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Best Probate Lawyers in Independence

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Complete Estate & Probate Law logo
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Complete Estate & Probate Law

10401 Holmes Rd, Ste 210, Kansas City, MO 64131
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Complete Estate & Probate Law helps clients in Independence address the legal challenges associated with aging and death. The law firm guides personal representatives and heirs of the decedents through the probate process to avoid delays, errors, and confusion. It also helps clients preserve their assets for future generations through estate planning, guardianship, and conservatorship. The legal team has been assisting individuals and families in developing and implementing asset protection plans based on their objectives for their families for more than 15 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 (25)

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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.
5.0
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Gagnon Law Firm, LLC logo
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Gagnon Law Firm, LLC

601 Oak Street, Lathrop, MO 64465
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Gagnon Law Firm LLC handles probate cases for families that need to resolve their relatives' estates once they've passed away. It accomplishes this through the probate process and informs appointed executors on every aspect of probate and the requirements necessary to dissolve estates so that heirs can collect their inheritances. It manages situations including outstanding debts, will contests, and tax controversies so that assets can be transferred properly and without legal liabilities. Gagnon Law Firm LLC also creates trusts and 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.
4.3
Facebook
3.9 / 5 (7)

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5.0
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Ghafoor Cook Ellis LLC logo
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Ghafoor Cook Ellis LLC

136 East Walnut Street, Independence, MO 64050
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ghafoor Cook Ellis LLC is a law firm serving clients in the Independence metro and the surrounding communities. Its team of probate lawyers guides clients through the judicial process of executing wills and estate plans and resolves issues that may arise during probate. They also provide assistance in drafting wills and trusts and handle cases that span bankruptcy, real estate, business, and intellectual property. Its founding partners have over 55 years of combined experience in various legal 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.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (41)
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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Janeece L. Dent-Bennett, P.C. Attorney At Law logo
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Janeece L. Dent-Bennett, P.C. Attorney At Law

704 SE 3rd St., Lee's Summit, MO 64063
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Janeece L. Dent-Bennett, P.C., Attorney At Law, caters to the people of Independence. Its owner and sole practitioner, Janeece Dent-Bennett, provides legal directions to clients on matters concerning the probate procedure. She helps family members or nominated executors identify assets and distribute them to the right heirs or beneficiaries. The attorney works with clients from start to finish to completely execute the decedents' final wishes. Bennett also accommodates clients seeking advice for real estate transactions and business affairs. She has been in practice since 1985.

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
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

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KC Elder Law logo
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KC Elder Law

301 Northeast Mulberry Street, Lee's Summit, MO 64086
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

KC Elder Law is a law firm that serves clients in the Independence metro. Its legal team assists clients with probate and estate planning matters, helping manage wills and trusts. The firm also handles Medicaid planning and managing VA benefits. Clients can likewise opt for powers of attorney services to support their legal representation. KC Elder Law has been in operation for over 20 years and regularly educates clients with workshops on asset protection and eldercare.

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 (33)

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5.0
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Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP logo
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Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP

132 Westwoods Drive, Liberty, MO 64068
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Kirkland, Woods, & Martinsen LLP is a law firm that does probate work for estates left intestate, or that face other will-related issues. The firm's estate planning attorneys near Independence can assist executors with managing assets of the estate, and this practice does both independent and supervised probate administration. It communicates with creditors as well so that debts can be settled and heirs can receive the remaining possessions in each case. Trust administration services are available.

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 Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee logo
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Law Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee

721 Northeast 76th Street, Kansas City, MO 64118
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Law Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee is a firm that offers a multitude of services to those facing probate and related processes. It provides standard probate services, such as taking care of assets until they can be distributed and filing paperwork to start probate in court. This firm offers mediation services and can help estates to resolve internal conflicts, such as disagreements involving heirs, and avoid litigation when possible. Law Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee also assists families with estate planning and guardianships.

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
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (16)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Lighthouse Legal, LLC logo
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Lighthouse Legal, LLC

1007 SW Walnut St, Blue Springs, MO 64015
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Lighthouse Legal, LLC, creates legal solutions for its clients, including elders and individuals with special needs, in Independence. It helps them administer the probate process by preparing refusal letters and Certificate of Clerk for a Small Estate documents. For high-value estates, it renders supervised or independent administration services. Additionally, it develops avenues, such as living trusts and joint ownership, to avoid probate. Lighthouse Legal gives back to the community by donating to charities like Community Services League and UMKC.

