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Best Probate Lawyers in Kalamazoo

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Allison Greenlee Korr, J.D. logo
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Allison Greenlee Korr, J.D.

121 West Cedar Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Allison Greenlee Korr, J.D., is a probate law attorney serving clients in Kalamazoo and the surrounding areas. For the past decade, she has been creating estate plans, wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. In addition, Korr assists with probating estate assets. Other areas of practice include bankruptcy and family law. Allison Greenlee Korr is also a trained collaborative lawyer. She was recognized as one of 2019's top 10 attorneys by the Attorney and Practice Magazine.

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
4.0 / 5 (38)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Apple Street Law Office P.L.C. logo
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Apple Street Law Office P.L.C.

121 West Apple Street, Hastings, MI 49058
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Apple Street Law Office PLC serves clients in Kalamazoo and throughout the city's surrounding areas. Its team handles a variety of matters related to probate and estate administration, including repayment of taxes and debts, appraisal of assets, and distribution of property. In addition to probate administration, this firm also handles estate planning, as well as criminal defense, personal injury litigation, and family law cases. Partner Michael J. McPhillips was the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished College Award from the Bar 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.
4.3
Google
4.0 / 5 (24)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (8)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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

202 North Riverview Drive, Parchment, MI 49004
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Established in 1980, Butler, Toweson & Payseno - PLLC is a full-service law firm that serves clients in Kalamazoo and its surrounding areas. Its attorneys have nearly 130 years of legal experience in a variety of practice areas. They help clients in probate and estate planning, including wills and trusts. They also handle cases involving family law, bankruptcy, business planning, civil litigation, and appellate practice. Other areas of practice include personal injury, driver's license restoration, and criminal defense.

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.
3.8
Google
3.0 / 5 (19)

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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DeMent & Marquardt, PLC logo
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DeMent & Marquardt, PLC

211 East Water Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Founded in 1994, DeMent & Marquardt PLC handles probate matters on behalf of clients in Kalamazoo and its surrounding areas. The firm's attorneys are experienced in probate and all issues relating to it, including disputes between heirs, creditor claims, and distribution of assets. In addition to probate administration, DeMent & Marquardt also handles cases in a variety of other legal areas, including business successions, elder law, and estate planning. Partner Michele C. Marquardt is affiliated with the American Bar Association and the State Bar of 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.
4.5
Google
4.4 / 5 (16)
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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Grossman Horne & Cannizzaro, PC logo
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Grossman Horne & Cannizzaro, PC

610 Spruce St, Vicksburg, MI 49097
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Grossman, Horne, & Cannizzaro PC is located near Kalamazoo. This firm is focused on helping individuals with probate, as well as related matters such as trust planning and estate administration. Its attorneys are experienced in helping clients handle probate-related matters, including distribution of assets and payment of taxes after their loved one has passed away. Managing partner Brett Grossman has been recognized by Super Lawyers and is a member of the State Bar of 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.
4.7
Google
4.6 / 5 (9)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

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

112 S. Monroe St., Sturgis, MI 49091
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

HaasCaywood PC Sturgis has more than 100 years of combined experience as a team of probate lawyers near Kalamazoo. These attorneys offer assistance through every step of the probate process, including the appraisal of assets, paying or discharging debts, and ensuring that assets are made in accordance with the will. Other areas of practice at this firm include family law and estate planning. Partner Michael J. Caywood holds memberships in several professional organizations, including the Michigan and Indiana 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
Google
3.8 / 5 (5)
Facebook
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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Hamilton Law, PLC logo
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Hamilton Law, PLC

1803 Whites Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Hamilton Law, PLC, is a law firm that caters to individuals, homeowners, and business owners in Kalamazoo. Its team of attorneys handles a full range of estate administration tasks on behalf of executors, administrators, and apparent beneficiaries. They guide clients through the probate process and represent them before the court. Furthermore, Hamilton Law deals with business planning and entity formation, litigation and alternative dispute resolution, branding and trademarks, employment law, real estate law, and guardianship and conservatorship.

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
5.0 / 5 (32)
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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––
Housley Peters Law Office logo
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Housley Peters Law Office

905 West Michigan Avenue, Marshall, MI 49068
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  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Featuring a probate attorney near Kalamazoo, Housely Peters Law Office provides compassionate assistance to individuals who are facing the loss of a loved one. Its legal team helps clients to navigate the probate process, assisting with tasks such as debt repayments, collecting rights to income, settling disputes between heirs, and distributing assets. In addition to probate law, Housely Peters Law Office also offers a variety of estate planning services, including patient advocate designation and last will and testament creation.

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 (10)
Facebook
5.0 / 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.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Kreis Enderle logo
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Kreis Enderle

8225 Moorsbridge Road, Portage, MI 49024
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Kreis Enderle is a law firm that has been serving individuals and businesses in Kalamazoo since 1973. It helps clients in creating estate plans that protect their assets from creditors, minimize tax liabilities, ensure proper distribution of assets, and qualify them for Medicaid benefits. The firm also provides additional services that include prenuptial agreements, guardianships and conservatorships, and fiduciary litigation. Robert Borsos, the president of the law firm, carries experience in bankruptcy and estate planning.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.0 / 5 (18)

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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––
Schroeder DeGraw, PLLC logo
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Schroeder DeGraw, PLLC

203 East Michigan Avenue, Marshall, MI 49068
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Schroeder DeGraw PLLC features an estate planning attorney near Kalamazoo. Managing attorney Ronald J. DeGraw handles all matters related to the management of estates, including probate and trust administration. He provides assistance with issues such as tax and debt repayment, asset appraisal, and business succession. Other practice areas include business, tax, and real estate law. Mr. DeGraw holds memberships in the Michigan Bar Association and the Calhoun County Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
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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Sumita Nagpal, PLC logo
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Sumita Nagpal, PLC

405 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Sumita Nagpal, PLC, provides assistance in probate law to clients in Kalamazoo and the surrounding areas. The firm helps clients set up contingency plans for properties, investments, business, life insurance, and employee benefits in case of disability or death. It assists in procuring documents for estate planning, including wills, durable powers of attorney for property and healthcare, and living trusts. In addition, the firm handles cases concerning business formation, bankruptcy, collections, and real 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (14)

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
Vlachos & Vlachos, P.C. logo
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Vlachos & Vlachos, P.C.

5659 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Vlachos & Vlachos, P.C., is a family-owned law firm located in Kalamazoo that has been in business since 1953. Its practice areas include estate planning, family and divorce law, personal injuries, and criminal charges. The firm provides legal assistance on wills and trusts, powers of attorney, and delegation of parental rights. Its team holds over 100 years of combined experience. Vlachos & Vlachos maintains a commitment to legal aid in cooperation with the Legal Aid of Western 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.
3.9
Google
4.0 / 5 (20)
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
Responsiveness
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Detail
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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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