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Best Probate Lawyers in Wilmington

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B. Joseph Causey, Jr. logo
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B. Joseph Causey, Jr.

5039 Main Street, Shallotte, NC 28470
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

B. Joseph Causey, Jr. is a probate lawyer near Wilmington, who is passionate about helping clients navigate the confusing process of resolving probate. Valuing compassion and accuracy in his craft, this lawyer aims to make estate administration after a loved one's passing a quick and easy process. With nearly 30 years of experience, Causey also provides legal counsel for estate plans, specifically for living and last wills, guardianship of minors and adults, and ancillary probate of out-of-town estates.

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 (17)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (3)

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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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Baker Law Firm logo
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Baker Law Firm

Oleander Oaks, 5725 Oleander Drive, Suite F1, Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Baker Law Firm has been providing services to clients in Wilmington for more than 45 years. It represents individuals in probate litigation cases, providing legal counsel to heirs and beneficiaries in estate disputes, including claims against the estate, unclear modifications of the will, and mismanagement of assets. It also guides clients in estate administration, helping personal representatives distribute the assets as directed by the will or state laws. Principal attorney Mitch Baker serves on the board of governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

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 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed, LLP logo
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Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed, LLP

310 North Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed, LLP is a law office that serves clients in and around Wilmington. The office's estate planning and probate attorneys provide legal services in matters concerning wills, trusts, and estate plans. These services include revocable and irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, business succession planning, Medicaid and social security planning, and tax planning. The lawyers of Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed, LLP also handle family law and business law 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.
4.2
Google
4.5 / 5 (11)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (2)

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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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Brandon C. Pettijohn Attorney at Law, PLLC logo
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Brandon C. Pettijohn Attorney at Law, PLLC

226 North Front Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Brandon C. Pettijohn Attorney at Law, PLLC, is a multi-practice firm serving Wilmington and nearby areas. Pettijohn counsels clients in a wide range of areas such as estate planning and business law. He also represents personal injury victims and handles family and criminal law matters. The legal practitioner, who also serves residents in Tennessee and Indiana, served in the United States Marine Corps before pursuing law. He was also appointed as the Veterans Court Coordinator for the State of Indiana.

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)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Carter and Carter Attorneys at Law logo
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Carter and Carter Attorneys at Law

408 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Carter and Carter Attorneys at Law has been representing clients across the Wilmington community and the neighboring cities for over 39 years. It provides legal guidance to personal representatives wishing to manage the estates of deceased individuals. It also handles clients' guardianship and trust matters. The law firm's team uses their experience in debtor-creditor law to help reject invalid claims and maximizes available assets for beneficiaries. One of its attorneys, Oliver Carter III, is a creditor's rights specialist certified by the American Board of Certification.

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)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Cason Crummie Law Firm, PLLC logo
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Cason Crummie Law Firm, PLLC

201 N. Front St. Suite 408, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Established in 2017, Cason Crummie Law Firm, PLLC, represents clients and businesses in Wilmington in estate planning and probate administration. The firm assists in administering estates by working with the executors and beneficiaries of the estates to effectively handle and distribute assets on behalf of the deceased. Its legal staff also help prepare legally binding documents such as wills and living trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. Ryan G. Cason Crummie has been serving the community for over 10 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 (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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––
Christina Rivenbark & Associates logo
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Christina Rivenbark & Associates

4009 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Christina Rivenbark & Associates' probate lawyers in Wilmington have been providing legal services in the area as well as in Jacksonville, Fayetteville, Greenville, and Raleigh since 1987. Its team understands the importance of planning for the future, which is why it assists clients in organizing estates, protecting assets, and drafting wills and trusts. The company also handles legal issues concerning car accidents, family law, divorce, personal injury, traffic violations, and social security disability.

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
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (26)

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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––
Collins & Collins Law Offices PLLC logo
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Collins & Collins Law Offices PLLC

215 Racine Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Estate Planning
  • Real Estate

Business Description

Collins & Collins Law Offices PLLC has been solely focusing on real estate law representation for clients in Wilmington and neighboring areas since its opening in 2000. The law firm expanded its practice to offer estate planning services in August 2016. Its attorneys assist clients in creating documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney that fit their unique family situation. The attorneys and paralegals at Collins & Collins each have at least 10 years of experience in the field.

