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Best Probate Lawyers in Decatur

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Barr & Barr logo
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Barr & Barr

1301 E Mound Rd, Decatur, IL 62526
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Partner Jay Barr of Barr & Barr is an estate planning attorney in Decatur. Attorney Barr and his team assist clients in creating estate plans to provide for heirs through inheritances and trusts. Specific estate planning services include the drafting of wills and living wills and creation of power of attorney agreements, and the firm's attorneys provide advice on estate taxes and asset protection. In addition to estate planning, the law firm's practice areas include bankruptcy and family 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.
4.1
Google
4.1 / 5 (13)

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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Beckett Law Office, P.C. logo
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Beckett Law Office, P.C.

401 South Main Street, Tuscola, IL 61953
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Chad S. Beckett of Beckett Law Office PC is a probate attorney near Decatur who represents families and individuals in probate and estate litigation proceedings. Attorney Beckett has over two decades of experience in estate and family law, and he assists executors and personal representatives with matters such as asset transfers, estate accounting, and distribution of decedents' assets to beneficiaries. Mr. Beckett assists parties with creating estate plans that consist of wills, trusts, and other planning documents, and he provides advice on estate taxes.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Facebook
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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Bourey Law Offices logo
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Bourey Law Offices

225 S Main St Ste 100, Decatur, IL 62523
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Andrew Bourey of Bourey Law Offices is a probate lawyer in Decatur in practice for over 35 years. Attorney Bourey assists clients with the preparation of estate documents to help protect assets and designate funds to named heirs and beneficiaries. Specific areas of estate planning the firm assists with include drafting and review of last wills and testaments, setting up living trusts, and preparation of medical and financial powers of attorney agreements.

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
4.5 / 5 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)

Professionalism:

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

1 Southeast Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL 62701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Delano Law Office LLC is a law practice serving clients in the Decatur metro area that assists parties with probate administration and litigation matters. Attorney Sarah Delano Pavik handles the firm's estate law cases. She assists fiduciaries in navigating the probate process, and she represents parties in litigation proceedings when there are claims against estates or disputes between interested parties. In addition to probate administration, the firm offers estate planning services such as preparation of charitable trusts, advising on estate taxes, and drafting wills.

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
4.5 / 5 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)

Professionalism:

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

2905 North Main Street, Decatur, IL 62526
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Located in Decatur, Edwards Law Group LLC is an elder law legal practice that represents parties in probate proceedings. When probate is a required step to settle an estate, the firm's attorneys assist with matters such as reviewing last wills and testaments, submitting petitions and other probate documents to the courts, resolution of disputes between beneficiaries, and final distribution of assets. The practice assists with administration of private trusts, and it offers estate 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.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (11)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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

2456 North Main Street, Decatur, IL 62526
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  • Wills
  • Probate

Business Description

GreenLeaf Law Office serves clients in Decatur and the surrounding areas. The firm provides counsel to individuals who need help in probate law matters such as estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and guardianship. John GreenLeaf Jr., its sole practitioner, has over 42 years of experience in protecting the assets of his clients. He also handles bankruptcy law, elder law, and other areas of practice, and helps businesses get a fresh start with partnership, LLC, and corporation formation.

Reputation:

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

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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Handegan Law Office & First Illinois Title Group LLC logo
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Handegan Law Office & First Illinois Title Group LLC

101 S. State Street, Suite 102, Decatur, IL 62523
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  • Probate

Business Description

Handegan Law Office & First Illinois Title Group LLC offers legal assistance from its Decatur and Sullivan locations. Its team of attorneys guides clients in several areas, including probate and estate planning. Nancy Handegan, one of the firm's estate planning attorneys, has guided heirs in navigating the probate process. She has also helped siblings divide properties amicably and created estate plans for families to help them preserve farmlands and protect assets. Handegan established the legal firm in 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

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
Hughes, Tenney & Postlewait & Coale, L.L.C. logo
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Hughes, Tenney & Postlewait & Coale, L.L.C.

101 South Main Street, Decatur, IL 62523
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Hughes, Tenney & Postlewait & Coale LLC is a law firm in Decatur that handles estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. The practice was founded in 1997, and its estate law team assists parties with creating estate plans consisting of wills, trusts, and other financial and medical directive documents. When estates are required to go through probate, the firm's attorneys provide legal guidance throughout the proceedings. Additional practice areas the firm handles include 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
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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

1020 South 7th Street, Springfield, IL 62703
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Based in the Decatur metro area, Law Office of Gary E. Kerr Ltd. is an estate planning and family law practice that handles probate and estate administration matters. Founding attorney Gary E. Kerr assists clients with preparing powers of attorney agreements for property and health, and he helps with the drafting of wills and trusts. In estate administrations where probate is a requirement, Mr. Kerr helps with the preparation and filing of court documents, and he oversees the final distribution of assets.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2

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
––
Parish & Castleman logo
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Parish & Castleman

132 S. Water St. Suite 429, Decatur, IL 62523
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Parish & Castleman is a Decatur-based law firm that has been operating since 1906. It offers legal representation in formal or informal probate proceedings. Its sole practitioner, Darrel F. Parish, has more than 40 years of experience assisting executors in administering estates and dealing with probate-related issues. Parish also handles cases involving estate planning, personal injury, and business and real estate. He is a member of the Macon County Farm Bureau and serves as the president of the Macon County Conservation District.

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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––
Samuels Miller Law Firm logo
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Samuels Miller Law Firm

225 N Water St, Decatur, IL 62523
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Keith W. Casteel of Samuels Miller Law Firm is a probate attorney in Decatur with over three decades of legal experience. Attorney Casteel and the firm's estate law team handle probate administrations and assist executors with matters such as liquidating assets, discovery and recovery of assets, estate disputes, and final distribution of assets. In addition to probate litigation, the firm's attorneys provide estate planning services that include preparation of documents such as powers of attorney agreements and medical directives, estate tax advising, and setting up 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.
5.0
Google
4.5 / 5 (182)
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
––
Sheehan & Sheehan, Lawyers, P.C. logo
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Sheehan & Sheehan, Lawyers, P.C.

1215 South 4th Street, Springfield, IL 62703
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Sheehan & Sheehan Lawyers PC is a legal firm based in the Decatur metro area that provides legal representation that handles the probate, non-probate, and estate administration matters. When probate is required to settle an estate, the firm's attorneys provide guidance to executors and personal representatives in areas such as petition filing, distribution of assets, paying off decedent debts and taxes, and liquidating the estate. In addition to probate, the firm offers estate planning services that include preparing powers of attorney agreements and setting up trust accounts.

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 (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.
3.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
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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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