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Best Probate Lawyers in Modesto

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Berliner Cohen LLP logo
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Berliner Cohen LLP

1601 I Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Berliner Cohen LLP has been offering legal services to Modesto clients for over 50 years. The firm provides counsel to an estate's executors or trustees on issues concerning probate administration, including tax management and real property assessment. It has experience representing clients in disputes over the trust's terms. The company's other practice area is municipal law. One of its partners, Kevin Kelley, once served Gustine as the city attorney and previously taught taxation as a Golden Gate University faculty member.

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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Callister, Hendricks & Spencer logo
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Callister, Hendricks & Spencer

544 W 20th St, Merced, CA 95340
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Callister, Hendricks & Spencer is a law firm that's been serving clients in the Modesto area for over 45 years. Its attorneys handle all probate and trust administration matters, including protecting executors' and heirs' rights and interests and helping them understand their responsibilities. The legal team also assists surviving joint tenants to prepare and file documents for transferring titles. Other practice areas include estate planning and real estate and business 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 (1)

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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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Crabtree Schmidt Attorneys at Law logo
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Crabtree Schmidt Attorneys at Law

1501 F Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Founded in 1936, Crabtree Schmidt Attorneys at Law provides legal services in Modesto and the nearby communities. Its team of attorneys serves executors, trustees, heirs, and beneficiaries requiring assistance with trust and probate administration. The lawyers also litigate probate cases involving coercion and fraud allegations. The firm's partner, Robert W. Crabtree, is a certified estate planning, trust, and probate law specialist. Raised on a cattle and barley ranch, Crabtree assists farmers and ranchers with their business and estate planning concerns.

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
3.7 / 5 (3)
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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HBG Law logo
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HBG Law

4317 North Star Way, Suite B, Modesto, CA 95356
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

HBG Law is a full-service law firm serving clients in Modesto. The company assists clients with various probate and estate planning matters, including wealth planning, wealth preservation, and multi-generational planning. The firm's attorneys, led by founding partner Harry Gill, take an innovative approach in order to minimize estate transfer taxes. Gill caters to a wide range of clients, from high-net-worth individuals to closely held businesses. His real estate, tax, and agriculture law expertise helped him to better serve the probate needs of his 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.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
Kelsey & Ramirez, LLP logo
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Kelsey & Ramirez, LLP

712 W 23rd St, Merced, CA 95340
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Kelsey & Ramirez LLP is a general law firm near Modesto, helping clients with their legal needs. Its probate attorney has over ten years' experience handling estate matters with and without a will, including assisting with all court documents, required filings, and administrator appointments. The team also handles estate and trust contests, such as disputes between beneficiaries. Services are available in English and Spanish. Other practice areas include business and civil litigation, estate planning, and personal injury 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.
4.9
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)
Google
4.7 / 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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Kenneth R. Hedberg Attorney at Law logo
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Kenneth R. Hedberg Attorney at Law

902 13th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate

Business Description

Kenneth R. Hedberg, Attorney at Law, offers legal services to individuals and businesses in Modesto. Families can get his help with probate administration, which is the court-supervised process of distributing a deceased loved one's assets. Hedberg can help manage disputes among the beneficiaries and settle any claims against the estate. His other practice areas include personal injury suits, employment and business matters, civil rights violations, and family law. He also handles cases involving debt collection and property 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.
4.2
Google
4.1 / 5 (14)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

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 Thomas P. Hogan logo
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Law Office of Thomas P. Hogan

1207 13th St. #1, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Law Office of Thomas P. Hogan has over 35 years' experience serving individuals, businesses, and other interested parties in probate cases. Its licensed CPA and estate planning attorney in Modesto helps clients avoid probate proceedings to reduce the costs and time to resolve all legal matters involving heirs, assets, and debts. The legal team walks administrators through tasks to finalize the estate. Mr. Hogan also assists with litigation when heirs and individuals challenge wills and trusts.

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.
4.3
Google
4.4 / 5 (103)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (34)
Avvo
3.0 / 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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Law Office of Tracy Nieradzik logo
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Law Office of Tracy Nieradzik

615 13th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Founded in 2014, the Law Office of Tracy Nieradzik is an estate planning and administration legal practice. Its probate attorney in Modesto helps heirs get their loved one's assets transferred to them through court-supervised proceedings quickly and efficiently. Ms. Nieradzik also offers trust administration services, assisting clients with the required documents, and following their loved one's last wishes. Additional tasks include drafting wills, revocable living trusts, advanced health care directives, and deed transfers.

