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Best Probate Lawyers in Grand Rapids

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Annis, Visser & Brandt, P.C. logo
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Annis, Visser & Brandt, P.C.

2228 Alpine Ave., NW, Walker, MI 49544
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Annis, Visser and Brandt, P.C., espouses the principles of personal service, honesty, and dedication by offering Grand Rapids clients assistance on probate, real estate, and municipal and employment law. Its estate planning service includes preparation of wills, estate administration, and probate litigation. It helps clients avoid court proceedings on guardianship and conservatorship by providing durable powers of attorney. It also provides trusts to help clients avoid probate and minimize taxes. The firm was established in 1927.

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4.3
Google
4.3 / 5 (3)

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5.0
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Baar & Lichterman logo
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Baar & Lichterman

3140 Division Avenue Southwest, Grandville, MI 49418
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Baar & Lichterman is a firm offering services for probate cases near the Grand Rapids area. The practice begins the process by gathering all relevant parties and documents, including the decedent's will. Its team makes recommendations and assists the estate administrator or executor with fulfilling their duties. It can also handle situations involving no will or high asset estates. Attorney and partner Michael Lichterman has been practicing law for over 10 years.

Reputation:

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5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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5.0
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Brown Law Firm logo
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Brown Law Firm

233 E. Fulton St, Suite 224, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Brown Law Firm attends to the probate law needs of families in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. The firm handles wills and trusts, asset protection, tax planning, trust and estate administration, long-term care planning, and independent trustee services. It also assists with elder law cases. Founding attorney Chris Brown has been practicing since 1999. He founded the Brown Law Firm in 2012 after spending more than 12 years in the estate planning group of a larger Grand Rapids firm.

Reputation:

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5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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4.0
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Carolyn Gaston & Associates P.C. logo
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Carolyn Gaston & Associates P.C.

146 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

For over 20 years, Carolyn Gaston & Associates, P.C., has represented clients in Grand Rapids. It guides individuals through the probate process and helps resolve issues involving asset distribution. The firm deals with estate planning and prepares documents like living trusts. It also advocates for clients facing divorce proceedings. Carolyn Gaston, the firm's president, is a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association. She is the former co-host for the PBS TV program "You Are The Law."

Reputation:

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5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (7)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

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5.0
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Carpenter & Judd Attorneys and Counselors logo
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Carpenter & Judd Attorneys and Counselors

2445 Eastern Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Established in 2004, Carpenter & Judd Attorneys and Counselors is a local firm that serves individuals and families in Grand Rapids. It guides clients through the probate process, including distribution of assets and settlement of disputes that may arise. It also handles estate planning matters, such as trusts, wills, and powers of attorney. Other areas of practice include family law, corporate law, and mediation services. The firm's founder, G. Robert Carpenter earned his Juris Doctorate in 1999 and scored top 1% in the Multistate Bar Exam.

Reputation:

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4.1
Google
4.1 / 5 (64)
Facebook
4.2 / 5 (27)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)

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5.0
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Carrier Law logo
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Carrier Law

4965 East Beltline Avenue Northeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Carrier Law is a firm serving clients in the Grand Rapids area. It handles probate matters, overseeing all aspects of the process from notifying heirs and beneficiaries to valuing assets and settling outstanding debts. It also offers legal representation and advice in situations in which the validity of the decedent's will is being challenged. Carrier Law also helps clients navigate estate planning tax laws and develops it estate planning strategies.

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 (147)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (2)

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5.0
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CBH Attorneys & Counselors logo
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CBH Attorneys & Counselors

25 Division Ave S #500, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, CBH Attorneys & Counselors handles complex business cases and routine legal matters. With over 100 years of combined experience, the lawyers at the firm help families navigate the Michigan probate process. The team drafts estate plans, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. It also represents individuals and businesses in bankruptcy cases. The law office's senior counsel, Steve Rayman, has been certified by the American Board of Certification in both consumer and business bankruptcy.

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
4.3 / 5 (12)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)

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4.0
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Chase Bylenga Hulst logo
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Chase Bylenga Hulst

25 Division Avenue South, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Chase Bylenga Hulst is a law firm representing individuals and families during the probate process in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. The practice guides the estate's personal representative through the process of probate and helps them gather all necessary documents and other materials. It also assists them with filing forms and its team represents them in court, when necessary. Attorney and partner April Hulst is a member of the Federal Bar Association of West Michigan.

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
4.6 / 5 (9)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

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

3501 Lake Eastbrook Boulevard Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Coles Law PLC is a firm handling probate cases for clients in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. The firm takes on probate matters of all types and complexities and is able to peacefully mediate disputes and conflicts between family members or beneficiaries named in the decedent's will. Attorney Jennifer H. Coles can also assist with asset appraisal and distribution. Ms. Coles has been practicing law for over 20 years.

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

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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Coonen Law, PLLC logo
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Coonen Law, PLLC

5035 Plainfield, NE, Suite A, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Coonen Law, PLLC, serves residents in and around the Grand Rapids area. Principal Rose A. Coonen guides clients throughout the probate process, informing them of the steps they need to take and answering questions on how executors are chosen and how assets are distributed. She also provides trust administration assistance. Coonen serves as a personal family lawyer who continuously checks if estate plans are working for clients throughout their lifetime. She graduated magna cum laude from law school 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.
4.8
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (6)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Cottrell Law logo
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Cottrell Law

2025 E Beltline Ave SE Suite 402, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Located in Grand Rapids, Cottrell Law assists individuals, families, and business owners with matters related to estate planning and probate. Charles Cottrell, the firm's sole practitioner, helps clients utilize legal devices like advanced directives and assorted types of trusts in their estate plans. Cottrell also guides clients through probate proceedings and estate administration matters. He has over a decade of legal experience and is accredited by the Veteran's Administration, making him qualified to help veterans apply for their benefits.

