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Best Probate Lawyers in Iowa City

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Anderson Houghton Attorneys at Law logo
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Anderson Houghton Attorneys at Law

568 Hwy 1 West, Iowa City, IA 52246
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Anderson Houghton, Attorneys at Law, is a firm in Iowa City that has been serving the legal needs of residents and businesses in estate planning, real estate, and business law since 2004. The firm also has experience in family law and health care counsel. Its team of attorneys gives clients peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are taken care of through wills, trusts, gift planning, and advanced directives. They can also assist individuals and families through 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Arnott & Kirk logo
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Arnott & Kirk

454 1st Ave, Coralville, IA 52241
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Arnott and Kirk's mission is to provide trustworthy, accurate, and timely legal advice and zealous advocacy to Iowa City clients. It is a multi-practice firm that designs estate plans and offers probate services. It helps clients transfer assets and protect them from unnecessary taxes. It gives advice, assistance, and direction in court filings, hearings, and deadlines. One of its lawyers, Martin Arnott, is also licensed to practice law in Illinois. He began his career in 2000 and has experience in corporate boardrooms and international law firms.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (3)

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5.0
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Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C. logo
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Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C.

1570 South 1st Avenue, Suite G, Iowa City, IA 52240
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., is a personal injury law firm representing injured individuals in Iowa City since 1958. It assists clients in managing and navigating the probate process to help them distribute the estate of their deceased individuals. The firm's attorneys use their experience and resources in the legal field to recover multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements against large multinational corporations and hospital systems. Two of its attorneys, Harlan Daniel Holm Jr. and Eashaan Vajpeyi, are former Iowa Association for Justice presidents.

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
4.3 / 5 (7)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

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

2007 First Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
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  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Featuring a probate attorney near Iowa City, Bradley & Riley PC has been serving clients in its community since 1981. Its attorneys help clients get through the probate process effectively, ensuring that the estate can be closed and beneficiaries can be paid out as quickly as possible. Bradley & Riley PC has been provided an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbel and has been included in the Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA lists.

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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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4.0
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Day Rettig Martin, P.C. logo
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Day Rettig Martin, P.C.

150 1st Avenue Northeast, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

The attorneys at Day Rettig Martin PC, a multi-practice law firm near Iowa City, share more than 100 years of experience representing clients throughout the state. Much of their experience is in helping clients develop plans designed to avoid or mitigate probate. They also assist executors nominated to administer the wills of loved ones, providing them with legal guidance, and taking on the practical tasks of collecting the estates and distributing them to their 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.
4.6
Google
4.5 / 5 (10)

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4.0
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Deeney Law Firm PLC logo
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Deeney Law Firm PLC

201 E Main St, Ste 202, Solon, IA 52333
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

Deeney Law Firm PLC offers legal services in Iowa City. It represents clients through probate and trust administration, striving to make the process simple and straightforward. It also helps families with concerns related to estate planning and elder law. The firm's areas of practice include business law, policy development, and contract drafting and review. A native of Iowa, owner Joe Deeney established the firm in 2019. He is a member of the estate planning and elder care organizations WealthCounsel and ElderCounsel.

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 (17)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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

736 Lake Park Blvd, Muscatine, IA 52761
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  • Inheritance Taxes
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

Eichelberger Law Office PC is a private legal practice that serves the residents of Iowa City and the surrounding areas. Its team helps estate administrators or executors move a decedent's will through probate. It assists with probate matters such as intestate succession, testamentary estate administration, and creditor claims. The firm also resolves claims between estate beneficiaries. Principal attorney John R. Eichelberger has been practicing law since 1983. He serves on the board of directors for the Muscatine Welfare 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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (13)
Google
4.6 / 5 (7)

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

425 Second Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Gray, Stefani & Mitvalsky PLC is a multidisciplinary law firm founded in 1938 to serve the people of Iowa City and the surrounding cities. The firm's attorneys have significant experience handling all the administrative duties of probate and in helping executors fulfill their roles and avoid the pitfalls of probating estates. The firm's services include drafting all legal documents, attending probate court on the client's behalf, and ensuring the decedent's will and the decisions of the court are honored.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

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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Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus, L.L.P. logo
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Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus, L.L.P.

