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Best Probate Lawyers in Clearwater

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atCause Law Offices logo
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atCause Law Offices

131 N. Garden Ave, Clearwater, FL 33755
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

atCause Law Offices addresses the legal needs of individuals in Clearwater. It deals with matters concerning probate, wills and trusts, and aids in the development of estate plans. The firm's team of estate planning attorneys brings more than 20 years of combined experience. The attorneys are adept at developing an estate plan that prevents legal complications and limits tax burdens. In addition, its lawyer, Dina Arvanitakis, is a passer of the Illinois and District of Columbia bar exams.

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 (53)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)

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5.0
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Bell Law Firm, P.A. logo
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Bell Law Firm, P.A.

2364 Boy Scout Road Suite 200, Clearwater, FL 33763
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Bell Law Firm, P.A., is an estate planning and probate law firm that serves Clearwater and surrounding areas. The firm represents personal representatives in the probate administration process, trustees in the trust administration process, and beneficiaries of a probate estate. It also assists clients regarding estate planning options and the sale of residential and commercial properties. The firm was established by Tanya Bell. She serves as president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Clearwater Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (29)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (12)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)

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5.0
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Burke Faulkner logo
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Burke Faulkner

3937 Tampa Road #2, Oldsmar, FL 34677
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Burke Faulkner offers legal representation to families in Clearwater. It deals with the probate process and advises relatives of decedents who died intestate. It also aids clients who need help with coming up with an estate plan. The firm's attorneys, Debbie Faulkner and Henri Bardhi, share over six decades of combined experience in estate law. Faulkner has been included thrice in Florida's list of Top 40 Under 40 estate planning attorneys. Other matters handled by the firm include trust and summary administration.

Reputation:

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5.0

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5.0
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David W. Griffin, P.A. logo
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David W. Griffin, P.A.

565 S. Duncan Ave., Clearwater, FL 33756
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

David W. Griffin, P.A., is a law firm in Clearwater that represents local individuals, families, businesses, and real estate property sellers and buyers. It provides clients with legal services and guidance for matters relating to estate planning, including probate, wills, powers of attorney, and estate and trust administration. The firm also deals with asset titling alternatives, the review and update of estate planning documents, representation of beneficiaries, and dispute resolution. David Griffin, the founder, has been practicing law since 1980.

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 (5)
Douglas L. Hilkert P.A. logo
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Douglas L. Hilkert P.A.

2557 Nursery Road, Suite A, Clearwater, FL 33764
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Douglas L. Hilkert, P.A., serves clients throughout Clearwater and the neighboring communities. He handles legal concerns that concern probate administration, estate planning, wills and trusts, advance health care directives, durable powers of attorney, and health care surrogate designation. His law office also deals with real estate law issues and offers representation for both buyers and sellers. The firm represents clients in real estate closings, handles powers of attorney and title insurance issues, and prepares and reviews contracts.

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
4.6 / 5 (10)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

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5.0
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Fox and Fox, P.A. logo
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Fox and Fox, P.A.

2515 Countryside Blvd Suite G, Clearwater, FL 33763
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  • Wills

Business Description

Fox and Fox P.A. is a legal practice that was formed in 1970 by the now-retired Roland Fox. Roland's son, Gregory A. Fox, joined him in 1984 and continues to provide counsel to families and businesses in Clearwater and the surrounding areas. This firm handles probate cases, guiding executors through the process of estate administration. Gregory also provides estate planning services that include drafting wills, creating living trusts, arranging advanced healthcare directives, and preparing general powers of attorney.

Reputation:

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5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

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5.0
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Law Offices of Richard D. Green logo
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Law Offices of Richard D. Green

1010 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL 33755
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Adult Guardianship
  • Probate
  • Probate Administration

Business Description

The Law Offices of Richard Green is a legal firm based in Clearwater that has been serving the state of Florida for 37 years. The firm assists its clients in various legal matters, including probate & trust administration, estate planning, and guardianship for incapacitated adults. It was founded by Richard Green in 1982. In addition to probate and estate planning, Green is also well-versed in corporate law. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Financial Counselling Service for the Morton Plant Mease Foundation.

