Expertise.com

Best Probate Lawyers in Norman

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

Probate Lawyers FAQs

Learn more
Cain & Cain logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Cain & Cain

1770 West Main Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Cain & Cain, PLLC, is a law firm that serves clients in the Norman area. It creates comprehensive estate planning services through its Estate Planners for Life approach. Its team develops effective frameworks to help customers plan how their estates are going to be managed in the future. The firm is committed to improving its skills and knowledge through continuing education. The owners of the firm, Marty and Tamara Cain, have both been in practice for over two decades.

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 (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
––
Dewberry Law Firm logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Dewberry Law Firm

2425 Wilcox Drive, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Dewberry Law Firm is located in Norman and provides legal services involving probate and estate administration. It was founded in 2014 by Rachael Dewberry. Offering more than 25 years of combined legal experience, the firm's probate attorneys lend their expertise to individuals and families navigating the process of probate. They represent heirs and beneficiaries, as well as executors. Dewberry Law Firm's other areas of concentration include estate planning and oil and gas 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.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (60)
Facebook
4.4 / 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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Douglas S. Wall, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Douglas S. Wall, P.C.

216 East Eufaula Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Douglas S. Wall, P.C., is an international law firm based in Norman. It provides clients legal services in probate law, wills and trusts, conservatorship and guardianship applications, family inheritance matters, and estate and succession planning. Its lawyers can also assist clients in family law cases such as divorce, debt division, asset discovery, property distribution, simple or complex child custody, and protection from abuse. The firm's founder, Douglas Wall, has been in practice for more than 25 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.
4.8
Google
4.0 / 5 (50)

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
Evan Taylor Law Office, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Evan Taylor Law Office, PLLC

102 East Eufaula,Ste A, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Evan Taylor Law Office, PLLC is helmed by a family law, divorce, and probate attorney in Norman. The firm was established in 2005 by Evan A. Taylor, whose law practice places a strong emphasis on legal issues that affect families. He handles probate cases across Oklahoma, guiding clients through the process of probating an estate with or without a will. Evan Taylor Law Office's other areas of focus include divorce, child custody, and child support.

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 (66)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (24)
Yelp
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Hallman & Associates, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Hallman & Associates, P.C.

2230 McKown Drive, Norman, OK 73072
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Hallman & Associates, P.C. offers probate-related law services and has offices in Norman and Dallas, TX. Founded by Dawn D. Hallman in 2000, the law firm concentrates on estate, tax, and business planning, and other legal matters involving estates. Its probate attorneys have experience in complex probate matters and provide guidance to executors and personal representatives. They also assist in estate planning, advising clients on trusts and other estate planning instruments that may avoid 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.
4.6
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

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

Hayes Law Office, PLLC

2900 W. Lindsey Street, Suite 152, Norman, OK 73072
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Hayes Law Office, PLLC, helps families in Norman distribute their departed loved one's assets. The firm handles both testate and intestate probate. It also assists with estate planning, family law, and civil matters. Before establishing the firm, Elise D. Hayes was an associate working under former Judge Preston A. Trimble. She strives to deliver personalized attention, directly addressing the client's issues and questions. She also practices transparent communication, telling the client what they want and need to hear, so they can make educated decisions.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)
Heather M. Cook Attorney at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Heather M. Cook Attorney at Law

220 East Eufaula Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Heather M. Cook, Attorney at Law, helps Norman residents deal with the legalities of estate planning. Heather M. Cook, the firm's namesake, assists clients in the creation and execution of wills and trusts. She also guides families who are going through the process of probate. In addition, Cook offers representation in business law for small businesses and family law for couples who wish to end their marriages. Her firm also handles criminal cases, defending people accused of misdemeanors and felonies.

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 (4)
Ivy, Ratcliff & Chasteen, P.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Ivy, Ratcliff & Chasteen, P.C.

308 West Choctaw Avenue, Chickasha, OK 73018
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Ivy, Ratcliff & Chasteen, P.C. is a general law firm that provides legal support and representation by family law and probate attorneys in Norman. Backed by over four decades of combined legal experience, these attorneys have successfully dealt with cases involving criminal defense, divorce, child custody, child support, and estate administration, and other probate-related matters. The firm's practice areas are also focused on real estate law, DUI, and civil litigation.

