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Best Probate Lawyers in Southfield

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Ardelean & Dunne, PLLC logo
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Ardelean & Dunne, PLLC

29777 Telegraph Road, Suite 1630, Southfield, MI 48034
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

Ardelean & Dunne, PLLC, is a Southfield law firm that handles probate cases. The firm advises clients on wills that state who inherits their wealth once they pass on, helping them with legal jargon. It helps identify general durable powers of attorney that help clients handle financial matters involving a deceased's will. The firm also assists health care powers of attorney, enabling individuals to decide for their incapacitated loved ones. Ardelean & Dunne also practices bankruptcy law. It has filed a thousand cases in the last three years.

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4.9

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5.0
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Cordes Law PLLC logo
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Cordes Law PLLC

26677 W 12 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48034
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  • Probate

Business Description

Cordes Law PLLC is run by Tim Cordes, whose practice areas are probate administration and family law. Cordes is a legal professional with over 12 years of experience helping Southfield residents get through the probate process—from handling court paperwork and contacting creditors, to notifying heirs and distributing assets. Cordes can also help with family matters, divorce, and adoption. He takes a strategic approach to every client's case to better secure an ideal outcome for them.

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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

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5.0
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Dallo Estate Planning logo
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Dallo Estate Planning

31731 Northwestern Hwy Suite 261W, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Dallo Estate Planning represents clients in Southfield with probate and trust administration concerns. Sole practitioner Joe Dallo frequently assists heirs in navigating the legal process of estate settlement, which includes lifetime and death probate, estate administration, tax preparation, and litigation. He established his firm in 2017 and has handled approximately 150 probate cases. Dallo also holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation, which allows him to help clients keep their possessions and loved ones protected in various situations.

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 (56)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)

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5.0
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Forrest Law PLLC logo
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Forrest Law PLLC

24901 Northwestern Hwy Suite 418, Southfield, MI 48075
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Forrest Law PLLC is a boutique legal firm focusing on probate matters. Managing attorney Renita L. Forrest assists clients in Southfield with the paperwork and legal procedures related to probate, including administration of deceased estates, conservatorship and guardianship petitions, and estate planning. When a conflict arises, she handles litigation and court representation. Forrest worked as a law clerk for judges at the Wayne County Probate Court, Oakland County Circuit Court, and Michigan Court of Appeals before graduating from law school.

Reputation:

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5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)

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5.0
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Gaggos Flaggman, PLLC Attorneys & Counselors logo
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Gaggos Flaggman, PLLC Attorneys & Counselors

2250 Butterfield Drive, Suite 240, Troy, MI 48084
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Gaggos Flaggman, PLLC Attorneys & Counselors, is a private legal practice that serves the residents of Southfield and the surrounding areas. It guides individuals and families through the probate process, which includes the distribution of the decedent’s assets. It also offers probate litigation services for disputes regarding the validity of a person’s will or trust, as well as regarding financial and medical decisions. Principal attorney William H. Gaggos has been practicing law for over two decades. He is also a certified public accountant.

Reputation:

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5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (12)

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5.0
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Great Lakes Family Probate & Estates PLLC logo
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Great Lakes Family Probate & Estates PLLC

838 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 100, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Power of Attorneys
  • Probate

Business Description

Great Lakes Family Probate & Estates PLLC works with clients in Southfield and the surrounding areas who need assistance in protecting their estate and their loved ones. The firm provides guidance in crafting individual estate plans, as well as in executing estate and trust administration and probate litigation. Its team of attorneys has experience representing clients in a range of capacities, such as heirs and beneficiaries, trustees, personal representatives, guardians, and conservators in probate courts.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (18)
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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Great Lakes Legal Group, PLLC logo
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Great Lakes Legal Group, PLLC

One Towne Square, Southfield, MI 48076
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Great Lakes Legal Group, PLLC is a law office with probate lawyers in Southfield. Founded by attorneys Jehan Crump-Gibson and Ayanna Alcendor, the firm's mission is to put clients first and cultivate a relationship built on trust and open communication. Its team of attorneys can help clients in different areas of probate, such as properly drafting a will and professional assistance when the probate court becomes involved. True to its client-first approach, the firm created online resources on estate planning that clients with physical limitations can access anytime and anywhere.

