Expertise.com

Best Probate Lawyers in Billings

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

Probate Lawyers FAQs

Learn more
Anderson & Heard, P.L.L.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Anderson & Heard, P.L.L.C.

3936 Avenue B, Ste C, Billings, MT 59102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Anderson & Heard PLLC is a firm of probate attorneys in Billings with many years of experience in all aspects of transferring wealth, particularly involving businesses and real estate. Since the firm first opened its doors in 2002, its attorneys have successfully represented executors, heirs, and beneficiaries. Their services have included ensuring each stage of the probate process is conducted within the law, the full estate is collected and its creditors paid, and the estate distributed in accordance with the will.

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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Christensen Fulton & Filz, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Christensen Fulton & Filz, PLLC

19 36th Street West, Billings, MT 59102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Christensen, Fulton & Filz PLLC is a small firm of probate lawyers in Billings who represent families and individuals throughout Montana. The attorneys have successfully worked for clients in all areas of probate law, from administering small and large estates to litigating in cases where there have been allegations of wrongdoing, such as breaches of fiduciary duty. The firm can also assist in planning estates and litigating in disputes regarding property.

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

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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Crowley Fleck logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Crowley Fleck

490 N 31st St, Billings, MT 59103
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Crowley Fleck has more than 125 years of experience in providing probate and estate administration services for clients in the Billings area. Its attorneys strive to simplify the probate process for executors and trustees by providing services such as tax preparation and filing, management of creditor claims, and help with identifying, contacting, and transferring assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the will. Other practice areas at Crowley Fleck include estate planning, creditors' rights, and mediation.

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)
FindLaw
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Guthals, Hunnes & Reuss, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Guthals, Hunnes & Reuss, P.C.

175 North 27th Street, Billings, MT 59101
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Guthals, Hunnes & Reuss PC is a multi-practice law firm with offices in Billings. The attorneys represent families and individuals throughout the surrounding counties. The firm's probate practice has many years of experience assisting will executors, ensuring they know the law as it applies to their role, as well as administering estates. The attorney's build inventories of estates, notify creditors and heirs, and ensure the estates' taxes are filed. They also practice personal injury and employment 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
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
High Plains Law PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

High Plains Law PLLC

2817 2nd Ave N, Suite 205, Billings, MT 59101
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Wills

Business Description

High Plains Law, P.L.L.C., is a Billings office that caters to beneficiaries and executors of probate in the city. Its principal attorney, William Gilbert, has been living in Billings for over 20 years. He educates first-time clients about formal and summary probate proceedings for those with and without wills. William can validate a will's authenticity in court and petition for the appointment of a personal representative. He also provides powers of attorneys and advises on living wills. He also handles family and divorce litigation matters.

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)
Lee Law Firm, LLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Lee Law Firm, LLC

2625 St. Johns Avenue, Billings, MT 59102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

The Lee Law Firm, LLC, is based in Billings and primarily practices estate planning and probate administration. Its sole practitioner, Michelle Lee, aids individuals through the various aspects of estate planning, from helping clients plan for Medicaid coverage to setting up guardianships or conservatorships. She also represents clients in probate proceedings. Lee has been practicing law for over a decade. She previously served as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Billings for five years before returning to private practice.

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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Montana Elder Law, Inc. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Montana Elder Law, Inc.

1925 Grand Ave, Billings, MT 59102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Probate

Business Description

Montana Elder Law, Inc., provides legal representation to clients in the Billings area. Its attorneys assist with probate administration, which is the court-supervised process of distributing the assets of a deceased person. They help handle disputes among beneficiaries and settle outstanding debts. The firm's other practice areas include elder law, estate planning, and special needs planning. Lead counsel Steve Darty has been practicing since 2012 and writes an estate planning column for The Missoulian.

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.
4.1
Facebook
4.1 / 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.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green P.L.L.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green P.L.L.C.

2817 2nd Ave N, Billings, MT 59101
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl & Green PLLC is a firm of experienced probate lawyers in Billings who are licensed to practice in multiple states, including Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. The attorneys have many years of experience practicing probate law, helping executors navigate the legal complexities, and ensuring petitions are filed on time and in the correct courts. They can also help clients plan their estate and possibly avoid the need for probate.

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
4.2 / 5 (5)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Ritchie Manning Kautz PLLP logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Ritchie Manning Kautz PLLP

175 N 27th St Suite 1206, Billings, MT 59101
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

Ritchie Manning Kautz PLLP is a general practice firm serving individuals, families, and businesses in Billings and the nearby metros. It offers legal representation for estate planning, personal injury, real estate, business disputes, and employment law. Its attorneys can help set up guardianships, conservatorships, and first- and third-party special needs trusts. They have helped families and individuals resolve issues that may arise during probate litigation, including disputes between heirs and representatives.

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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Sather Law Attorneys at Law PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Sather Law Attorneys at Law PLLC

100 N. 27th Street Suite 450, Billings, MT 59103
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Settlement
  • Real Estate

Business Description

The Sather Law Attorneys at Law PLLC serves clients in the Billings metro. It provides legal representation for the decedent's family. It helps them through the probate process, settling the decedent's assets, and coordinating with the beneficiaries who will receive the benefits in the trust. It also handles cases on wrongful death, breach of contract, real estate litigation, general insurance defense, and professional malpractice. Civil litigation attorney Ben Sather is a member of the board of trustees for the State Bar of Montana.

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

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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Sullivan Miller Law PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Sullivan Miller Law PLLC

3860 Avenue B, Billings, MT 59102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Sullivan Miller Law PLLC is a firm of estate planning attorneys in Billings that is licensed to represent clients in Montana and North Dakota. The firm's areas of practice are mainly focused on litigation. Its attorneys offer experienced advocacy for clients involved in contested wills. This includes executors facing allegations of breaching their fiduciary duties, heirs and potential heirs concerned that the decedent may have been unduly influenced, and beneficiaries who believe some of the estate isn't in the inventory.

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.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Thompson Painter Law P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Thompson Painter Law P.C.

180 South 32nd Street Wes, Billings, MT 59102
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Operating in Billings, Thompson Painter Law P.C. is an estate planning law firm that handles probate cases. It can petition for an appointed individual to compile and distribute the assets of decedents without wills. Alternatively, it can handle all the paperwork and contact all beneficiaries and creditors for the family. The firm also represents its clients in litigation court against creditors looking to seize existing assets. Its founder, James W. Thompson, has been practicing estate planning law since 1962.

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
4.3 / 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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Towe, Ball, Mackey, Sommerfeld & Turner, P.L.L.P. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Towe, Ball, Mackey, Sommerfeld & Turner, P.L.L.P.

2525 Sixth Avenue, North Billings, MT 59107
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Towe, Ball, Mackey, Sommerfeld & Turner, P.L.L.P., is a Billings law firm that has been serving the metro since 1969. With over 216 years of collective experience, its attorneys offer legal services for a wide array of practice areas, including probate and estate planning, wills and trusts, personal injury, family law, and construction litigation. With their extensive background in mediation and arbitration, the lawyers work to resolve disputes before going into court. In addition, they are prepared to handle state and federal court cases.

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
4.8 / 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.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
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.

Read all FAQs