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 (22)
Facebook
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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Lund Law Offices, LLC logo
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Lund Law Offices, LLC

1308 Northeast Windsor Drive, Lee's Summit, MO 64086
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Lund Law Offices, LLC is a law firm serving Independence and the surrounding metros. It specializes in personal estate planning, assisting clients in drafting wills and revocable trusts, as well as creating powers of attorney. Its team of lawyers also provides guidance on the probate process, ensuring that the intents of the estate document are reflected when the assets are divided in court. Its founder, Zach Lund, is backed by a business and legal degree focused on estate planning and probate 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.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (40)

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 J Englert, Attorney at Law logo
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Michael J Englert, Attorney at Law

209 West Lexington Avenue, Independence, MO 64050
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Michael J Englert, Attorney at Law, has been practicing estate planning law since 1997. Based in Independence, Englert is an estate lawyer who offers will drafting services, develops health care directives, and provides legal counsel regarding the power of attorney. He also extends his expertise to personal injury claims and criminal defense, including traffic violations, misdemeanor, assault, and gun-related charges. In addition, Englert's professional background dates back to 1988 when he assisted in trial 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (18)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Mitchell & Associates, LC. Attorney at Law logo
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Mitchell & Associates, LC. Attorney at Law

1080 NW South Outer Road, Blue Springs, MO 64015
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Mitchell & Associates, LC., Attorney at Law, helps the residents of Independence comply with probate laws. It explains their rights and the proceedings needed to administer the estate of a deceased loved one. To prevent probate, the firm assists clients in estate planning, which includes drafting wills, living and insurance trusts, powers of attorney, and guardianship documents. Owner David Mitchell has been practicing since 1985 in the areas of real estate, general business, and estate planning 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (7)
Moehlman Law Firm logo
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Moehlman Law Firm

2641 NE McBaine Dr., Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Moehlman Law Firm is a private practice that counsels clients in Independence and the rest of Missouri. It provides probate and trust administration services, which include the allocation of estate assets. The firm also helps draft and update estate planning documents such as last wills and testaments, living wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and powers of attorney. Principal attorney Jason Lloyd Moehlman has almost two decades of legal experience. He holds a Masters in Laws in Taxation degree. Moehlman Law Firm also caters to Spanish-speaking clients.

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 (5)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
Moore Legacy Law logo
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Moore Legacy Law

6300 North Revere Drive, Suite 265, Kansas City, MO 64151
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Moore Legacy Law assists individuals throughout Independence and surrounding areas. The firm deals with legal matters involving will and probate administration, as well as probate litigation. It assists clients in preparing court-required accountings and reports, filing petitions, locating and securing the estate property, disbursing estate proceeds to heirs, and filing final accounts to the court. The firm's principal attorney, Jim Moore, holds over 40 years of judicial and legal experience. He founded the firm in 2014. The firm's attorneys are also admitted to practice in Missouri.

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
5.0 / 5 (12)

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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Northland Elder Law logo
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Northland Elder Law

9 Victory Dr #1, Liberty, MO 64068
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Northland Elder Law strives to protect and preserve the assets of clients in the Independence area. Its lawyers assist personal representatives in managing and completing the probate process in a timely manner. They also create customized solutions to serve the probate administration needs of the elderly and associated families. Kara Burgess has been practicing law for more than 34 years. She was the 2020 president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Missouri Chapter.

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 (103)

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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Oswald Rew LLC logo
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Oswald Rew LLC

601 NW Jefferson Street, Blue Springs, MO 64014
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Oswald Rew LLC provides legal guidance to families in Independence dealing with probate matters. Its team of lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants helps executors efficiently administer and settle estates and litigates estate-related disputes should they arise. They also form estate plans and handle special needs and long-term care planning. Additionally, they represent businesses, public agencies, Realtors, developers, and educational institutions in real estate, taxation, IDEA compliance, and municipal law matters. The general practice firm has been operating for over 50 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.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (29)

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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Rees Law Center, LLC Attorney At Law, LLM logo
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Rees Law Center, LLC Attorney At Law, LLM

1200 NW S Outer Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Rees Law Center, LLC Attorney At Law, LLM, serves individuals in and around the Independence area. Its attorney, Anton Rees, offers estate and trust planning services, which help clients avoid probate. These legal solutions also allow them to distribute their assets according to their wishes. In addition, they cater to individuals with businesses and assets to protect. Restructuring and business entity selection are the other services Rees offers. He has been counseling clients on estate planning and tax matters since 2007.

