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Best Probate Lawyers in Santa Monica

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Aaronson Law Corporation logo
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Aaronson Law Corporation

16133 Ventura Blvd Ste 675, Encino, CA 91436
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Encino-based Aaronson Law Corporation provides legal representation from its probate lawyers near Santa Monica. Since 1975, the firm's founder, Arthur Aaronson, and his team have built long-term relationships with clients while understanding their needs and goals. Aside from probate, the firm has extensive experience in estate planning, real estate, and contracts. Aaronson Law Corporation is committed to providing ethical and sound legal advice to produce high-quality and cost-effective legal solutions.

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 (12)

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5.0
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Catalino Law logo
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Catalino Law

12121 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1103, Los Angeles, CA 90025
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  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Catalino Law represents beneficiaries, executors, and trustees in probate courts in Santa Monica and throughout Southern California. It works with clients in administering estates or trusts. The firm’s board-certified estate planning specialist, Cynthia Catalino, helps families plan for their future by preparing advance healthcare directives, financial powers of attorney, trusts, and wills. She serves on the Trusts and Estates Section of the State Bar of California and is a member of the International Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners.

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)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

(+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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Gorman & Miller logo
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Gorman & Miller

201 Santa Monica Blvd Suite 300, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Gorman & Miller is a law firm serving individuals, families, and businesses throughout Santa Monica and the surrounding cities. It represents clients in probate court to help resolve their estate issues. It also guides clients in creating business succession plans for their family-owned businesses. Gorman & Miller also utilizes an online document management system, which allows document signing and negotiations to provide flexible legal transactions to clients. One of its attorneys, Kenneth Heisz, brings three decades of litigation experience.

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)
Avvo
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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Hayes Law Firm logo
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Hayes Law Firm

729 Mission St. #300, South Pasadena, CA 91030
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Business Description

Hayes Law Firm serves individuals in the Santa Monica area who are seeking assistance with probate. Its team represents executors and helps them appraise assets and notify creditors, heirs, and beneficiaries. The legal professionals also provide trust administration services, which involve guidance in selecting trustees and establishing living trusts. Hayes Law Firm is headed by William Hayes, who drafts estate plans to help clients avoid probate and protect their assets. He is an American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys 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 (44)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)

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Jakle & Alexander, LLP logo
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Jakle & Alexander, LLP

1250 6th Street, Suite 300, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Jakle & Alexander, LLP helps clients with probate, estate planning, and administration of trusts in the Santa Monica metro. It guides the estate's executor in the inventory and distribution of assets. It also helps with the settlement of disputes, payment of debts, and closure of the probate. The firm assists with estate and incapacity planning, establishing guardianship, and setting up a special needs trust. One of the firm's partners, Lisa C. Alexander, is a certified legal 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
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

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Joseph E. Deering of Deering, Sands & Berberoglu logo
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Joseph E. Deering of Deering, Sands & Berberoglu

2221 23rd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Joseph E. Deering of Deering, Sands & Berberoglu represents individuals and families in Santa Monica in real estate and elder law. He provides probate administrative services to help executors fulfill the wishes of the deceased for their loved ones. Deering handles various types of probate disputes, such as conflicting wills and trust forgery. He also advises the elderly on financial, legal, and health care matters, as well as buyers, sellers, and investors on navigating the legal aspects of real estate transactions.

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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Keystone Law Group, P.C. logo
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Keystone Law Group, P.C.

11300 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 910, Los Angeles, CA 90064
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Since 2014, Keystone Law Group, P.C., has been assisting Santa Monica clients with the probate process. It helps enforce the rights of beneficiaries, creditors, executors, heirs, and surviving spouses regarding the administration of a decedent’s estate. The attorneys defend and challenge the validity of wills due to error or suspicion of misconduct. Managing partner Shawn S. Kerendian is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. He has been named as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” Attorneys in California by the Daily Journal.

