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Best Probate Lawyers in O'Fallon

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Flesner Wentzel logo
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Flesner Wentzel

820 South Main Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Flesner Wentzel is a legal firm that assists individuals in O'Fallon going through the process of probate administration. It helps clients protect their finances and provide security for their families through strategic estate planning. Its probate attorneys also evaluate their clients' financial assets and draft an estate plan that will fit their individual needs. Flesner Wentzel strives to be upfront with clients with regard to the status of their cases as it believes in the importance of transparency.

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
4.5 / 5 (182)
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)
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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Schormann Law Firm, LLC logo
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Schormann Law Firm, LLC

1 Mid Rivers Mall Drive, St. Peters, MO 63376
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Inheritance Taxes
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Schormann Law Firm, LLC is a Saint Peters legal practice helmed by Carrie S. Schormann, a probate attorney near O'Fallon. The law firm offers guidance on various aspects of estate administration, assisting personal representatives throughout the process. It also represents beneficiaries, trustees, and personal representatives in probate and fiduciary litigation. Schormann Law Firm's other areas of focus include estate planning, conservatorships and guardianships, and gift tax and estate tax 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.
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 Center for Family Law logo
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The Center for Family Law

7710 Carondelet Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

The Center for Family Law features a team of family law and probate attorneys in O'Fallon that provides client-focused legal services. The firm's attorneys are experienced in representing clients who are going through divorce and legal separation, adoptions, child custody, paternity, and other family law matters. Estate planning is also among their expertise. The Center for Family Law provides assistance in planning and preparing the last will and testament and trust, beneficiary deed, living will, and power of attorney.

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 (37)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (23)

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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Watkins Law Firm, P.C. logo
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Watkins Law Firm, P.C.

1031 Peruque Crossing Court, O'Fallon, MO 63366
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Watkins Law Firm, P.C. is an O'Fallon-based law firm that offers legal assistance in the areas of estate planning, family law, and real estate law. The firm has a team of probate attorneys that handle probate administration procedures such as identifying, gathering, liquidating, and distributing the assets of a deceased loved one. Founder Mike Watkins has over 30 years of legal experience and has served as a City Attorney and Assistant Prosecutor prior to his private practice.

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
3.5 / 5 (21)

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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Welch Law LLC logo
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Welch Law LLC

50 Centre on the Lake Suite 200, Lake St. Louis, MO 63367
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation
  • Legacy Care

Business Description

Welch Law LLC is the private practice of Scott M. Welch, a probate and estate planning attorney near O'Fallon. Located in Lake Saint Louis, the firm concentrates on the areas of estate planning and business law, assisting families as well as small business owners in setting up legal safeguards for the future. In addition to offering estate administrators and family members guidance throughout the probate process, Welch Law provides legal advice on wills, trusts, and beneficiary deeds.

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 (90)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (24)
Avvo
4.7 / 5 (10)

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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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