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Best Probate Lawyers in Palm Coast

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Bauer & Associates Attorneys at Law logo
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Bauer & Associates Attorneys at Law

505 E. New York Avenue, Suite 7, DeLand, FL 32724
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Bauer & Associates Attorneys at Law is a DeLand-based firm that serves Palm Coast clients. It guides the estate's representatives throughout the probate process, from debt management to asset distribution. It also advocates for the client's interest in disputes involving the decedent's trusts. For individuals looking to avoid probate, the firm offers estate planning services and sets up documents like powers of attorney and living wills. One of its attorneys, Kirk Bauer, is the former president of the Volusia County Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.7 / 5 (108)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (28)

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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Bonnie A. Berns, P.A. logo
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Bonnie A. Berns, P.A.

1360 N. U.S. Highway 1, Ormond Beach, FL 32174
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Bonnie A. Berns, P.A.is a probate attorney with over 30 years of experience. She services the residents of Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, and other areas in Florida. Her legal experience has equipped her with the skills to assist clients in car, truck and motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, negligent security, insurance disputes, and wills. Berns is knowledgable in dealing with problems that involve multiple practice areas. Her office has a 24-hour hotline that is available for emergencies.

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
4.7 / 5 (13)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
3.0 / 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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Eldredge and Davis, P.A. logo
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Eldredge and Davis, P.A.

21 Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast, FL 32137
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Eldredge and Davis PA is a boutique law firm that practices several areas of law. Mike Davis is a probate lawyer in Palm Coast with more than 14 years of experience helping clients at every stage of probating the will of a loved one. Attorney Davis regularly helps personal representatives navigate the probate process and handles all of the administrative aspects of the work, such as dealing with creditors and resolving minor disputes between heirs.

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
4.8 / 5 (13)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

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

770 A1A Beach Boulevard, St. Augustine, FL 32080
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Ginn & Patrou, PA is a law firm that exists to serve our clients as trusted advisors in a way that glorifies God, offering the services of probate lawyers near Palm Coast. Working from offices in St. Augustine and Jacksonville, the firm's legal team helps personal representatives navigate different kinds of probate and provides legal advice on any issues related to probate assets. Ginn & Patrou also specialize in estate planning, real estate closings, handling both simple and complex wills and trusts. Its other practice areas include elder law, business law, and personal injury.

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 (12)

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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Goan Law logo
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Goan Law

4873 Palm Coast Parkway NW, Suite 5, Palm Coast, FL 32137
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Goan Law provides representation to clients in Palm Coast. With over 30 years in the legal industry, the firm has addressed the needs of individuals and families with matters involving personal injury, bankruptcy, family law, and wills and probate. Principal Timothy Goan helps people prepare wills and trusts and assists in the legalities of transferring assets to the beneficiaries. He also handles other complex probate matters and offers legal solutions for clients.

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
3.8 / 5 (13)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (9)
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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Grady H. Williams, Jr., LL.M., Attorneys at Law, P.A. logo
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Grady H. Williams, Jr., LL.M., Attorneys at Law, P.A.

179 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Grady H. Williams, Jr., LL.M., Attorneys at Law, P.A., is an elder law and estate planning firm that serves clients in Palm Coast and the surrounding areas. It assists estate executors in meeting probate requirements, such as paying estate creditors and transferring assets to designated beneficiaries. The law firm provides compassionate estate planning services, including Medicaid planning, living will drafting, and home health care planning. Grady H. Williams Jr., the managing attorney, has prior experience as a real estate and finance attorney.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Google
4.5 / 5 (15)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

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

145 City Place, Suite 303c, Palm Coast, FL 32164
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

J. Akin Law handles probate cases for individuals and families in Palm Coast. Its legal team oversees the probate procedure on clients' behalf and files the petition following the state's requirements. It assists in administering the estate through summary and formal administration and property disposition without administration. Founder and managing attorney Jennifer Akin concentrates on working with elders and their loved ones, giving them the knowledge they need to make critical decisions regarding various forms of long-term care.

Professionalism:

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

1301 Plantation Island Drive, Suite 304, St. Augustine, FL 32080
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Since its founding in 2007, Jackson Law Group has been providing a variety of legal services to individuals, families, and businesses in Palm Coast and neighboring metros. Its attorneys provide counsel and guide clients through the probate court process, which includes marshaling of assets of a decedent, settling estate debts and taxes, and distributing assets. They also assist in setting up estate planning documents such as last will and testament, trusts, and advance directives to help clients avoid the probate process.

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 (57)
Facebook
4.9 / 5 (31)

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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Jerry B. Wells, PL Attorney and Counselor at Law logo
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Jerry B. Wells, PL Attorney and Counselor at Law

127 Magnolia Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Jerry B. Wells, PL Attorney and Counselor at Law, takes care of probate matters for clients in Palm Coast and the neighboring areas. Wells has been serving the local community for over four decades, often handling probate litigation issues such as will contests and disputes, removal of trustees and personal representatives, misuse of powers of attorney, and allegations of stolen funds by trustees and personal representatives. Wells is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which he was invited to after winning a million dollar will contest.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
3.8
Google
3.8 / 5 (12)

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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Korey, Sweet, McKinnon & Simpson logo
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Korey, Sweet, McKinnon & Simpson

595 W. Granada Blvd., Suite A, Ormond Beach, FL 32174
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Korey, Sweet, McKinnon & Simpson has been serving the Palm Coast area since 1984. It assists clients in the areas of probate and estate administration. Its team also provides estate planning services and counsels clients on matters concerning wills and living trusts. The firm's other areas of practice are elder, corporate, administrative, and personal injury law. One of its practitioners, Robert Kit Korey, is a member of The Florida Bar's Probate and Trust Law sections. He was admitted to the bar in 1972.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (16)

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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Larry T. Griggs Attorney at Law, P.A. logo
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Larry T. Griggs Attorney at Law, P.A.

1301 Plantation Island Dr Suite #202B, St. Augustine, FL 32080
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Larry T. Griggs, Attorney at Law, P.A., offers legal assistance to individuals and families in Palm Coast. It helps preserve a person's wealth and assets in the event of death through estate planning. It drafts tools such as powers of attorney, living wills, HIPAA releases, and health care directives. In addition, it prepares veterans asset protection and pet trusts. Larry T. Griggs is a member of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs and the National Academy of Elder Law 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 (10)

Professionalism:

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

1 Florida Park Drive South; Atrium Suite, Palm Coast, FL 32137
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Katz and Green serves clients in the Palm Coast metro area. Its attorneys handle civil and commercial litigation, representing clients in situations such as will and trust administration proceedings. They also help clients plan for their estate, assisting them in drafting legal devices like guardianships. The firm's attorneys, B. Paul Katz and Jeffrey K. Green, have over 75 years of collective legal experience. Katz holds the civil litigation specialist title from the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

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
4.6 / 5 (9)

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
––
Legacy Planning Law Group logo
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Legacy Planning Law Group

3430 Kori Road, Suite 4, Jacksonville, FL 32257
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Legacy Planning Law Group caters to clients looking to protect their families and preserve their legacy through estate planning and probate administration. One of its attorneys, Bill O’Leary, provides legal counsel from preparing their last will to passing their assets to the trust beneficiaries. He also offers special needs planning, pet trusts, and asset alignment. O'Leary was the president and a current member of the board of directors of the Financial Planning Association of Northeast Florida. The firm serves clients in Palm Coast and the surrounding areas.

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 (94)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (53)

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
McChesney Law Firm, PA logo
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McChesney Law Firm, PA

100 Island Cottage Way Ste 200D, St. Augustine, FL 32080
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

McChesney Law Firm, PA, is a St. Augustine-based practice that caters to clients across Palm Coast. It deals with individuals going through the probate process. The firm also offers estate planning services and prepares documents—like wills and financial powers of attorney—to provide ways for clients to manage their affairs in the event of incapacity. It has experience reviewing documents prepared in a different state and updating them in compliance with Florida legal guidelines. Owner Maxine McChesney holds a master's degree in 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
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
––
Randal L. Schecter logo
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Randal L. Schecter

1870 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, FL 32174
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Randal L. Schecter is a probate attorney from Palm Coast. For over 35 years, he has represented his clients in Central Florida in elder law services such as living will, probate, asset protection, and trust administration. His team takes on a holistic approach to this practice, as they have a registered nurse, as well as experienced probate and estate planning paralegals to aid their clients in making decisions that can affect their lives.

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 (8)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Rice Law Firm logo
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Rice Law Firm

222 Seabreeze Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Founded in 1983, Rice Law Firm is a multi-practice firm near Palm Coast that operates throughout Central Florida. Its probate practice serves executors, administrators, and the decedents' families. The firm's attorneys can guide executors through the challenges of probating a will, support administrators, and advise families on matters of law. Additionally, they can collect the estate, respond to claims from creditors, and ensure that state and federal taxes are paid before distributing the remaining estate to its heirs.