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
4.6 / 5 (22)
Google
4.3 / 5 (6)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

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

6001 N. Adams Road, Suite 135, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Law Office of Matthew A. Ferri, PLLC, is a local firm focusing on estate law, ProActive elder law, and business planning in the Southfield metro. Its services include guiding and representing individuals and families in matters of probate, estate, and trust administration. One of its attorneys, Matthew Ferri, is certified in probate and estate planning by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He is a Veterans Affairs-accredited attorney and is licensed to practice in the two federal courts 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (18)
Avvo
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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Law Office of Richelle C. Lester, PLLC logo
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Law Office of Richelle C. Lester, PLLC

17520 W. 12 Mile Road, Suite 211, Southfield, MI 48076
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of Richelle C. Lester, PLLC, was established in 2013 to handle the estate-related interests of Southfield residents. Its attorney represents clients in the entire estate administration process. The firm also helps administer trusts and finds resolutions to will contests. Additionally, it offers estate planning solutions and arranges guardianship and conservatorships for people who can no longer manage their affairs. Principal attorney Richelle C. Lester has drafted over 2,500 wills. She conducts estate planning seminars and serves as a Guardian ad Litem.

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
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (20)
Google
4.0 / 5 (7)
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.
4.0
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Law Offices of Julie E. Gilfix logo
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Law Offices of Julie E. Gilfix

26999 Central Park Blvd., Suite 150, Southfield, MI 48076
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Julie E. Gilfix provides legal representation to clients in Southfield and the surrounding areas. Its principal attorney, Julie Gilfix, has been in the industry for over 20 years. She handles matters involving probate, estate planning, elder law, and guardianship. Gilfix also takes on family law cases, such as divorce, child custody and support, and domestic violence. Her additional services include handling appeals for juvenile and criminal matters. She is a member of the Women Lawyers 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)
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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MacDonald Law, P.C. logo
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MacDonald Law, P.C.

39555 Orchard Hill Place Suite 137, Novi, MI 48375
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Real Estate

Business Description

MacDonald Law, P.C., is a firm that serves clients in Southfield. It practices in areas such as probate and estate planning. The firm assists clients in drafting estate plans using tools such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, patient advocate designations, and estates administration. The attorneys at the firm have been representing clients in various disputes including estate matters for over 25 years. MacDonald Law, P.C., also provides legal services in areas such as business law and real estate 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.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (286)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (9)
Facebook
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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Maddin Hauser logo
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Maddin Hauser

28400 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48034
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Maddin, Hauser, Roth & Heller, PC, is a law firm in Southfield that has been representing local individuals, employees, healthcare professionals, and businesses since 1982. It provides clients with legal advice for estate planning and probate matters. It deals with litigation and dispute resolution, general powers of attorney, life insurance trusts, and conservatorships. Its services also include handling asset protection, durable powers of attorney, qualified domestic trusts, and special-needs trusts. The firm consists of over 40 attorneys who focus on almost 20 practice areas.

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 (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.
4.0
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Ruby Legal Solutions LLC logo
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Ruby Legal Solutions LLC

29501 Greenfield Rd Suite 224, Southfield, MI 48076
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ruby Legal Solutions LLC handles probate cases in Southfield and the surrounding areas. The firm helps personal representatives administer a deceased person's estate through formal and informal probate. It also sets up guardianships and conservatorships to protect the welfare of minor children and incapacitated individuals. In addition, it assists in preparing powers of attorney, living wills, and patient advocate designation. Amy M. Ruby, the owner and principal, has more than 12 years of legal experience.