120 East Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate

Business Description

Established in 1926, Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus, L.L.P., is a law firm that caters to clients in Iowa City and the nearby areas. It offers legal counsel and representation in probate and trust establishment and management. It also assists in different aspects of estate planning, including the preparation of financial and medical powers of attorney and will. Joseph T. Moreland, one of the firm's attorneys, is a fellow in the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers and a member of the Iowa Defense Counsel 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)
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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Holland, Michael, Raiber & Sittig PLC logo
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Holland, Michael, Raiber & Sittig PLC

123 N. Linn St., Suite 300, Iowa City, IA 52245
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Holland, Michael, Raiber & Sittig PLC is a law firm that provides legal guidance and representation to clients in Iowa City and the nearby areas. It assists individuals and families who are going through estate planning and probate. Also included in the firm's areas of practice are appellate law, business formation, collaborative dissolution of marriage, real estate, and transactional and commercial law. C. Joseph Holland, one of its attorneys, has been in practice since 1977. He is a member of the National Council of School 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

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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Honohan, Epley, Braddock & Brenneman, LLP logo
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Honohan, Epley, Braddock & Brenneman, LLP

330 E Court St, Iowa City, IA 52240
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Honohan, Epley, Braddock & Brenneman LLP is an Iowa City law firm that practices probate law. Its attorneys have many years of experience in probate administration. Their typical services include assisting executors, heirs, and beneficiaries, handling all of the time-consuming aspects of collecting and valuing the decedent's estate, and ensuring the estate is distributed in line with the instructions in the will. The attorneys also practice elder law and tax 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
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)
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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Kollmorgen, Schlue & Zahradnik, P.C. logo
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Kollmorgen, Schlue & Zahradnik, P.C.

920 12th Street, Belle Plaine, IA 52208
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Kollmorgen, Schlue & Zahradnik, P.C., is a multi-practice firm that has been serving Iowa City for over five decades. Managing partner Jennifer Zahradnik helps families obtain financial security and protect their future by establishing wills and trusts and administering probate. She has settled complex estates, distributed assets to beneficiaries, and organized tax documents for probate issues. Zahradnik also works with families in creating trust and managing tax returns. She is a trained mediator and serves as an Iowa Club Lamb Association board member.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (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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Kundel Law Office logo
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Kundel Law Office

300 East 2nd Street Suite 300, Muscatine, IA 52761
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

The Kundel Law Office provides services to clients in Iowa City. It handles probate matters, working to ease the burden for families by assisting in the transfer of estate assets in the wake of a loved one's passing. The firm also offers estate planning services, including drafting simple and complex wills, living trusts, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, and business succession. Principal attorney Steven D. Kundel has been in the legal practice since 2000. He brings his experience in resolving issues and disputes through mediation. 

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 (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.
4.0
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Detail
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Larew Law Office logo
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Larew Law Office

504 E. Bloomington St, Iowa City, IA 52245
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  • Probate

Business Description

Based in Iowa City, Larew Law Office is a general practice law firm that serves as a legal advocate for clients in many areas. Focused primarily on insurance law, environmental law, and traffic camera litigation, the firm also provides legal representation in wills and probate matters. In practice for over 30 years, principal attorney James Larew has served as a general counsel to Iowa Governor Chet Culver and chief of staff in the Office of the Governor.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

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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Malott Law PLC logo
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Malott Law PLC

1934 Boyrum Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
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  • Wills
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

Malott Law, PLC, is a legal firm serving the Iowa City metro. Its lawyers handle probate administration, including wills and powers of attorney. They assist the beneficiaries of a deceased person's estate in collecting life insurance proceeds, appraising properties, locating assets, paying off bills and debts, filing documents with the probate court, and dividing the identified assets. The firm's other practice areas include immigration and criminal defense. Malott Law provides services both in English and in Spanish.

