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Best Probate Lawyers in Bloomington

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Allison & Mosby-Scott logo
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Allison & Mosby-Scott

210 1/2 North Williamsburg Drive, Bloomington, IL 61704
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Allison & Mosby-Scott is a law firm that provides a wide variety of services for individuals, families, and businesses in Bloomington. With more than 100 years of combined experience, its lawyers handle estate planning and probate law cases. They represent clients in negotiations and in the courtroom for disputes arising from the probate process. Established in 2000, the firm is committed to making a difference in the community by supporting Prairie State Legal Services, a pro bono organization.

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
4.5 / 5 (64)
Facebook
4.4 / 5 (27)
Avvo
3.3 / 5 (9)

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5.0
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Caughey, Legner, Freehill, Ehrgott & Mann, LLP logo
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Caughey, Legner, Freehill, Ehrgott & Mann, LLP

213 Green Street, Chenoa, IL 61726
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Caughey, Legner, Freehill, Ehrgott & Mann LLP is a law firm with more than 40 years of experience serving multiple counties, including McLean, Kendall, LaSalle, and Livingston. Its estate planning practice includes attorneys with significant experience assisting will executors tasked with probating the will of a family member or loved one. They can help with all administrative duties, such as building an inventory of the estate and distributing it in line with the will's stipulations.

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5.0
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Charles N. Erickson Law Office logo
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Charles N. Erickson Law Office

2105 Eastland Drive, Bloomington, IL 61704
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Charles N. Erickson Law Office has more than 25 years of experience helping clients in need of a probate lawyer in Bloomington who can guide will executors and estate administrators through the legal challenges of honoring the final will of a loved one. Attorney Erickson has experience in all areas of administering probate, from petitioning the court to collecting the estate and ensuring heirs receive their inheritances as quickly as possible.

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
4.5 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

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

201 W. Olive Street, 2nd Floor, Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

DePew & Dehn is a general practice law firm that serves clients in Bloomington and nearby areas. It provides probate-related services that include estate planning, guardianship, and conservatorship. Its attorneys, who have more than 50 years of combined legal experience, also offer commercial legal solutions that cover agricultural law, landlord and tenant disputes, and real estate transactions. Founding attorneys Russell E. DePew and Joseph A. Dehn have been providing legal services that are based on their clients' unique situations and goals since 2003.

Reputation:

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

Professionalism:

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4.0
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Dunn Law Firm, LLP logo
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Dunn Law Firm, LLP

1001 North Main Street, Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Founded more than a century ago, Dunn Law Firm LLP is a Bloomington-based multi-practice firm with significant experience in estate planning, trust administration, and probate law. Its probate division can assist with all aspects of the practice, such as preparing the estate's taxes, paying its creditors, and ensuring all paperwork is legally secure. The firm can also help with probate-avoidance strategies, such as setting up revocable living trusts and minors trusts.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.4 / 5 (40)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Frank E. Hoffman Attorney at Law logo
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Frank E. Hoffman Attorney at Law

401 North Main Street, Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate

Business Description

Frank E. Hoffman Attorney at Law is a legal practice that serves clients in Bloomington. The office is committed to providing personalized services to clients dealing with a variety of legal concerns. These include matters related to wills and trusts preparations and probate proceedings. The firm also handles cases concerning divorce and family law, bankruptcy, Social Security disability claims, injury claims, and criminal and traffic offenses. Its founding attorney Frank Hoffman has been in practice for over four decades.

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:

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5.0
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Haning Law Office logo
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Haning Law Office

2422 E. Washington St Suite 203, Bloomington, IL 61702
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Haning Law Office is an estate planning law firm that represents individuals and families in the Bloomington metro and the surrounding communities. Owner and solo practitioner Carissa Haning focuses on cases involving probate and estate planning, assisting clients in protecting their financial values, family life, human, intellectual, and spiritual assets, as well as retirement goals. She guides clients in the estate planning process—assessing clients' personal and family situations, reviewing existing estate documents, and evaluating assets. Haning has been in legal practice since 2003.