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 (42)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

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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Collins Law Firm logo
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Collins Law Firm

5725-F2 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Collins Law Firm represents clients in Wilmington and the neighboring communities in multiple practice areas. It helps personal representatives of estates and designated beneficiaries navigate the probate process. Founding attorney David B. Collins Jr. and his team have over 65 years of combined criminal defense and personal injury law experience. Collins has been licensed to practice law in North Carolina and South Carolina since 1993. Telephone consultations are available for less serious criminal charges such as minor traffic violations.

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
4.9 / 5 (51)
Facebook
4.9 / 5 (32)
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (7)

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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Craige & Fox PLLC logo
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Craige & Fox PLLC

701 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Craige & Fox PLLC is a general practice law firm that has been serving clients in Wilmington since 2004. It provides probate-related counsel and representation, which include asset consolidation, debt payment, and asset distribution in accordance with the wills of decedents. The firm also drafts estate planning documents, such as powers of attorney, living wills, and living trusts. Lawrence S. Craig and Charlotte Noel Fox have more than 35 years of combined legal experience. They keep clients' objectives at the center of every stage of representation.

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 (11)

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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Detail
––
David E. Anderson, PLLC logo
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David E. Anderson, PLLC

9111 Market St, Suite A, Wilmington, NC 28411
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

David E. Anderson, PLLC, is a law firm that dedicates its services to helping individuals and families in estate planning. Based in Wilmington, it assists clients in handling the difficulties involved in probate and trust administration, such as contested guardianships, litigation of documents, and challenges to powers of attorney. Its estate planning services include creating wills, trusts, and other asset protection tools. Founder David Anderson is a member of WealthCounsel, a nationwide network of lawyers that provides planning advice.

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 (38)
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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Graves May PLLC logo
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Graves May PLLC

5700 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Graves May PLLC is a full-service law firm that provides tax and legal services to clients in Wilmington. Its areas of practice include probate and estate administration, estate planning, advanced estate planning, asset protection, and business and corporate law. It also offers legal services in implementing and defending tax reduction, defending criminal tax cases, and federal and state taxation. Co-founder Rick E. Graves has been a board-certified specialist in estate planning and probate law since 2003.

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
4.6 / 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
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––
Hutchens Law Firm logo
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Hutchens Law Firm

4317 Ramsey St.1121 Military Cutoff Rd, Suite P, Wilmington, NC 28405
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Hutchens Law Firm has been serving individuals and businesses in various litigation and legal issues since 1980. The firm's attorneys cater to Wilmington families looking for legal professionals to navigate them through the probate administration process and form a will or trust. They listen to the client's demands regarding the distribution of their assets and design an estate plan that protects their legacy. Its lawyers also provide services for matters involving business successions, guardianship, and charitable giving.

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
4.3 / 5 (43)
Google
3.8 / 5 (20)
Yelp
2.5 / 5 (3)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Johnson Legal, PLLC logo
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Johnson Legal, PLLC

1213 Culbreth Drive, Suite 448, Wilmington, NC 28405
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Johnson Legal, PLLC, takes on probate and estate administration matters for clients throughout the Wilmington metro and the surrounding areas. The firm takes care of various aspects of the probate process to effectively handle and distribute assets on behalf of the deceased, working closely with executors and beneficiaries to close out the estate without further delays. Likewise, it assists in the preparation, drafting, and execution of last wills and testaments, durable powers of attorney, and trusts. Shane T. Johnson is a Certified Association Executive.

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 (47)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Jones & Sasnett, P.A. logo
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Jones & Sasnett, P.A.

516 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Wills

Business Description

Jones & Sasnett, P.A. offers legal services from its offices in Wilmington and Washington. Its team assists clients with matters concerning wills, estates, and powers of attorney. Its lawyers also represent clients in divorce proceedings and handle family law issues involving child custody, grandparents' rights, and guardianship. Criminal and business law are the firm's other practice areas. Firm partner Amanda Sasnett, who offers estate planning assistance, graduated summa cum laude from law school in 2015.

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 (4)
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
––
Kincaid & Associates PLLC Attorneys at Law logo
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Kincaid & Associates PLLC Attorneys at Law

5215 Junction Circle, Suite 100, Wilmington, NC 28412
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Kincaid & Associates, PLLC, Attorneys at Law is a Wilmington-based firm that addresses probate-related concerns throughout the local metro. Its lawyers serve as representatives and advisors of families in initial filings, consultations with financial institutions, and court proceedings. They offer comprehensive counsel regarding the creation of special needs trusts and guardianships, as well as estate plans for the domestic needs of same-sex partners. The firm's owner, Mitzi Y. Kincaid, is also the founder of Indie Tree, Inc., which provides supported housing for those with disabilities.