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 (77)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (16)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (9)

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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.
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Kull Hall Attorneys at Law LLP logo
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Kull Hall Attorneys at Law LLP

1337 Ocean Avenue Suite B, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Kull Hall Attorneys at Law LLP provides Santa Monica residents with legal services in estate and trust litigation, family and business interests dissolutions, and real estate law. Kevin P. Hall and Robert F. Kull established the firm in 2009. Kull and Hall's professional partnership dates back to 1985. They have 54 years of collective legal experience and possess extensive legal expertise stemming from their previous employment in various law firms. Kull Hall Attorneys at Law LLP also handles professional malpractice and business counseling.

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.
5.0
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Law Offices of Chris Arvin logo
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Law Offices of Chris Arvin

2450 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

The Law Offices of Chris Arvin creates legal solutions to help streamline estate planning for the residents of Santa Monica. It helps clients navigate the complexities of the probate process. Chris Arvin assists estate owners in cataloging assets, paying debts, and distributing properties. He also aids small estate owners in avoiding probate. Arvin was admitted to the bar in 1983 and is a member of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce. He has served clients from UCLA, SpaceX, and Farmer's Insurance.

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
Avvo
4.9 / 5 (33)

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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Legacy One Law Firm logo
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Legacy One Law Firm

12400 Wilshire Blvd #400, Los Angeles, CA 90025
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Legacy One Law Firm focuses its law practice on estate planning and asset protection for individuals, families, and entertainment professionals in Santa Monica. It educates clients about the process of estate planning and drafts documents according to the clients' personal needs. It provides legal solutions concerning wills, revocable living trusts, and irrevocable living trusts to help preserve their wealth and construct protection plans for children. In addition, the law office deals with matters involving durable powers of attorney and health care documents.

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 (9)
Facebook
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.
4.0
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––
Marc A. Bronstein logo
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Marc A. Bronstein

3205 Ocean Park Blvd., Ste. 200, Santa Monica, CA 90405
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Marc A. Bronstein caters to clients in Santa Monica who need legal assistance with their probate matters. With over four decades of experience in the legal field, he focuses on helping individuals, families, and business owners plan for the future of their estates and families. It guides clients in preparing wills, powers of attorneys, revocable living trusts, and advanced health care directives. In addition to being a probate and estate planning attorney, Marc A. Bronstein is also a certified public accountant.

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
5.0 / 5 (11)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (3)

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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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Mihell Law logo
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Mihell Law

401 Wilshire Blvd 12th Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Mihell Law concentrates on probate law in Santa Monica. The firm's legal team has experience in probate administration to help ease the burden of bereaved families. Services include distribution of remaining assets on behalf of the decedent, preparation and filing of the necessary paperwork, mediation of disputes over assets between beneficiaries, and payment of taxes and outstanding debts. Its lead attorney, Monica Mihell, served as a court-appointed special advocate for children, an arbitrator, a voluntary settlement officer, and a mediator.

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
5.0 / 5 (3)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
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.
5.0
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Murphy Rosen LLP logo
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Murphy Rosen LLP

100 Wilshire Blvd Suite 1300, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Murphy Rosen LLP has experienced probate litigators who have been trying high-stakes Santa Monica estate and trust disputes. It accepts cases involving breach of the fiduciary’s duty, capacity, undue influence, fund misappropriation, trust interpretation, and trustee removal. Its attorneys have an average of 25 years of high-stakes litigation experience. It represents international clients and Fortune 500 businesses. The firm has recently won a verdict for a trustee accused of undue influence and fraud involving more than $30 million in damages.

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
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Detail
––
Reiter Gruber logo
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Reiter Gruber

100 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 700, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Reiter Gruber LLP is a multidisciplinary law firm that handles probate cases in Santa Monica and neighboring counties. Its co-founders, Charlie Reiter and Robert Gruber, have secured multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for trustees and decedents alike. For example, Mr. Gruber successfully obtained the removal of the trustees of a $400-million-dollar trust. Using this experience, they represent decedents and beneficiaries in securing the proper allocation of their share of an inheritance. They can also petition for the appointment of an executor to enact the will of the deceased.

