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Best Probate Lawyers in Lake Charles

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Badon Law Firm, LLC logo
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Badon Law Firm, LLC

1318 Ryan St, St Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Badon Law Firm offers legal counsel and representation for clients in the Lake Charles area, as well as throughout the state of Louisiana, Texas, and Colorado. The firm's attorneys have more than 47 years of combined legal experience and offer help with successions and estate planning. While navigating the probate process, this firm helps clients carefully take care of all administrative duties, including the preparation of tax returns and ensuring that assets transfer smoothly to lawful 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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

1827 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Bryant & Sigler, LLC assists residents in Lake Charles and nearby areas with legal matters such as estate planning, trusts, successions, and wills. The law firm's other areas of practice include criminal defense, appellate advocacy, family law, business litigation, legal writing, and personal injury. Its team has more than six decades of combined experience. In 2008, Rick Bryant left his work at the Office of the District Attorney to fully devote himself to private practice at Bryant & Sigler.

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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Drost Law Firm logo
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Drost Law Firm

411 Clarence Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Drost Law Firm, located in Lake Charles, offers a range of legal services, including succession and probate assistance. It helps clients in drafting wills, planning trusts, arranging estate administration, and managing donations. The legal office also offers legal assistance to clients in real estate and business transactions. The founding attorney, Skipper M. Drost, established the practice in 1987. He also served as a city attorney and prosecutor for the City of Sulphur from 1988 to 2010.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (11)
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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

1135 Hodges St., Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Probate

Business Description

Located in Lake Charles, the Law Offices of John Green Jr. handles succession law-related matters. It guides clients through the succession process, helping them differentiate between the deceased's community and separate property, paying the necessary estate taxes, and distributing the estate's assets to designated heirs. Principal attorney John Green Jr. also represents heirs and executors in disputes between beneficiaries or will contests. The Southwest Louisiana Bar Foundation awarded Green Jr. with the Jim Ortego Pro Bono Award in 2012 as recognition for his volunteer legal work.

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
4.5 / 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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Loftin & LeBlanc LLC Attorneys at Law logo
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Loftin & LeBlanc LLC Attorneys at Law

113 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Living Wills

Business Description

Loftin & LeBlanc LLC Attorneys at Law in Lake Charles has been providing legal representation for its clients since 2006. The firm's areas of practice include family law, corporate or business law, personal injury claims, real estate law, and probate of wills and trusts. Loftin & LeBlanc LLC Attorneys at Law assists clients with the estate planning process from drafting a will to solving estate and succession disputes including checking the validity of a will and trust.

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
4.9 / 5 (78)

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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Lorenzi & Barnatt, L.L.C. logo
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Lorenzi & Barnatt, L.L.C.

518 Pujo Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Lorenzi & Barnatt LLC is a law firm that employs an estate planning attorney in Lake Charles. When handling probate and successions, the firm's attorneys exclusively deal in small successions totaling less than $125,000 when a surviving spouse is the executor of the will. In addition to small successions, Lorenzi & Barnatt LLC also offers estate planning services, as well as criminal defense. Partner Theresa Ann Barnatt holds memberships in a variety of professional organizations, including the American and Louisiana Bar Associations.

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
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.
4.0
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Michael R. Garber Attorney at Law logo
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Michael R. Garber Attorney at Law

1801 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Michael R. Garber Attorney at Law has more than 35 years of experience helping clients in Lake Charles and throughout the city's neighboring areas. Mr. Garber assists in a variety of estate-related matters, including helping will executors to navigate the probate process. He and his legal team assist with administrative tasks such as filing estate taxes and notifying creditors, as well as with the distribution of assets to the deceased's lawful 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.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 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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Scofield Gerard Pohorelsky, Gallaugher & Landry Attorneys at Law logo
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Scofield Gerard Pohorelsky, Gallaugher & Landry Attorneys at Law

901 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 900, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Scofield Gerard Pohorelsky, Gallaugher & Landry Attorneys at Law represents clients and nationwide law firms in Lake Charles. The firm offers estate planning services such as guidance in wills and creation and update and development of business succession plans. Its lawyers provide strategies in creating trusts, focusing on wealth preservation, and minimizing estate taxes. The origins of the firm date back to 1876. One of its lawyers, Scott Scofield was included in Top Lawyers by Acadiana Profile.

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
Responsiveness
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Helpfulness
Detail
––
Sigler, Arabie & Cannon  Attorneys at Law LLC logo
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Sigler, Arabie & Cannon Attorneys at Law LLC

630 Kirby Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Estate Taxes
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

Sigler, Arabie, & Cannon Attorneys at Law LLC handles successions and probate on behalf of clients in the Lake Charles metropolitan area. This firm's attorneys are focused on ensuring that clients are able to navigate this process quickly so that they may distribute assets to lawful heirs as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. Sigler, Arabie, & Cannon handles testate and intestate successions, as well as probate cases involving contested 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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (12)
Google
4.6 / 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.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Timothy O'Dowd Attorney at Law logo
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Timothy O'Dowd Attorney at Law

924 Hodges Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Timothy O'Dowd, Attorney at Law, represents Lake Charles clients in estate, succession, and probate matters. It prepares last wills and testaments and settles issues regarding the interpretation of clauses in the will, the competency of the testator, and allegations of undue influence on the will's creator. Principal lawyer Timothy O’Dowd litigates cases in federal and state courts, including commercial disputes, domestic relations cases, and personal injury claims. He also handles bankruptcy, tax, and criminal matters.

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 (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.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Tom Shea Family Law LLC logo
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Tom Shea Family Law LLC

803 West Bayou Pines Drive, Suite D, Lake Charles, LA 70601
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Tom Shea Family Law, LLC, is a legal office in Lake Charles that helps residents through complicated legal issues, such as wills, estate planning, and divorce. The attorney helps clients create a legal will and testament that protects their assets and minimizes conflicts. He also develops an estate plan that ensures that assets are managed according to their wishes. Shea has an academic background in business, law, and taxation. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business.

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
4.8 / 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.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
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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