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Best Probate Lawyers in Torrance

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The DLJ Law Firm logo
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From $400 / hr

The DLJ Law Firm

3655 Torrance Blvd Suite 300, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

The DLJ Law Firm is a legal practice based in Torrance that serves clients throughout the metro area, with other offices in Riverside, Irvine, and San Diego. One of the firm's main areas of practice is probate law. The attorneys helps families of deceased individuals in the complex process of distributing the decedent's assets, working with personal representatives and executors to sort out matters such as property appraisals, sales, and tax clearance.

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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (14)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (11)
Facebook
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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Price: From $400 / hr

Alta Legacy Law logo
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Alta Legacy Law

21250 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Valdez Law PLLC assists Kirkland clients through the probate process. It oversees the administration of the decedent’s estate. The firm’s attorney, Lindsay H. Altamirano, also helps people manage their assets through estate planning. She worked for a Southern California firm focusing on probate, conservatorship, elder abuse, special needs planning, and trust administration. Altamirano started her career practicing insurance defense litigation and working for a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization advocating for girls and women with disabilities.

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

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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Beach Cities Estate Law logo
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Beach Cities Estate Law

3528 Torrance Blvd., Suite 216, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Probate
  • Probate Administration

Business Description

Beach Cities Estate Law is a Torrance-based firm that serves clients in the local metro. It works on cases involving probate administration and provides beneficiary representation. The firm manages estate planning solutions and prepares documents like wills. It also offers Young Adult Estate Plans to help young people protect their assets by creating powers of attorney documents. The firm's founding attorney, Angela Klenk, is board-certified in probate law and estate planning from the State Bar of California. She has over 15 years of legal 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
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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Carico Macdonald Kil & Benz LLP logo
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Carico Macdonald Kil & Benz LLP

841 Apollo St Ste 450, El Segundo, CA 90245
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Carico Macdonald Kil & Benz LLP is a law firm based in Torrance that offers legal services in matters involving probate and estate planning. The firm assists representatives of a decedent's estate, including executors, administrators, and family members, through the probate process, helping them resolve matters such as contested wills and large estate debts. The law firm received a national ranking and a Tier 1 ranking in Los Angeles for Trust and Estates Law from U.S. News Best Law Firms.

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)
Avvo
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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Conover & Grebe, LLP logo
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Conover & Grebe, LLP

3424 W Carson St Ste 320, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The law firm of Conover & Grebe LLP practices estate planning, probate, and elder law from its Torrance and Anaheim Hills offices, serving individuals and families throughout Orange County since the beginning of the century. The firm's probate and estate administration services are designed to provide efficient and sensitive support and guidance for clients during an emotional period. They include the filing of an inventory for the decedent's estate, dealing with creditors, and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.

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 (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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––
Cox Law Group, Inc. logo
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Cox Law Group, Inc.

23326 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 390, Torrance, CA 90505
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Cox Law Group, Inc., is a Torrance-based firm that primarily practices elder law, estate planning, and probate. Its attorneys consult with clients to explain relevant laws and probate alternatives such as wills and powers of attorney when planning for their estate. They also counsel clients in probate proceedings, helping value the estate's assets and keeping them updated on relevant deadlines and requirements. Lead attorney Cynthia Cox has over 25 years of legal experience. She is a member of the South Bay Estate Planning Council.

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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (9)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (7)
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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––
Debra J. Burdette Attorney at Law logo
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Debra J. Burdette Attorney at Law

3820 Del Amo Blvd., Suite 334, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Debra J. Burdette Attorney at Law handles estate planning, trust, and probate law matters in the Torrance area. It assists clients throughout the whole probate process, from collecting the decedent’s assets and eradicating claims of creditors against the property of the deceased person to distributing assets to the rightful heirs. Other practice areas include family and criminal law. Debra J. Burdette Attorney at Law uses specialized technology to provide its customers with vital information about their 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
Avvo
4.6 / 5 (45)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (19)
Google
4.4 / 5 (7)

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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––
Jeter Law logo
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Jeter Law

3655 Torrance Boulevard, Third Floor, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Jeter Law has been providing probate, estate planning, and trust administration and litigation services in the Torrance area since 2016. It guides its clients in navigating the complex probate process and helps ensure the decedent's assets are properly distributed. The firm's founder and owner, Eric B. Jeter, guides his clients in preparing wills, trusts, living trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. Jeter Law has 15 years of combined paralegal and attorney 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
Google
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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Lane Law Group, Inc. logo
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Lane Law Group, Inc.

28924 S Western Ave Ste 206, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Lane Law Group is a law firm serving the Torrance community and the surrounding neighborhoods. The firm's attorneys focus on probate law but also handle cases involving estate planning, trust administration, business law, and real estate law. The attorneys guide clients who are named as executors through the probate process, helping them find and secure all of the decedent's assets, determining whether any estate taxes are owed, and advising on how to clear the estate's debts.