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 (91)
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (10)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (5)

(+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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Robert G. Cuff, P.A. logo
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Robert G. Cuff, P.A.

33 Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast, FL 32137
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Robert G. Cuff PA is a solo practice based in Palm Coast that represents clients throughout Flagler County and Florida. Attorney Cuff has decades of experience in probate law. His experience includes guiding executors through the process, supporting administrators when no will has been left, and advising families of the decedent. Typical services include preparing and filing documents with the probate court, responding to claims from creditors, and distributing the estate in accordance with the courts' instructions.

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)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

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

389 Palm Coast Parkway Southwest, Palm Coast, FL 32137
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

Selis Elder Law of Florida is a law firm serving clients in Palm Coast and the surrounding areas. It provides an array of services for the elderly and clients going through the probate process, including estate planning, long-term care planning, trust and will administration, asset identification, and honoring clients' final wishes. Founding attorney Scott A. Selis helps the elderly understand probate procedures by simplifying the legal terms involved. In addition, his team maintains open communication with the clients using phones, the Internet, and video chats.

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 (10)

Professionalism:

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

389 Palm Coast Pkwy SW Ste. 4, Palm Coast, FL 32137
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Selis Law Firm assists individuals in Palm Coast with their probate problems. It thoroughly processes clients’ assets without a funded trust agreement or will. It drives bank, investment, and retirement accounts to the rightful owners. It also commits to prioritizing clients’ peace of mind concerning their estate and long-term care planning, guardianship, and Medicaid issues. Scott Selis, the firm’s founder, is a current board member of the Flagler County Bar Association. He communicates information about cases in an easy-to-understand manner.

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 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Helpfulness
Detail
––
St. Augustine Law Group logo
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St. Augustine Law Group

2740 U.S. 1, St. Augustine, FL 32086
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

St. Augustine Law Group offers counsel and representation by real estate and probate attorneys in Palm Coast. The attorneys practice in many areas including business formation, purchase or sale, contracts and agreements, civil litigation, probate administration, and other business and corporate law cases. Handling real estate transactions and assisting in real estate development are also among their expertise. Both Richard L. Brooks II and Carla Lopera are members of the Florida 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
5.0 / 5 (28)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (23)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

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

104 Sea Grove Main Street, St. Augustine, FL 32080
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

St. Johns Law Group represents individuals and businesses in Palm Coast. Its attorneys cater to clients planning for the future to minimize their probate and tax liabilities and assist them in distributing the decedent's assets. They collaborate with accountants and financial advisors to determine which financial planning mechanism fits the client's needs. Its attorneys use their technological capabilities in the courtroom to create a presentation to help tell a claim's story or make an impact on an important point.

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 (30)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (23)

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
––
The Coleman Law Firm PLLC logo
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The Coleman Law Firm PLLC

5011 Gate Parkway Building 100 Suite 100, Jacksonville, FL 32256
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  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

The Coleman Law Firm PLLC assists residents of Palm Coast and other Floridians in a wide range of estate planning and administration matters. These include probate and estate administration, asset protection, elder law, Medicaid planning, and veterans benefits. Lead attorney Randolph Coleman has over 30 years of experience handling probate processes for families, personal representatives, or executors. He helps in asset collection, debt payments, and distribution of the remaining assets to the heirs or 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 (5)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)
The Law Office of Jared M. Wilkerson, PLLC logo
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The Law Office of Jared M. Wilkerson, PLLC

3955 Riverside Avenue, Suite 203, Jacksonville, FL 32205
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

The Law Office of Jared M. Wilkerson, PLLC is a Jacksonville-based legal practice that handles probate matters and serves clients throughout the Palm Coast area. Probate attorney Jared M. Wilkerson founded the firm in 2017. He handles estate planning and probate administration, providing clients with legal advice on matters related to wills, trusts, and estates. Other practice areas covered by The Law Office of Jared M. Wilkerson include family law, civil rights, and criminal defense.

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
5.0 / 5 (8)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
––
Upchurch Law logo
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Upchurch Law

1616 Concierge Blvd Ste 101, Daytona Beach, FL 32117
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Upchurch Law is a probate and estate litigation firm that serves the Palm Coast area. It provides representation for personal representatives, trustees, and heirs who are dealing with probate. The company covers various tasks on their behalf, such as sending notices to creditors, tracking down estate assets, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. It also helps clients reclaim probate rights through the litigation of estate. Upchurch Law is headed by Thomas Upchurch, a former assistant state attorney for Pinellas 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.
4.5
Google
4.7 / 5 (25)
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (9)
Yelp
3.0 / 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
Responsiveness
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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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