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Best Probate Lawyers in Tustin

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Bauer & Shekerlian Attorneys at Law logo
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Bauer & Shekerlian Attorneys at Law

1131 East Main Street, Suite 107, Tustin, CA 92780
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

Bauer & Shekerlian Attorneys at Law offers legal assistance to clients in Tustin and the neighboring areas. It provides probate administration services that include assistance in transferring the decedents' assets to beneficiaries or legal heirs. The law firm also covers estate and wealth, special needs, tax, and business planning. The team at Bauer & Shekerlian Attorneys at Law brings more than 40 years of combined experience. It can cater to clients who speak Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

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
4.5 / 5 (13)
Google
5.0 / 5 (10)
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.
5.0
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Beatrice Phan Law logo
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Beatrice Phan Law

38 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Beatrice Phan Law provides comprehensive and customized estate planning assistance to Tustin residents and the surrounding areas. The firm counsels clients on using legal tools such as revocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care directives and other legal documents to protect themselves and their loved ones, as well as to ensure that their legacies live on. It advises on trust administration and child protection planning. It assists individuals throughout the probate process, helping them distribute or transfer their deceased loved ones' assets to the beneficiaries or heirs. Founding attorney, Beatrice Phan, brings over 19 years of experience in the legal field.

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 (14)
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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Bruce D. Gleit, Attorney at Law logo
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Bruce D. Gleit, Attorney at Law

17332 Irvine Boulevard Suite 110, Tustin, CA 92780
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Established in 1995, Bruce D. Gleit, Attorney at Law, is a boutique law firm that serves the legal needs of individuals and families in and around Tustin. The firm offers legal advice to heirs and trustees left with their deceased loved ones' wills, assisting them with trust administration and probate. It also provides representation to individuals who were named executors of estates to help them perform their roles competently and establish that the estates are closed correctly and efficiently.

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
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (5)
FindLaw
4.5 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

(+2 additional sources)

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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Citadel Law Corporation logo
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Citadel Law Corporation

2372 Morse Ave, Irvine, CA 92614
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Citadel Law Corporation represents the residents of Tustin in cases concerning probate and family law. It handles contested wills and trusts, files Heggstad and spousal petitions on clients' behalf, and represents estate executors. The company also offers trustee and estate administration solutions, such as mediation, counseling, and tax planning. It guides individuals and families in organizing assets and creating living trusts, tax-exempt charitable foundations, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. Citadel Law Corporation helps businesses establish business entities and stock assignments.

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 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
2.5 / 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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Copenbarger & Copenbarger LLP logo
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Copenbarger & Copenbarger LLP

200 Sandpointe Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92707
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Copenbarger & Copenbarger LLP provides a wide range of estate planning services from several offices throughout California. The firm was founded in 1979, and its probate lawyers near Tustin have more than 150 years of combined experience. Copenbarger & Copenbarger LLP offers particular expertise in estate planning, wealth transfer strategies, and charitable planning for high-net-worth clients. The firm's lawyers have assisted clients in donating a total of more than one billion dollars to various charities and churches.

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 (42)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (4)
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.
5.0
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First Class Counsel logo
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First Class Counsel

2372 Morse Ave, Irvine, CA 92614
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

First Class Counsel is a law firm that provides legal services and representation to clients in Tustin and surrounding areas. It assists in probate matters such as estate and trust administration along with trust litigation. Its attorneys make tailored estate plans for clients that address their unique needs and protect the assets of individuals and their loved ones. Other practice areas of the firm include business succession planning, guardianship and conservatorship, elder law, and long-term care.

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 (13)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Joel F. Pipes & Associates logo
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Joel F. Pipes & Associates

14751 Plaza Drive Suite P, Tustin, CA 92780
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  • Probate Litigation
  • Probate

Business Description

Joel F. Pipes & Associates is a Tustin-based law firm that helps clients resolve probate disputes. For more than 15 years, it has been guiding executors throughout the probate administration process. It tackles probate litigation cases involving will contests, administrator appointment disputes, executor fee issues, and trustee removals. Its attorney also assists in creating wills, establishing trusts, and preparing powers of attorney. Sole practitioner Joel F. Pipes has been a lawyer since 2002. A significant part of this practice covers the defense of beneficiary rights.

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 (5)
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of Robert E. Hales logo
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Law Office of Robert E. Hales

1341 East Chapman, Orange, CA 92866
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

For more than 35 years, the Law Office of Robert E. Hales has been serving individuals, families, and businesses throughout Tustin. It represents clients in probate courts and helps them draft estate planning documents such as irrevocable trusts, revocable trusts, and special needs trusts. The firm also offers legal assistance with business structuring matters. Chad Hales, one of the attorneys from the company, has broad experience representing clients in litigation concerning the California Endangered Species Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

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 (15)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Detail
Law Offices of Stephen M. Magro logo
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Law Offices of Stephen M. Magro

14101 Yorba Street, Suite 101, Tustin, CA 92780
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Stephen M. Magro handles estate matters, whether simple or complex cases, in the Tustin area. It represents guardians, entities, trustees, executors, and beneficiaries in probate proceedings that include will contests and breach of fiduciary duty actions. In addition, the law firm assists clients in conservatorship and guardianship concerns, trust administration, and estate litigation. Magro has been practicing law for over 30 years and has litigated over 140 trust and estate disputes to date.

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
4.4 / 5 (7)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
3.5 / 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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Law Offices of Yvonne Hsu logo
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Law Offices of Yvonne Hsu

1170 Roosevelt, Irvine, CA 92620
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

The Law Offices of Yvonne Hsu is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual estate planning firm. It has staff members who also speak Mandarin, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese, and Russian. The firm caters to Tustin clients, providing trust and estate planning services, including living trusts that allow the administration of clients' assets during their lifetime in the event of disability, as well as the distribution of their assets upon death. Before founding the firm, principal lawyer Yvonne Hsu had worked as an associate advising Fortune 500 companies, such as Boeing and Starbucks.

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
4.2 / 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
Responsiveness
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Merhab Robinson & Clarkson Law Corporation logo
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Merhab Robinson & Clarkson Law Corporation

1551 N. Tustin Ave. Suite 1020, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

Merhab Robinson & Clarkson Law Corporation offers legal services in the Tustin metro. It assists clients with supervised and unsupervised probate after the death of a loved one. Probate can be lengthy, and the firm's lawyers can help clients avoid it through a revocable living trust, beneficiary designation, or joint tenancy. They also help clients craft estate plans using various tools, such as powers of attorney, wills, and trusts. Paula Clarkson, a partner at the firm, is a board-certified specialist in estate planning, probate, and trust.

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)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Detail
Moore and Affiliates, PLC logo
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Moore and Affiliates, PLC

1010 North Ross Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Moore and Affiliates, PLC is a Santa Ana law firm providing Tustin residents with assistance in comprehensive estate planning. With more than 22 years of legal experience, probate lawyer Terrence Moore counsels clients on using wills, powers of attorney, revocable trusts, and other legal instruments to safeguard their legacies. He helps them create estate plans that avoid probate and limit tax expenses. In addition to handling estate administration and litigation, Moore lends his expertise in various aspects of taxation.

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 (22)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (11)

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
Ovando Bowen, LLP logo
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Ovando Bowen, LLP

1800 E. Garry Avenue, Suite 116, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ovando Bowen, LLP, serves families and businesses in and around Tustin. The firm primarily offers estate planning and probate services. Its attorneys help clients establish legal documents to support their beneficiaries in distributing their assets and providing for minor family members post-death or incapacity, while minimizing estate taxes. They also represent beneficiaries in probate litigation, such as in will challenges. Founding partner Sara Ovando is an active member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

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 (11)
Facebook
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Petros Law Offices logo
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Petros Law Offices

1851 East First Street, Suite 840, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate

Business Description

Petros Law Offices is a firm that provides legal services to clients in Tustin. It focuses on cases related to probate practice and estate planning. It attorney advises the clients on all aspects involved in the estate planning process. These include planning for the property disposition, addressing potential issues on estate and gift tax, and planning in the event of incapacity. Lee J. Petros, the firm’s founder and principal, also has experience in trial, appellate cases, and alternative dispute resolution.