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.
4.0
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Ketra A. Mytich, Attorney & Counselor at Law logo
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Ketra A. Mytich, Attorney & Counselor at Law

1230 W. Candletree Drive Suite A, Peoria, IL 61614
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Ketra A. Mytich Attorney & Counselor at Law is a boutique practice that serves individuals and families in the Bloomingdale metro area. Attorney Mytich has been practicing probate law for more than two decades, representing executors and estate administrators, as well as heirs and beneficiaries. Ms. Mytich's services include collecting the entire estate and responding to claims from its creditors, analyzing its tax liabilities, and creating sub-trusts. The attorney also provides asset protection and succession planning services.

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

Professionalism:

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

210 West Oak Street, Fairbury, IL 61739
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  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

The Law Office of William J. Gerber LLC was founded in 2011 to serve clients in several counties, including McLean, Livingston, Ford, and Grundy. The firm's attorneys practice probate law, assisting will executors and estate administrators, helping them stay within the law as they perform their duties. They also have experience liquidizing decedents' estates, dealing with creditors, and filing state and federal tax returns. Their additional areas of practice include real estate and business law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8

Professionalism:

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

2712 McGraw Drive, Bloomington, IL 61704
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Leighton Legal Group, LLC, is a firm that serves individuals and business owners in Bloomington. It is headed by Timothy Leighton, who creates and executes estate plans for clients. He handles the preparation of wills, trusts, and advance directives. He also provides guidance in the processes of probate and conservatorships, which involve preparing inventories of assets, filing petitions, and negotiating compromise agreements among heirs and beneficiaries. Leighton, who is an active community member, formerly headed the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors' Bloomington-Normal chapter.

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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)
Google
4.0 / 5 (4)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (4)
Mahrt Law logo
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Mahrt Law

202 N Prospect Avenue, Suite 203, Bloomington, IL 61704
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate

Business Description

Mahrt Law represents clients with probate issues in the Bloomington metro. Its sole practitioner, William Mahrt, also renders legal services to the nearby areas of McLean county. Apart from handling matters relevant to inheritance and safeguarding family wealth, other areas of practice include copyright, licensing, immigration, civil defense, and employment law. The law firm also allows clients to reach out for fields not listed in their services. Mahrt majored in linguistics and German language studies prior to his legal career.

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 (4)
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

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

221 East Front Street, Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Marvel Law is a legal firm that helps Bloomington residents navigate complex probate cases. Its team of attorneys assists clients with various estate administration matters, from developing a legal plan that matches its clients' preferences to resolving different familial issues regarding estate planning procedures. The legal team also works with other professionals, such as financial planners, healthcare professionals, and insurance advisors in any probate case. Marvel Law was established in 2002 by principal attorney Richard Marvel.

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 (29)
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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Detail
Pratt and Pratt, P.C. Atorneys at Law logo
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Pratt and Pratt, P.C. Atorneys at Law

217 East Washington Street, Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Bloomington-based Pratt and Pratt PC Attorneys at Law is a family-owned firm that practices estate planning, trust administration, and probate law. Its probate services include administering the decedent's estate, ensuring its creditors are paid, and its heirs get their inheritances as quickly as legally possible. Attorney Catherine A. Pratt is a 1981 graduate of the Stetson University College of Law and a past president of the McLean County Bar Association. The firm also practices municipal law and business law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

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

308 E Washington St, Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

Queen Law Firm, LLC is a boutique law firm that advises and represents clients in probate cases in Bloomington. It advises the families of the deceased on the probate process and handles the paperwork for executor appointment and asset compilation. It also examines the will to check its validity and carry out all tasks mentioned, such as dividing property among named beneficiaries. The firm's principal attorney, Craig, spent several years as part of an insurance defense firm before he established his own practice in 2011.

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
4.8 / 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
Wood, DeVary & Armstrong, P.C. logo
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Wood, DeVary & Armstrong, P.C.

207 W Jefferson St., Bloomington, IL 61701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Established in 1977, Wood, DeVary & Armstrong, P.C. represent individuals in Bloomington across various legal practice areas before local, state, and federal courts. It assists with probate administration and estate planning, creating documents for living wills, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and personal property memorandums. It helps in developing plans to protect assets and nominate guardians for minors and people with disabilities. One of its attorneys, Nicholas Houska, authored the Attorneys' and Representatives' Fees chapter of the IICLE Estate Administration Fundamentals handbook 2019.