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 (10)
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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Law Offices of Sherri M. Stinson logo
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Law Offices of Sherri M. Stinson

522 Alt 19 #1, Palm Harbor, FL 34683
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

The Law Offices of Sherri M. Stinson is a boutique law firm exclusively focusing on probate, estate planning, and guardianship in Clearwater. Its services include advising clients who are dealing with formal, summary, or ancillary probate administration. The firm also represents clients in probate disputes. In addition, it helps clients create estate plans with the aim of avoiding or minimizing the impact of probate. Sherri Stinson has been practicing law since 2004. She previously served as the chair of the Clearwater Bar Association's probate section.

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 (34)

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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O'Connor Law Firm logo
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O'Connor Law Firm

2240 Belleair Rd., Clearwater, FL 33764
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

The O'Connor Law Firm provides legal assistance and representation in probate matters to the locals of Clearwater. Backed by over 60 years of combined legal experience, the firm's attorneys guide their clients through the entire probate process, including notifying creditors, paying bills, and managing the estate; distributing the probate assets to the beneficiaries; and identifying the identification and gathering the assets. It also handles elder law, estate planning, and civil litigation. Patrick M. O'Connor established the firm in 1994.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (15)
Yelp
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.
4.0
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Peebles & Gracy, P.A. logo
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Peebles & Gracy, P.A.

826 Broadway, Dunedin, FL 34698
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Peebles & Gracy, P.A., has a long history that dates back to 1926. The law firm helps the citizens of Clearwater and the surrounding cities deal with estate-related issues. It assists personal representatives through the estate administration process. Along with probate assistance, it guides trustees in managing trusts. It also protects the welfare of older adults by helping them seek eligibility for Medicaid's institutional care program. Principal lawyer Andrew Gracy has been serving clients since 2002.

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 (17)

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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PersanteZuroweste Attorneys at Law logo
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PersanteZuroweste Attorneys at Law

2555 Enterprise Road, Suite 15, Clearwater, FL 33763
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  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

PersanteZuroweste, Attorneys at Law is a team of trial lawyers handling probate matters in Clearwater. The firm's attorneys offer guidance in challenging estate plans and advocate for the rights of parties affected by probate disputes. They deal with trust or will contests, defend or uphold the decedent's wishes, and sue or defend representatives with regards to the performance of their duties. Their services cover conservatorship, guardianship, and power of attorney abuse. PersanteZuroweste employs a realistic approach in handling 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.
4.5
Facebook
4.4 / 5 (7)
Google
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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Richert Quarles P.A. logo
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Richert Quarles P.A.

5801 Ulmerton Road Suite 100, Clearwater, FL 33760
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation
  • Probate
  • Probate Administration

Business Description

Richert Quarles, P.A., handles probate and estate concerns in Clearwater. The law firm's attorneys counsel about the summary administration of both small and large estates. They deal with the filing of probate cases, the appointment and court representation of personal representatives, and the identification of creditors. A shareholder attorney at the firm, Patrick D. Quarles, practices probate and case litigation. Meanwhile, John Richert, the legal office's managing attorney, is licensed to practice law in the U.S. Middle and Southern District Courts of Florida.

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
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Stross Law Firm, P.A. logo
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Stross Law Firm, P.A.