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
Responsiveness
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Detail
Rehmani & Associates Attorneys At Law logo
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Rehmani & Associates Attorneys At Law

14751 Plaza Dr., Suite B, Tustin, CA 92780
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Rehmani & Associates Attorneys At Law offers represents individuals on matters involving probate in Tustin. It covers lost wills, will contests, litigation, and post-mortem tax planning. It also handles living trusts, conservatorship, and estate planning. It helps clients in identifying the correct beneficiaries and implementing the proper distribution of assets. It also assists clients in determining the validity of the will in case of family disputes. One of its lawyers, Suzanne Rehmani, is also a real estate broker and has an LLM in taxation.

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
4.9 / 5 (28)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Scott A. Bourdelais logo
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Scott A. Bourdelais

2060 N. Tustin, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate

Business Description

Scott A. Bourdelais is an attorney whose practice focuses on estate and probate matters. Bourdelais helps individuals and families in Tustin circumvent the lengthy probate process by designing revocable living trusts or estate plans. These name the trustees or representatives who will take care of the client's wealth upon death. These documents will also direct the asset transfers and guardianship arrangements according to the decedent's final wishes. The attorney has been practicing law since 1982. Bourdelais also frequently presents seminars about trusts in Orange County.

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)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (5)
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Helpfulness
Detail
––
Shafer, Grossman & Rupp, APLC. logo
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Shafer, Grossman & Rupp, APLC.

2112 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Shafer, Grossman & Rupp, APLC is a law company in Santa Ana that also serves clients in Tustin and surrounding areas. Its probate attorneys concentrate on helping people resolve their issues concerning wills and trusts. Additionally, they assist clients in the areas of personal injury, traffic accidents, criminal defense, employment law, and bankruptcy. Shafer, Grossman & Rupp, APLC also provides consultations on immigration law, which includes matters such as green card applications, family petition process, and status adjustment requests.

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 (11)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (10)

(+2 additional sources)

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
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Detail
Soto Law Group APC logo
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Soto Law Group APC

1101 Dove Street, Suite 200, Newport Beach, CA 92660
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Soto Law Group APC serves families and individuals in the community of Tustin and the surrounding areas. The firm offers legal counsel in matters involving conservatorships, estate planning, trust administration, will and trust disputes, and child protection plans. It also provides legal services throughout the probate process, such as distributing assets following a will, paying the debts of the estate, determining the natural heirs, and collecting bills for the estate. Its founder, R. Dede Soto, has more than 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.
4.8
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (10)
Google
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
––
The Law Offices of Kate Young logo
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The Law Offices of Kate Young

122 E. Walnut Ave., Suite A, Monrovia, CA 91016
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Kate Young caters to the legal needs of clients in Tustin and its neighboring metros. It offers legal assistance on matters involving the probate process, including filing court petitions, appointing an administrator or executor, determining the rightful heirs or beneficiaries, filing for periodic accounting, and distributing assets. The practice also handles estate planning services, such as revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, guardianships, and simple wills. Its lawyer, Kate Young, has almost 20 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 (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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Wolf Law Firm Attorney at Law logo
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Wolf Law Firm Attorney at Law

17671 Irvine Blvd. Suite 120, Tustin, CA 92780
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Wolf Law Firm Attorney at Law is a private practice that handles matters concerning estate planning and probate administration. It serves the Tustin area, helping executors and beneficiaries of the estates effectively manage and distribute assets on behalf of the deceased. Its legal staff also assist in preparing legally binding documents such as wills and living trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care directives. Gerald A. Wolf has been practicing law since 1971. He is well-versed in the areas of 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 (3)
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
––
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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