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Best Probate Lawyers in Salinas

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Chilton & House logo
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Chilton & House

310 Capitol Street, Salinas, CA 93901
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Chilton & House is a law firm founded by Gregory M. Chilton and Robert L. House, probate attorneys in Salinas. The founding partners are both certified by the State Bar of California as specialists in estate planning, trust, and probate law. Their practice includes guiding clients throughout the probate process, including legal advice, tax planning, settling debts, and facilitating the distribution of assets. The firm also processes estate plans and counsels businesses and corporations.

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
Google
4.5 / 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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Chilton & House LLP logo
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Chilton & House LLP

310 Capitol Street, Salinas, CA 93901
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Chilton & House LLP, located in Salinas, is a probate and estate planning firm offering experienced counsel and representation for clients making their way through probate court. Founded in 1971, the firm offers comprehensive service for clients of the Central Coast, with a team that gets hands-on to ensure the best possible outcomes for every client. Its estate planning arm is lead by attorneys who are certified specialists in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the State Bar of California.

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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Hempel & Mudd Attorneys At Law logo
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Hempel & Mudd Attorneys At Law

306 Capitol St., Salinas, CA 93901
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Hempel & Mudd Attorneys At Law provides legal services that focus on estate planning, probate, elder law, and conservatorships in Salinas and surrounding areas. The firm guides its client in drafting an estate plan utilizing trusts, wills, advance health care directives, and powers of attorney. It also counsels its client through the probate process. Helen B. Hemper, a partner, is a member of various organizations like the Monterey County Bar Association (MCBA) Trusts and Estates Section and the Alzheimer’s Association Local Program Committee.

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 (6)

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
Horan Lloyd logo
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Horan Lloyd

26385 Carmel Rancho Lane, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93923
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Horan Lloyd is a probate firm near Salinas with years of experience in estate law and administration. It has more than 50 years of experience in the legal industry and is one of the Central Coast's most respected and largest firm. The firm's estate planning arm focuses on the administration and probate of estates. It also offers estate planning, tax structuring advice, and end-of-life planning. Its estate planning attorneys include specialists who are certified by the State Bar of California.

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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Johnson, Fantl & Kennifer, LLP logo
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Johnson, Fantl & Kennifer, LLP

500 Camino El Estero, Monterey, CA 93940
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Johnson, Fantl & Kennifer LLP is headed by a probate attorney near Salinas and offers a comprehensive range of services for clients heading through probate court. It helps clients throughout each step of the probate process, all the way through discharge and final accounting. It also assists with revocable living trusts, durable POAs, wills, and advanced health care directives. Other services include charitable planning, generational trust planning, and charitable remainder trusts.

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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JRG Attorneys at Law logo
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JRG Attorneys at Law

318 Cayuga Street, Salinas, CA 93901
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

JRG Attorneys at Law is a full-service law firm based in Salinas. It serves communities across the Central Coast. The firm guides individuals and families through the complex process of probate. Its team of attorneys assists clients with legal issues relating to the estate of a deceased person. Its services include identifying assets, paying creditors, and filing tax returns. The firm also helps clients with other areas of estate planning including conservatorships and power of attorney.

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
4.2 / 5 (10)

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
Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss logo
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Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss

333 Salinas Street, Salinas, CA 93901
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss is a full-service law firm serving clients throughout Salinas. It helps clients protect their wealth for their families through the preparation of wills and testamentary trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, financial and health care powers of attorney, and individual and family trusts. Its professionals also appear before the probate court in issues pertaining to trust administration, probate of estates, and conservatorship proceedings. Charles Des Roches, one of the firm's attorneys, is a former president of the Monterey County 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
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Ottone Leach & Ray LLP logo
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Ottone Leach & Ray LLP

1418 South Main Street, Salinas, CA 93908
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Inheritance Taxes
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Ottone Leach & Ray LLP in Salinas are probate attorneys that help local families and individuals settle their loved ones' estates through the probate process. The firm is well-versed in handling representation and counsel for clients in probate court and can overtake the administration of the estate altogether if desired. In addition, it helps with revocable and irrevocable trusts, trust administration, family LLCs, durable POAs, and advanced directives for health care.

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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Patane Gumberg Avila, LLP Attorneys at Law logo
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Patane Gumberg Avila, LLP Attorneys at Law

4 Rossi Circle, Suite 231, Salinas, CA 93907
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Patane Gumberg Avila, LLP Attorneys at Law is a legal firm in Salinas that includes probate among its practice areas. The firm is run by a trio of managing partners. Both Nina M. Patane and James K. Gumberg graduated with honors in law school and have been practicing since 1991. Andrea C. Avila is a Salinas native who has been in the field since 1997. All three attorneys handle a wide range of practice areas, from personal injury and family law to wine 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.
4.4
Google
4.4 / 5 (5)
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
Ruggiero Law Office logo
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Ruggiero Law Office

1188 Padre Drive, Suite 124, Salinas, CA 93901
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  • Estate Planning
  • Real Estate

Business Description

Ruggiero Law Office provides its Salinas clients with trust administration and probate-related services. Its estate planning solutions include using tools like advanced health care directives, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and wills. It also deals with business law and commercial transactions, as well as real estate matters. It strives to develop the way it offers its services through technology. Lawyer Vincent Ruggiero, who has been in the legal practice since 2016, also has experience in the field of cannabis 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)

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
Schwartz Law Group, Inc. logo
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Schwartz Law Group, Inc.

200 Clock Tower Place, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93923
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Inheritance Taxes
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Schwartz Law Group Inc. near Salinas if a probate attorney offering years of experience in estate law and litigation. Serving the Central and Northern Coast regions, the firm has more than 40 years of experience in the area, helping with estate planning, administration, and probate. Its service extends from the inception of estate plans through administering the estate after a loved one's death. Additional focuses of concentration include business and real estate law 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.
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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