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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––
Sanderford Law Office, LLC logo
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Sanderford Law Office, LLC

8549 N. Church Rd. Suite B, Kansas City, MO 64157
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Sanderford Law Office, LLC, caters to individuals and families in Independence and the surrounding areas. The firm helps executors or trustees of decedents with the probate process and trust administration. It also offers estate planning services such as the preparation of last will and financial power of attorney. John Sanderford, the firm's founder, has more than 26 years of experience handling estate planning and administration cases. He belongs to the Probate and Trust Committee of the Missouri 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.
3.8
Google
3.8 / 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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Sexton, Bender, Hill & Steinman, P.C Attorneys at Law logo
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Sexton, Bender, Hill & Steinman, P.C Attorneys at Law

2900 Brooktree Lane, Suite 100, Gladstone, MO 64119
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Sexton, Bender, Hill & Steinman, P.C., Attorneys at Law, caters to families and individuals in Independence. The firm offers estate planning and probate services covering trusts, last and living wills, powers of attorney, and beneficiary deeds. Its attorneys also practice family, business, tax, and real estate law. This allows them to facilitate tax minimization and business and real property transactions during the probate process. One of the attorneys, J. Brian Hill, is admitted to the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

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 (17)

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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Starke Law Offices, LLC logo
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Starke Law Offices, LLC

801 Northwest Vesper Street, Blue Springs, MO 64015
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Starke Law Offices LLC offers probate services to clients in Independence and Kansas City metro area. This firm helps clients to deal with challenging aspects of the probate process and manages each estate alongside the executor so that a fair and correct transfer of assets can take place. It drafts the documents needed to begin and conclude probate within the courts too. Starke Law Offices LLC also creates and advises on wills and estate plans.

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
4.7 / 5 (22)

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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Swisher Law Office logo
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Swisher Law Office

304 SE 3rd St, Lees Summit, MO 64063
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Swisher Law Office caters to clients in the Independence community and the nearby cities. It guides elderly individuals in planning for the future of their assets, medical needs, and loved ones by offering elder law solutions. These solutions include probate representation, nursing home application, long-term care planning, and will and trust modifications. The law firm also provides legal consultation to individuals facing family law issues. Founding attorney Michael Paul Swisher has been practicing law since 1983. Swisher is also a member of the Kansas 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
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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The Law Office of April McLaughlin, LLC logo
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The Law Office of April McLaughlin, LLC

100 South Independence St, Harrisonville, MO 64701
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Law Office of April McLaughlin, LLC, caters to clients in Independence. The firm provides legal counsel on probate and estate planning matters, including wills and trusts, probate and decedent estates, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and non-probate transfers. McLaughlin established her private practice in 2005. Her deep compassion for the elderly inspired her to specialize in probate, estate planning, family, and real estate law, supporting individuals in protecting their family assets and assisting families after the loss of a loved one.

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
4.5 / 5 (31)
Facebook
4.7 / 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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The Lee Law Office Attorney at Law logo
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The Lee Law Office Attorney at Law

3720 Arrowhead Ave, Independence, MO 64057
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  • Wills
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

The Lee Law Office Attorney at Law helps Independence residents achieve their investment goals. It assists individuals and families in developing estate and probate administration strategies. The practice represents beneficiaries during the distribution process. It also offers estate planning assistance, which involves creating wills and trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives. Additionally, it handles Medicaid and long-term care planning disputes. Founder Marcella Gladney Lee worked as a legal counsel at Kauffman Scholars, Inc., before establishing her firm.

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
FindLaw
5.0 / 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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The Love Law Group LLC logo
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The Love Law Group LLC

3435 Northeast Ralph Powell Road, Lee's Summit, MO 64064
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Love Law Group LLC is a law firm that serves Independence and the surrounding areas in matters of probate law. The probate process can be a stressful undertaking for clients who recently lost a loved one. The firm assists in taking care of the legal work for the client, so they can properly grieve for the departed. Its attorneys help in various matters, such as filing wills to the courts, valuing properties, and distributing assets to the 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
4.0 / 5 (31)

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 Whipple Law Firm, P.C. logo
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The Whipple Law Firm, P.C.

201 North Spring Street, Independence, MO 64050
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Whipple Law Firm PC offers probate services for estates that need to resolve financial matters so they can be distributed among heirs. This firm is specifically interested in estate litigation, which can often involve scenarios related to the probate process. It pursues compensation on behalf of heirs who feel unfairly compensated per the will, as well as families who want to defend their assets from faulty claims. The Whipple Law Firm PC does estate planning as well.

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 (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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Trust & Will Center logo
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Trust & Will Center

608 SW 3rd St, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Trust & Will Center caters to the residents of Independence who have inheritance law concerns. The firm's legal practitioner, Jennifer J. Mickelson, concentrates on estate planning and probate matters, and she has experience litigating cases that involve last wills and testaments. She establishes gun trusts to facilitate the transfer of firearms to heirs while avoiding the bureaucratic hassles associated with the ATF. Mickelson was admitted to the bar in 2001 and has since drafted more than 4,000 estate plans.

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
4.7 / 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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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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