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5.0
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David, Wierenga & Lauka, PC Attorneys at Law logo
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David, Wierenga & Lauka, PC Attorneys at Law

99 Monroe Ave, NW Suite 1210, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

David, Wierenga & Lauka, PC, Attorneys at Law, assists clients in Grand Rapids and its surrounding communities in navigating the probate process. Its team members also draft medical directives, powers of attorney, wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. Additionally, they address issues related to guardianships, conservatorships, and charitable trusts and foundations. Real estate and business law are the firm's other practice areas. One of its partners, Ronald E. David, is a certified public accountant.

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 (8)
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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Estate Planning Law Group logo
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Estate Planning Law Group

4251 Cascade Road SE Suite B, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

Serving clients in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, Estate Planning Law Group is a group of attorneys handling multiple areas, including probate matters. They help in creating a comprehensive estate plan, including the identification of assets, the names of beneficiaries or heirs, and how these assets will be used in the event of death or incapacity. The firm also helps by guiding its clients through the probate process and by distributing the estate when necessary.

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 (16)

Professionalism:

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

25 Ionia Avenue Southwest, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Howard Law Group is a law practice representing individuals throughout the probate process in the Grand Rapids area. The firm is capable of interpreting wills with unclear or confusing terms and it can also handle cases in which the decedent left no will upon death. In addition to estate administration, this firm can assist with other types of asset transfers. Attorneys at Howard Law Group are also prepared to litigate in cases of a disputed estate.

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 (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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Kuiper Kraemer PC Attorneys at Law logo
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Kuiper Kraemer PC Attorneys at Law

180 Monroe Avenue N.W., Suite 400, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

Kuiper Kraemer PC Attorneys at Law is a Grand Rapids-based firm that handles estate planning and administration. Its attorneys assist individuals in planning for the transfer of their assets upon death, helping them create estate planning documents like wills to facilitate this transfer and minimize taxes involved. They also work on estate administration, mediating or litigating disputes between heirs. Grand Rapids Magazine named the firm as the best law firm in Grand Rapids in its 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 editions.

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
Google
4.2 / 5 (10)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)
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.
5.0
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LAH Law PLC logo
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LAH Law PLC

2828 Kraft Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate Litigation
  • Estate Settlement
  • Legacy Care

Business Description

LAH Law PLC is a legal practice serving clients needing a probate attorney in the Grand Rapids area. This firm consults with the decedent's family members, beneficiaries, and heirs to establish their roles and responsibilities and transfers assets quickly and cost-effectively. It's also capable of administering the estate in accordance with state laws when the decedent did not leave a will. Additionally, attorney and firm owner L. Allen Heneveld is admitted to practice law in California.

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:

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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Ledbetter.Law logo
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Ledbetter.Law

1 Coldbrook Street NW Suite 110, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Ledbetter.Law caters to parties in Grand Rapids who have concerns under probate law. The firm handles issues arising from the judicial execution and validation of wills and the administration of trusts. It also produces estate plans to protect decedents' assets and facilitate the transfer of inheritable properties during death. Practitioner David G. Ledbetter has completed additional studies in taxation law and has been involved in transactions over transfers of familial wealth for over 25 years.

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
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Patti L. McKenney P.C. Attorney At Law logo
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Patti L. McKenney P.C. Attorney At Law

77 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Patti L. McKenney P.C. Attorney At Law is a law firm in Grand Rapids that caters to local individuals and families. It offers legal services in the areas of wills, trusts, and power of attorney. It also handles cases involving estate and family law. Patti L. McKenney, the founder of the firm, has been in the law field since 1983. She relocated to Grand Rapids and established her first private practice in 1984. McKenney also served as a staff and managing attorney with UAW Legal Services Plans for about 11 years.

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 (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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Reeder Plachta Murphy logo
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Reeder Plachta Murphy

124 Fulton St E Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Reeder Plachta Murphy is a law firm that provides legal services for clients with concerns regarding probate in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. With decades-worth of experience, the firm helps its clients in creating an estate plan, and guiding them through the process of probate litigation. Its lawyers help prevent postmortem disagreements and confusions among family members. The firm's legal services also cover multiple practice areas, including business and corporate law, tax resolution, and government benefits.

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
4.9 / 5 (39)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (2)
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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Westerbeke Law Firm, PLLC logo
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Westerbeke Law Firm, PLLC

4595 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Suite 236, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
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  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

Westerbeke Law Firm, PLLC, in Grand Rapids offers clients its knowledge of probate and trust administration. The founder, Bill Westerbeke, focuses on helping clients avoid probate and protect their assets through guiding them in making informed decisions and drafting an estate plan. He also handles cases related to trust funding, special needs planning, and elder law. Bill is dedicated to serving the community by regularly speaking in estate planning seminars. He is also licensed to practice in Illinois.

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:

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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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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