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 (36)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (4)

(+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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Joey Schmidt Attorney, Central Law Office PC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Joey Schmidt Attorney, Central Law Office PC

808 24th Ave NW, Suite 105, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Joey Schmidt, Attorney, Central Law Office, handles probate issues for individuals and families throughout Norman and the surrounding areas. It has been serving the local community for more than three decades, helping clients navigate the probate process and assisting in the drafting, preparation, and execution of wills and trusts. The firm also handles chapters 7 and 12 bankruptcy issues, oil and gas leases, and agriculture law. Schmidt is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas.

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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Oklahoma Estate Attorneys, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Oklahoma Estate Attorneys, PLLC

114 West Main Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Oklahoma Estate Attorneys, PLLC, is a probate and estate planning law firm that serves individuals and families in Norman and the surrounding areas. The probate attorneys at the firm help clients through the whole probate process, including paying off debts owed by the deceased, dealing with estate taxes, and the distribution of assets to the heirs or beneficiaries. In case that probate litigation is needed, they also provide representation. Terrell Monks, one of the firm's attorneys, has been practicing law for two decades.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.0 / 5 (29)
Yelp
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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Pope and Edgar Law Firm logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Pope and Edgar Law Firm

3750 W. Main, Norman, OK 73072
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Pope and Edgar Law Firm provides services to clients in Norman and the surrounding cities. It caters to individuals wishing to draft wills and trusts to protect their loved ones from complex probate procedures. It also helps clients designate heirs or beneficiaries of their estate. In addition to probate and estate planning, the law firm handles various cases involving bankruptcy, family, business and corporate, and engineering law. Its team also focuses on Native American law. One of its attorneys, Don Pope, has 30 years of legal experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.1 / 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
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Postic & Bates logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Postic & Bates

2212 Shadowlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73159
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Postic & Bates is a law firm that serves the Norman metro. It has probate lawyers that can represent personal representatives or beneficiaries of a dead person's estate. These lawyers can handle probate matters involving asset inventory, payment of taxes, distribution of net assets, court defense, probate process monitoring, and creditor claims. The firm can also provide legal services in estate planning, guardianship, general litigation, and asset protection. The firm's lawyers have more than 35 years of law experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.0 / 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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Ryan Dobbs Legal logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Ryan Dobbs Legal

114 West Main St, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ryan Dobbs Legal represents wealthy families and business owners residing in Norman. The firm advocates and fights for the rights of heirs in trust and estate litigation. It assists administrators and executors in fulfilling their responsibilities, such as paying existing debts and unresolved taxes, determining the value of the decedents' possessions, and distributing assets to beneficiaries according to will. It prepares legal documents like power of attorney for healthcare, living will, and trust agreement. Ryan Dobbs also provides legal services to business-related 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.
4.2
Google
4.0 / 5 (8)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Yelp
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
––
Ryan P. DeArman, P.L.L.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Ryan P. DeArman, P.L.L.C.

2512 North Moore Avenue, Moore, OK 73160
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Ryan P. DeArman, P.L.L.C. is the Moore-based private practice of a probate lawyer near Norman. Ryan P. DeArman handles probate in Cleveland County, Oklahoma County, and other outlying areas surrounding Oklahoma City. He helps clients navigate the process of probating an estate, including intestate cases. He also offers expertise in estate planning, providing guidance on wills, trusts, and how probate can be avoided. The law firm's other focus areas include business formation, bankruptcy, 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.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (28)
Facebook
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Schumacher Law Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Schumacher Law Group

114 East Main Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Schumacher Law Group is a firm in Norman that provides legal services and solutions in the metro and other nearby locations. Focusing on property and probate law, its lawyers assist its clients throughout the probate process. Its team aid in paying creditors, resolving estate tax issues, administering estates, and distributing properties to heirs according to the will. The company also helps with criminal law and family and matrimonial law. Schumacher Law Group has represented clients for over 25 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.
4.4
Google
4.0 / 5 (18)

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
Scott T. