing clients in business and estate matters. The attorney in Fairfield helps administrators and executors navigate the probate process, including petitioning the court to open a case, notifying creditors, locating heirs, completing income and estate taxes, paying the estate's bills, and providing a full accounting of finances before distributing the remaining assets. Reynolds Law LLP also handles estate litigation and trust and tax cases.

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
4.2 / 5 (13)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)
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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Detail
––
Ronda L. Connor Attorney at Law logo
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Ronda L. Connor Attorney at Law

2180 Jefferson Street, Suite 201, Napa, CA 94559
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ronda L. Connor, Attorney at Law handles estate planning cases, including matters of probate, for clients in Fairfield. The firm educates first-time beneficiaries and executors about the probate process. It guides clients in petitions and authentication hearings before helping them distribute a decedent's assets. It also represents them against claims of fiduciary irresponsibility, which include will tampering and unfair distribution. Ronda L. Connor previously worked in tax accounting before she entered law practice in 2004. Her other areas of expertise include landlord-tenant law and bankruptcy.

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 (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.
4.0
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Detail
––
Sara R. Diamond PhD Attorney at Law logo
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Sara R. Diamond PhD Attorney at Law

3150 Hilltop Mall Road , CA, Richmond, CA 94806
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Sara R. Diamond Ph.D. Attorney at Law handles probate matters and estate planning in the Fairfield metro. She assists her clients in creating a plan with a trust that allows them to avoid probate and the fees and taxes that come with it. She also helps in the creation of advanced health care directives, backup wills, and durable powers of attorney for financial management. Diamond, an author and a former investigative journalist, has a collection of her published books on the U.S. Right at UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library.

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
4.8 / 5 (18)

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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––
Tenax Law Group, P.C. logo
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Tenax Law Group, P.C.

1652 West Texas Street, 2nd Floor, Fairfield, CA 94533
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Tenax Law Group PC assists estates with the probate process by advising their executors and doing administrative work. The firm manages assets and corresponds with creditors to satisfy remaining debts. It sees to it that assets left after paying creditors are given to the heirs in accordance with what the decedent desired in the will. Tenax Law Group PC can also create and manage trusts and design estate plans for individuals and families.

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
5.0 / 5 (4)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (4)

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 Office of Yvonne F. Thrasher, LL.M. logo
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The Law Office of Yvonne F. Thrasher, LL.M.

78 Cernon St, Vacaville, CA 95688
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

The Law Office of Yvonne F. Thrasher, LL.M., is an estate planning office that caters to clients in and around Fairfield. It assists beneficiaries in the probate process for both formal and informal transfers of property and assets. The firm defends its clients against claims of a decedent's will, such as invalidity or tampering. It can then assist appointed executors in compiling and distributing assets amongst named heirs and partners. The office's practitioner, Yvonne Thrasher, is a member of the Soroptimist International of Vacaville.

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 (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.
5.0
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The Law Offices of David W. Knight logo
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The Law Offices of David W. Knight

2300 Boynton Ave., Suite 104, Fairfield, CA 94533
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

The Law Offices of David W. Knight can work for those who need a probate attorney in Fairfield to handle a loved one's estate. This firm has multifaceted experience with probate processes and give clients the information and resources they need to avoid obstacles and conduct a legally legitimate process. Its primary concern is moving assets of each estate into the hands of heirs by following the will, which it must often prove the validity of.

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
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (14)
Google
4.4 / 5 (12)

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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Back to Providers

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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