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 (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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Law Office of James Dolenga logo
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Law Office of James Dolenga

21250 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 500, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of James Dolenga serves the people of Torrance and nearby areas. It is dedicated to helping families achieve peace of mind by avoiding lengthy probate procedures and preparing estate administration in advance. Its team collaborates with clients to develop estate planning papers, such as wills and trusts. The office also provides elder care services, such as Medicaid arrangements and guardianship agreements. With over two decades of experience, founder James Dolenga has also represented thousands of Social Security Disability Insurance claimants.

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
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (49)
Google
5.0 / 5 (23)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)
Law Office of Walter J. Hindenlang logo
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Law Office of Walter J. Hindenlang

3424 W. Carson Street, Suite 320, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of Walter J. Hindenlang is a firm that has been serving the Torrance community since 2002. It assists individuals in settling the affairs of a decedent and in resolving potential issues among heirs and beneficiaries, by providing legal guidance in probate processes. Its practitioner, Walter J. Hindenlang, handles different problems that may arise during the process, such as will contests, competing petitions to become the administrator, and holdover tenants in estate properties. Support is also available for special circumstances like real estate agreements or sales among beneficiaries.

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
4.5 / 5 (8)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
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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Swatik & Brandlin LLP logo
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Swatik & Brandlin LLP

2377 Crenshaw Blvd #201, Torrance, CA 90501
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Swatik & Brandlin LLP is a law firm that operates in Torrance. It assists individuals and families in trust and probate litigation by evaluating the issues and facts involved in each situation. Its legal team works with professionals from different industries to build a strong case, such as financial analysts and investment professionals. The firm also considers negotiation and mediation when handling a case. One of its lawyers, Mark Swatik, provides legal counsel for special needs planning, elder law, and civil litigation.

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 (181)

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
Teresa Gutierrez Law logo
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Teresa Gutierrez Law

1308 Sartori Avenue, Suite 201, Torrance, CA 90501
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Teresa Gutierrez Law is a boutique legal practice in Torrance that provides probate or trust administration, estate planning, and business law services. For five years, the law office has been helping individuals, couples, and families enjoy their estates, designing and maintaining estate plans that represent their long-term goals and wishes. Teresa Gutierrez guides her clients through complex legal decisions, such as identifying whom to trust to decide on medical care and who should care for their children.

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
4.5 / 5 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)

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
Thatcher Law logo
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Thatcher Law

3820 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Thatcher Law is an estate planning firm that serves clients in Torrance. It aids older people in making estate plans in order to avoid probate and disperse their assets to their loved ones according to their wishes. The practice drafts important documents that include wills, powers of attorney, and advanced health care directives. Since 2009, lawyer Laura Thatcher has provided counsel and representation to the metro area as a practitioner, a firm partner, and eventually the founder of her own legal practice.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.8 / 5 (18)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (3)
Avvo
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
––
The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates logo
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The Law Firm of Bezaire, Ledwitz and Associates

21515 Hawthorne Blvd Ste 585, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Torrance based Bezaire, Ledwits & Associates APC was founded in 2007. It has offices in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Pasadena, and Anaheim. The firm represents administrators and executors of an estate and helps them navigate the complex probate process. Its other areas of practice include estate planning, estate administration, and conservatorship. Lead attorney Samuel Ledwits is certified by the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization 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.
4.7
Google
4.8 / 5 (27)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (23)
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (17)

(+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
The Law Offices of Hofer & Harris APC logo
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The Law Offices of Hofer & Harris APC

1845 S. Elena Avenue, Suite 400, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Hofer & Harris, APC, assists in post-death estate settlement and probate administration, catering to clients in Torrance. Some of its services include dealing with financial institutions, escrow companies, re-titling assets, and fiduciary accountings. The law office helps clients conserve resources through proper planning, which encompasses identifying assets and liabilities, analyzing interpersonal and financial issues, and making informed decisions. Lead lawyer Eric Harris fulfills his mission to protect families and the future generation as a 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.
4.0
Google
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.
4.0
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––
The Probate House L.C. logo
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The Probate House L.C.

3424 W Carson St Suite 320, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

The Probate House L.C. employs a personal approach in handling estate planning and probate issues in Torrance. The firm advocates for its clients' rights and offers legal counsel in contested matters, guardianship, conservatorship, and estate administration. Its lawyers carry over 30 years of experience dealing with legal problems using a hands-on method. Lead attorney and founder Sibylle Grebe has been working for the Los Angeles Superior Court's Probate Volunteer Panel of Attorneys since 2004. Her practice also covers pet 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.
4.9
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.
5.0
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Watanabe & Suemori, LLP logo
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Watanabe & Suemori, LLP

3820 Del Amo Blvd, Suite 352, Torrance, CA 90503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Watanabe & Suemori, LLP, provides Torrance clients with legal solutions for their trusts and estates in the event of death or incapacity. The law office assists them in preparing wills, revocable living trusts, advance health care directives, and durable powers of attorney. Its team also handles probate and trust administration. Additionally, it can assist those with special needs beneficiaries whose benefits must be preserved. Since 2007, it has taken a client-centered approach, maintaining constant communication with clients and traveling to meet them as needed.

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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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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