Pepper Tree Professional Centre 1801 Pepper Tree Drive, Oldsmar, FL 34677
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Stross Law Firm, P.A., is a veteran-owned multi-practice firm that has been serving the residents of Clearwater for over 40 years. It provides legal assistance in the probate court process, including those involving out-of-state representatives and trustees. Its attorneys also serve as personal representatives or executors of the decedents' estate. In addition, they help update trusts and other estate planning tools. All three of the firm's attorneys are members of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.3 / 5 (11)
Facebook
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.
5.0
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The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A. Attorney & Counselor at Law logo
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The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A. Attorney & Counselor at Law

28059 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 101,, Clearwater, FL 33761
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A. Attorney & Counselor at Law provides services for Clearwater clients. The firm assists in the probate and trust settlement by managing and distributing a deceased's assets through a court-supervised process. It also helps file petitions for estate administration and homestead property, serve notices to heirs, resolve disputes, pay estate debts, and sell estate assets. Additionally, it handles the trust settlement process and estate planning. Kevin Hernandez, the firm's principal attorney, is accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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 (9)
Google
4.1 / 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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––
The Law Office of Michael T. Heider, P.A. logo
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The Law Office of Michael T. Heider, P.A.

2629 McCormick Dr # 102, Clearwater, FL 33759
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

The Law Office of Michael T. Heider, P.A. serves clients in Clearwater and the surrounding areas. Its team handles a variety of probate-related tasks, such as settling inheritance disputes by resolving issues about the validity of the deceased person's will, collecting debts owed to the deceased person, and clearing title to land or stocks and bonds. The firm also offers elder law and estate planning services. Michael T. Heider, the firm's principal attorney, is also a CPA.

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
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 Lucas & Magazine logo
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The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine

8606 Government Drive, New Port Richey, FL 34654
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine is a law firm that helps clients with estate administration. Founded by probate lawyers near Clearwater in 2000, the law office covers all areas related to estate law, including trust litigation. The attorneys prepare wills, healthcare surrogates, trusts, and power of attorney documents. The legal team also helps clients update their wills. Members of the support staff provide counsel in English, Polish, Spanish, and Greek.

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
4.3 / 5 (16)
FindLaw
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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––
Thompson & Fernald, PA logo
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Thompson & Fernald, PA

611 Druid Road East, #705, Clearwater, FL 33756
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Thompson & Fernald, PA, has been serving individuals and families in Clearwater since 1988. It has been handling estate planning, probate, and trust administration. The firm assists personal representatives in navigating through the probate process, which includes the appropriate collection, valuation, liquidation, and distribution of assets. The team helps clients in preparing last wills and testaments, living wills, and trusts. One of Thompson & Fernald's lawyers, Robert C. Thompson Jr., is a member of the Florida Bar Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section.

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 (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
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––
Timothy K. Mariani Attorney at Law logo
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Timothy K. Mariani Attorney at Law

1550 South Highland Avenue Suite B, Clearwater, FL 33756
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Timothy K. Mariani Attorney at Law provides legal counsel and representation to clients in the Clearwater metro and the surrounding areas. It offers assistance to individuals going through the process of probate. It also deals with estate planning and helps with the preparation of wills and trusts. The office's other areas of practice are real estate and title insurance. Timothy K. Mariani, the firm's sole attorney, brings more than 35 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
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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Verras Law logo
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Verras Law

31640 U.S. Hwy. 19 N, Suite 4,, Palm Harbor, FL 34684
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Verras Law has been serving the community since 1993. It assists Clearwater clients in probate administration proceedings, including summary, formal, and disposition without administration. Spiro Verras, the head of the firm, represents personal representatives of various estate sizes and helps them address will issues and probate litigation. He also deploys legal strategies to reduce the complexities of probate on grieving families. Verras is a member of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys and is also admitted to practice in Louisiana and Texas.

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 (7)
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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Walt Shurden logo
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Walt Shurden

611 Druid Road East #712, Clearwater, FL 33756
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Walt Shurden assists clients in Clearwater in preparing for their future needs. The law firm helps seniors and people with disabilities with estate planning, including setting up recoverable trusts, appointing health care proxies, and creating living wills. Its primary goal is to protect clients and their loved ones from the cost of long-term care and death. The firm's namesake, Walt Shurden, has been a board-certified elder law attorney since 2004. His services include Medicaid and VA planning to help seniors and veterans access and maximize their benefits.

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
4.6 / 5 (30)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (5)
Facebook
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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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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