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 (19)
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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Mears Law Office logo
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Mears Law Office

209 E. Washington Street Paul-Helen Building Suite 203, Iowa City, IA 52240
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  • Probate

Business Description

Mears Law Office provides legal services to clients in probate matters in the Iowa City metro. It assists in drafting legal documents—including wills, living wills, powers of attorney—and coordinates with administrators in the probate of wills. It also handles estate planning and administration and guardianship and conservatorship. Additionally, the law firm covers other practice areas, including family law and criminal defense. Lead attorney Philip Mears started his legal career by representing incarcerated individuals. He has been practicing law since 1977.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (9)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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

119 N Court, Fairfield, IA 52556
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Miller Law Office serves clients in Iowa City. The company provides probate services that can help families preserve the wealth of their deceased loved ones. Father-and-son team David and Paul Miller assist clients with a wide range of probate matters, including asset transfer and distribution, probate and will administration, inheritance tax return preparation, and estate closing. David Miller has been practicing law since 1974. He was a founding member of the Iowa Bar's International Law Committee. Paul, his son, joined his firm in 2005.

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 (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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Neuzil Sanderson & Sigafoose PC logo
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Neuzil Sanderson & Sigafoose PC

119 Wright St., Iowa City, IA 52240
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Neuzil Sanderson & Sigafoose PC is a general practice law firm that has been serving Iowa City clients since 1957. Its team of attorneys brings over 60 years of combined legal experience in providing representation in the areas of estate planning, probate, real estate, income taxation, and business law. For wills and estate matters, they guide clients throughout the process of will and trust preparation, financial and medical powers of attorney, probate administration, and tax planning.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 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.
5.0
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Scott Shoemaker & Associates logo
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Scott Shoemaker & Associates

425 Second Street SE #1200, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Scott Shoemaker & Associates caters to the estate planning and probate needs of clients throughout Iowa City. It offers legal solutions in several components of the probate procedure, from paying off debts and taxes to managing and selling real estate. It has developed a six-point checklist that helps people determine whether they meet all the prerequisites for a will. Other services offered by the firm include incapacity planning, non-contested adult guardianship, and guardianship trusts for special needs.

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)

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 Office of Melvin O. Shaw, P.L.C. logo
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The Law Office of Melvin O. Shaw, P.L.C.

1303 5th Street, Coralville, IA 52241
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

The Law Office of Melvin O. Shaw PLC is a general litigation law firm that was formed by a probate lawyer near Iowa City. The attorney has been practicing law for over 15 years, and his team works with individuals and families who have lost a family member in order to get the decedent's will validated. It also helps the executor carry out the decedent's last wishes. Shaw previously served as the president of the Johnson 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.
4.9
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (49)
Google
4.6 / 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.
5.0
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The Law Offices of Dell A. Richard logo
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The Law Offices of Dell A. Richard

845 Quarry Road, Coralville, IA 52241
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Law Offices of Dell A. Richard is a family-owned and -operated law firm whose husband-and-wife attorneys have been serving clients in the Iowa City metro area for more than 35 years. The attorneys practice probate law. Their experience includes administering estates, such as collecting and distributing them, and handling contested wills. The firm's additional areas of practice include establishing living wills and trusts to help clients avoid probate or minimize its costs.

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.
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Timothy D. Ament Law Firm, P.C. logo
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Timothy D. Ament Law Firm, P.C.

2115 Laporte Road, Iowa City, IA 50702
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Timothy D. Ament Law Firm, P.C., caters to clients in Iowa City. It offers representation in a variety of practice areas, including estate planning. It assists individuals and families in preserving their assets and planning for their loved ones by handling issues concerning probate, wills, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives. Timothy Ament, the owner of the firm, has been practicing law since 1988. He is a member of the family law section of the Iowa 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.
4.7
Google
4.6 / 5 (21)
Avvo
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.
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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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