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
Avvo
4.8 / 5 (71)
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)
Facebook
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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Shea Aiello, PLLC logo
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Shea Aiello, PLLC

26100 American Drive Second Floor, Southfield, MI 48034
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Shea Aiello, PLLC, is a legal practice serving clients across Southfield and the neighboring areas. This firm represents clients in probate and trust administration cases and assists them throughout the legal process. It also provides litigation services and handles legal matters involving estate planning, elder law, business planning, litigation, and investment loss and securities fraud. David J. Shea, the founding and managing partner of the firm, was named a Top Business Litigation Attorney by Crain’s Detroit 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (12)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Yelp
4.5 / 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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Sheldon Kohn, Attorney at Law, PLLC logo
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Sheldon Kohn, Attorney at Law, PLLC

30445 Northwestern Hwy - #310, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Sheldon Kohn, Attorney at Law, PLLC, helps resolve probate issues of individuals and families in the Southfield metro. It concentrates on the area of estate planning and assists in drafting legal documents to safeguard clients' assets and property in case of incapacity or death. It prepares and develops powers of attorney, living wills, and trusts. It also offers legal advice to business owners building buy-sell agreements that render specific protection. Its attorney has been practicing law for over 40 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
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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Terrasi Law logo
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Terrasi Law

42705 Grand River Ave Suite #201, Novi, MI 48375
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  • Wills
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Terrasi Law serves high-net-worth families in Southfield and its surrounding communities. The office helps administrators and executors throughout the probate proceedings, including establishing the will's validity, distributing assets to heirs, paying outstanding taxes and debts, transferring property titles to beneficiaries, itemizing the deceased's possessions, and managing creditor's claims. Since 2003, founder Margaret Terrasi has been assisting clients in litigating, drafting, and enforcing trusts and wills. She also handles family law cases like divorce, child custody, and spousal maintenance.

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 (13)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)
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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The  Law Offices of Stuart J. Snider logo
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The Law Offices of Stuart J. Snider

17211 W 12 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48076
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Stuart J. Snider is a private practice legal firm that serves Southfield. It offers its services in areas including estate planning and probate. The firm assists clients in completing their estate plans by drafting wills, trusts, and durable powers of attorney. It also arbitrates and mediates in estate and trust disputes during the probate process. The Law Offices of Stuart J. Snider also provides its services in matters regarding real estate law. The firm has been serving the community for 40 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.
4.3
Google
3.9 / 5 (12)
Avvo
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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The Law Office of Ryan B. Stearn, P.C. logo
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The Law Office of Ryan B. Stearn, P.C.

29829 Greenfield Rd Ste 103, Southfield, MI 48076
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of Ryan B. Stearn, P.C. represents individuals and families in Southfield. It offers legal solutions for probate matters, handling issues with the assessment of the estate, notifying and identifying heirs, and distribution of assets. It assists with estate planning for asset and creditor protection, wealth preservation, same-sex and unmarried couples' estate, and pet trusts. Ryan has been practicing law since 2000. He is licensed to practice before the U.S. District Court Eastern District 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.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (27)
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

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

24361 Greenfield Road, Suite 310, Southfield, MI 48075
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  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

The Legacy Law Firm addresses the legal needs of clients in Southfield and the surrounding communities. It provides legal representation in probate cases, such as challenging distributions and fraudulent wills, recovering stolen funds, and removing personal representatives. It also offers Medicaid planning, guardianship and conservatorship, and estate planning and administration services. Founder and managing partner Moshe B. Newman was named one of the 10 Best Elder Law Attorneys in Michigan by the American Institute of Legal Counsel.

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
4.5 / 5 (8)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)
Avvo
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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Wood, Kull, Herschfus, Obee & Kull, P.C. logo
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Wood, Kull, Herschfus, Obee & Kull, P.C.

37000 Grand River Avenue, Suite 290, Farmington Hills, MI 48335
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Wood, Kull, Herschfus, Obee & Kull, P.C., is a general practice law firm that caters to the legal needs of people in Southfield. Its lawyers assist in managing the probate process, from estate opening and claim handling to asset distribution and closing. They guide successor trustees in trust administration and distribution and represent clients in guardianship and conservatorship cases. The law firm has been in operation since 1996. President Brian Herschfus previously served as vice-chairman of the Southfield Planning Commission.

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
5.0 / 5 (7)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (4)
Avvo
3.7 / 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.
4.0
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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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