Reputation:

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

Professionalism:

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a probate attorney do?

Probate attorneys are licensed professionals who represent executors and heirs after someone has died. They provide personalized legal advice, assist with tax planning, settle debts, and facilitate the distribution of assets. Probate attorneys typically represent clients during administrative proceedings overseen by probate courts, although some litigators focus on handling disputes and lawsuits related to contested estates.

What is probate court?

Probate court works with the family or beneficiaries of a deceased person to validate their last will and testament. The courts review the individual's will to identify and calculate assets, pay off remaining debts, and distribute the remaining property to beneficiaries per the deceased person's requests. Depending on state laws, property valued under a certain amount may not require probate.

How long do you have to file probate after death?

The amount of time loved ones have to file a will after a person dies varies from state to state. While California courts require probate to be filed within one year, New York has no deadline. That being said, it's advisable to file probate as quickly as possible once a person has died, as the process itself can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year.

Does life insurance go through probate?

Life insurance doesn't need to go through the probate courts if the deceased individual has named a beneficiary on their policy. However, life insurance policies without beneficiaries, or with beneficiaries who are either deceased themselves or cannot be contacted, go directly to the deceased individual's estate. When this happens, life insurance proceeds must go through probate court to determine how funds should be allocated.

Do household items go through probate?

While the exact rules do vary from state to state, most household items don't require probate and are automatically left to immediate families unless otherwise stated in the deceased person's will. When it comes to property, only items above a certain value or held in title are required to go through probate in most states.

Do bank accounts with beneficiaries have to go through probate?

In the event a beneficiary has been named, bank accounts are not required to go through probate and will be paid directly to the person designated by the deceased individual. However, should that individual be deceased themselves or if contact cannot be made after a certain period of time, funds will be allocated to the estate and put through the probate process.

What happens if no probate is filed?

Depending on the circumstances, probate may not be required in all cases. If a person passes on and their remaining property is jointly owned, it automatically transfers to the other owner. However, if a property is not jointly owned and no probate has been filed, the executor of the will won't be able to transfer titles or cash assets to beneficiaries. Be aware that the specific laws surrounding probate requirements vary from state to state.

What is probate real estate?

Probate real estate is the process that happens when a realtor steps in to handle the sale or transfer of a deceased person's owned home to another individual. In some cases, the house is sold as a means of liquidating assets, and proceeds from the sale are used to pay debts or are distributed to beneficiaries.

Can I probate a will or estate without an attorney?

It is possible to probate a will and close an estate without hiring an attorney. However, it requires multiple steps and an understanding of the law. The first step is to petition the court to appoint a representative for the estate. Next, the executor must notify all heirs and creditors before switching ownership from the decedent to the estate. Once all debts, taxes, and final expenses have been paid, funds can be transferred to heirs. To close an estate, the executor must submit a report showing the court that all obligations and final wishes have been satisfied. While a will and estate may seem straightforward, things can get complicated quickly if multiple heirs are involved, or if disputes or disagreements arise over distribution. A probate lawyer can help navigate these disputes effectively, and take pressure off the executor when beneficiaries aren’t getting along.

How many years can an estate remain in probate?

If the will or proposed distribution of property is contested, an estate may remain in probate for several years. The timeline depends on how long relatives have to initiate probate, how long creditors have to come forward, and how busy the courts are. In some states, such as Florida, relatives have just 10 days to initiate probate, and the entire process takes approximately six months. In other areas, such as Massachusetts, the process can last one to two years, although the majority of probate activities occur in the first nine months. The value of the estate also affects the duration of the case. For example, California and Texas have simplified procedures for smaller estates, such as those valued at $150,000 or less.

When is a will's probate an automatic process?

Probate is the legal process of validating a last will and testament to ensure that the decedent's wishes are followed. A probate judge may automatically clear wills if they're accompanied by an affidavit from the decedent, a notary, and a witness. Some assets, including financial accounts with designated beneficiaries, and funds held by certain types of trusts don't have to go through probate.

What does it mean when property is under probate?

Real estate that's under probate is typically liquidated through the court system, which is most common when someone dies without a will. Home buyers who are interested in this type of property must follow special rules regarding deposits, which are sometimes nonrefundable, and buyer's premiums. Additionally, the court must approve the purchase price.

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