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
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (9)
Google
4.5 / 5 (8)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

(+1 additional source)

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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Montgomery & Wetenkamp logo
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Montgomery & Wetenkamp

1400 K Street, Suite C4, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Montgomery & Wetenkamp assists individuals and families seeking legal help regarding probate-related matters in Modesto. It offers services in the area of estate planning that involves preparing for the future in the event of death. The firm's legal team helps in drafting estate planning documents, such as wills, advance health care directives, trusts, and general durable powers of attorney. Its attorney, Christian A. Montgomery, also focuses on other legal concerns, including family law, conflict resolution, and tax 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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (17)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Yelp
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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Ogden Law Firm, PC logo
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Ogden Law Firm, PC

1535 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Ogden Law Firm PC is a client-centered legal practice serving clients throughout California. Its probate attorneys in Modesto walk executors and administrators through the proceedings, including getting properties appraised, collecting life insurance payouts, preparing all paperwork, determining estate taxes, managing finances, and finding and securing the decedent's assets for distribution. The team also helps with estate planning services to reduce and eliminate the need for probate. Other practice areas include business and real estate 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.
4.6
Google
4.8 / 5 (25)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (7)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

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
Ramsbacher Prokey Leonard LLP logo
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Ramsbacher Prokey Leonard LLP

1140 Scenic Drive Suite 110, Modesto, CA 95350
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Ramsbacher Prokey Leonard LLP has been serving the legal needs of Modesto individuals and families for more than 25 years. Its legal team, which has over 120 years of combined experience, handles probate and trust administration cases for local clients, assisting trustees and estate administrators in performing their fiduciary obligations and avoiding conflicts. Similarly, the team can act as mediators in trust and estate disputes between estate administrators and beneficiaries. This boutique firm also handles estate, tax, and succession planning matters.

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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––
Richard L. Fulfer Attorney At Law logo
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Richard L. Fulfer Attorney At Law

821 13th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Administration

Business Description

Richard L. Fulfer Attorney at Law is a firm that has been serving the Modesto community since the 1950s. It helps individuals in probate processes and in drafting the necessary documents for protecting the futures of their families through wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Its legal team also assists in the administration of previously created trusts upon the passing of a loved one. The firm's practitioner, Richard L. Fulfer, also handles cases involving real estate and family 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.
4.2
Google
4.1 / 5 (8)
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.
4.0
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Detail
––
Ronald W. Hillberg logo
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Ronald W. Hillberg

630 Crane Avenue, Turlock, CA 95380
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Ronald W. Hillberg has over 35 years' experience providing planning and probate services for clients throughout Central Valley. Its probate lawyer near Modesto helps guide administrators and executors through the proceedings to resolve the deceased's estate and ensure the process is carried out according to their wishes. Mr. Hillberg is certified by the State Bar of California Specialization Board in estate planning, trusts, and probate law. Related practice areas include real estate, taxation, and elder 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.
3.8
Google
4.5 / 5 (14)

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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Helpfulness
Detail
Tagre Law Office logo
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Tagre Law Office

1100 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Tagre Law Office handles estate planning matters of clients and families in Modesto. Its practice areas include probate, estate administration, wills, and trusts. Principal lawyer Pablo O. Tagre helps clients in distributing financial wealth and intangible assets. He also offers assistance to the executor or administrator of an estate on matters such as inventory and list of claims preparations. In addition, Tagre Law Office deals with cases including charitable and estate tax planning. Tagre had worked for the California State Senate prior to his law career.

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
Google
4.7 / 5 (30)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (14)
Facebook
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
The Jamison Firm logo
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The Jamison Firm

1203 14th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Jamison Firm is a professional law corporation serving businesses and individuals throughout California. Its probate and estate planning attorney in Modesto works with administrators to process probates quickly and efficiently to ensure debts are paid, and assets are distributed to the right beneficiaries. The team also assists with trust administration, such as reviewing the documents, gathering assets, and helping trustees understand their responsibilities. Other services include business and real estate 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.
4.8
Google
4.9 / 5 (13)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (12)
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
Responsiveness
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The Law Firm of Gina Leguria logo
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The Law Firm of Gina Leguria

819 17th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Established in 2000, The Law Firm of Gina Leguria provides estate planning law services and elder law in Modesto. The firm handles the smooth passage of the probate process, offering estate administration assistance and trust administration. Its team of attorneys provides different kinds of estate planning such as revocable living trusts, last will and testament, lifetime gifting, joint ownership, beneficiary designations, and life estates. Founding principal attorney Gina Leguria is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. Leguria is also a frequent speaker at Women2Women Financial Education Series and Professional Women’s Group symposiums.

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 (25)
Yelp
3.0 / 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 Office of Steven A. Smith logo
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The Law Office of Steven A. Smith

502 13th Street, Modesto, CA 95354
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

The Law Office of Steven A. Smith serves individuals and families in Modesto. Steven A. Smith is a California State Bar-certified specialist in estate planning and probate law who has been in practice since 1987. He handles estate planning, probate, living trusts, wills, and asset preservation. He is knowledgeable in charitable giving, trust administration, powers of attorney, and health care directives. He prepares documents necessary for tax minimization. To provide personal service, Smith prepares the documents for clients by himself.

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.
4.1
Google
4.3 / 5 (6)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

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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The Law Offices of Harry Dhillon, Esq logo
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The Law Offices of Harry Dhillon, Esq

121 E. Orangeburg Ave. Suite 10, Modesto, CA 95350
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Harry Dhillon, Esq. is a firm serving Modesto and nearby areas. It provides personalized legal advice, defense, and assistance in estate planning, which involves the preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. Its team conducts initial consultations to build strong cases and present solutions based on the circumstances of each situation. The firm also handles cases involving bankruptcy, DUI defense, and immigration law. It has staff members who can communicate in Hindi, Punjabi, 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.
4.8
Google
5.0 / 5 (20)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
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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