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
4.2 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)
Yelp
3.0 / 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
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Kurt B. Fryar Law Firm logo
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Kurt B. Fryar Law Firm

106 N. Water St. Ste. 110, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Kurt B. Fryar Law Firm provides legal services in Wilmington and the surrounding communities. It assists clients in various areas of probate law and aids in the preparation and administration of wills, trusts, and estates. Other areas that the law firm handles include business law, civil litigation, residential and commercial real estate, personal injury, and automobile accidents. Lead attorney Kurt B. Fryar has been advocating for clients since 2002. He is also licensed to practice law in California.

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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Law Office of Zachary S. Rivenbark logo
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Law Office of Zachary S. Rivenbark

107 East Fremont Street, Burgaw, NC 28425
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Inheritance Taxes
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Law Office of Zachary S. Rivenbark is a law firm located in Wilmington. The firm, headed by Rivenbark, provides services that can help clients come up with a comprehensive estate plan. This entails assistance when coming up with a will that legally states medical preferences, naming an administrator of an estate, or naming an appointee that can help make decisions when a person becomes incapacitated. The Law Office of Zachary S. Rivenbark also offers legal services in other areas such as personal injury, family law, and criminal defense.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
5.0 / 5 (18)
Facebook
5.0 / 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
Responsiveness
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Detail
Price & Williams, P.A. logo
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Price & Williams, P.A.

5725 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Wills

Business Description

Price & Williams, P.A., is a Wilmington law office that offers legal assistance to the city's residents in matters concerning estates, trusts, and wills. The firm's probate attorney, James Price, has years of experience in helping surviving family members navigate probate proceeding as well as the estate administration process. Co-attorney D. Robert Williams, Jr., meanwhile, works to resolve real estate law matters. Price & Williams, P.A., also assists people with bankruptcy law 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.
5.0
Google
4.7 / 5 (25)

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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Detail
––
Richard A. Horgan Attorney at Law logo
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Richard A. Horgan Attorney at Law

2017 Seawind Lane, Wilmington, NC 28405
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Richard A. Horgan, Attorney at Law, handles probate-related matters to people in Wilmington and nearby areas. The firm's estate and trust attorney, Richard A. Horgan, has been practicing law for almost four decades. He helps people avoid probate by employing properly financed living trusts to maintain the assets in the hands of the surviving heirs after the clients' death, preventing unnecessary expenditure, delay, and red tape of the probate procedure. He also prepares living wills, revocable living trusts, and powers of attorney.

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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––
Rountree Losee LLP logo
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Rountree Losee LLP

2419 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28403
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

For over a century, the multi-practice law firm Rountree Losee LLP has been representing clients in Wilmington. It provides legal assistance to individuals facing probate proceedings and counsels on creditor management and asset liquidation issues. The firm also offers estate planning solutions and drafts documents like living wills. Its other practice areas include real estate and corporate law. One of its partners, Geoffrey Losee, is certified in superior court mediation by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. He is a US Navy veteran.

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 (6)
Google
5.0 / 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
Responsiveness
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Detail
––
Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC logo
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Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC

6781 Parker Farm Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC focuses on legal matters concerning elder law, estate planning, and special needs planning in Wilmington. Its services include preparing last will and testaments, establishing trusts, handling digital assets, managing a range of long-term care issues, and dealing with probate administration. With over 20 years of experience, Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC is committed to providing compassionate and family-oriented counsel. It also has expertise in helping families with special needs in the Southeastern area of North Carolina.

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
4.8 / 5 (49)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (25)

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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Seay Law Firm, PLLC logo
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Seay Law Firm, PLLC

519 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Seay Law Firm, PLLC offers complete estate administration and probate services in and around Wilmington. The probate attorneys from the firm help estate administrators and representatives get admitted to probate, understand will provision, and consolidate assets into the estate. They also settle any issues that arise during the probate execution like petitions for the elective shares of disinherited spouses, changing personal representatives, and reclaiming estate property. Seay Law Firm, PLLC is a member of the North Carolina 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.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (20)

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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Terry B. Richardson Attorneys at Law logo
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Terry B. Richardson Attorneys at Law

209 Princess Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Terry B. Richardson Attorneys at Law serves clients in Wilmington and the nearby areas. The firm handles estate administration cases and assists with analyzing a client's estate, drafting wills, changing wills, appointing guardians for minors, and transferring assets. It represents clients in probate disputes arising from lack of capacity, undue influence, and breach of fiduciary duty. The firm assists clients with choosing an appropriate executor to ensure their will is administered according to their wishes.

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 (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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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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