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)
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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Schorr Law logo
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Schorr Law

1901 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
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  • Trusts
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Schorr Law is a Los Angeles-based law firm with estate planning attorneys near Santa Monica and serving clients state-wide in California. The firm uses a case-specific approach when dealing with clients, combining a cost and benefit analysis while focusing on clients' goals. Schorr Law has assisted a variety of clients, whether individuals or businesses. Its team is well-versed in estate planning, probate litigation, the mediation of real estate disputes, and commercial lease counseling.

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 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)
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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Detail
––
Stevenson Law Office logo
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Stevenson Law Office

15250 Ventura Blvd Ste 1102, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

With probate attorneys near Santa Monica, the Stevenson Law Office services residents from the Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Long Beach, and the Orange County areas. The firm represents clients in litigation related to estate planning, trusts, conservatorship, and probate. Over the years, its team has handled many inheritance-related disputes that involved individual beneficiaries, executors, trustees, trust administrators, and conservators. Stevenson Law Office provides online forms on their website to assist in estate planning.

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
5.0 / 5 (12)
Avvo
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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The Law Offices of Naveed Mahboobian logo
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The Law Offices of Naveed Mahboobian

2530 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 325, Santa Monica, CA 90403
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  • Probate

Business Description

The Law Offices of Naveed Mahboobian is a multi-practice firm in Santa Monica that assists in probate law matters. It offers assistance and litigation counsel throughout the probate and trust administration. It helps its clients understand their estate planning options, which include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives. It also guides them in setting up these documents. Naveed Mahboobian has been admitted to practice in the bar associations of California and the District of Columbia.

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 (5)
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.
5.0
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Thomas R. Barnes Attorney at Law logo
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Thomas R. Barnes Attorney at Law

4223 Glencoe Ave Suite C106, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Thomas R. Barnes, Attorney at Law, guides administrators and executors in Santa Monica through the probate process, from filing the will with the court to paying taxes and debts and implementing the wishes of the deceased. It also represents beneficiaries and trust fiduciaries in cases when probate litigation is necessary. Attorney Thomas Barnes has been helping people preserve and manage their wealth for two decades. He also handles domestic relations cases and is a board-certified family law specialist.

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 (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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Tree of Life Law Firm logo
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Tree of Life Law Firm

2219 Main Street, #456, Santa Monica, CA 90405
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Tree of Life Law Firm offers services to individuals looking to protect their wealth in Santa Monica and the surrounding communities. It assists clients in managing their assets through probate and structures estate planning strategies to address future requirements. It provides solutions involving special needs planning, charitable giving, asset and inheritance protection, family legacy planning, and tax planning. The firm addresses location challenges and delivers services virtually through phone or video conference. Principal attorney Edmund Yan has been serving clients for over a decade. 

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 (18)
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)
Facebook
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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––
Waugh Law logo
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Waugh Law

401 Wilshire Blvd., 12th Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Waugh Law offers assistance to individuals and businesses in Santa Monica and the neighboring areas. Its probate attorneys deal with matters, such as guardianship, trusts disputes, will contests, and estate litigation. The firm also handles estate planning-related cases, including trust modifications, reformations, and trust conversions. Founder Christian Waugh also assists clients in cases, such as real estate, litigation, and business law matters in state and federal courts. In addition, Waugh Law attorneys use an industry-standard framework while maintaining a traditional approach to practicing 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 (6)
Google
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
Responsiveness
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Detail

Consumers utilizing Expertise.com are free to communicate and contract with any lawyer they choose. Expertise.com is not involved in the confidential attorney-client relationship. Featured lawyers pay a reasonable advertising cost to market their legal services with Expertise.com and must meet similar selection criteria as other lawyers. All cases are different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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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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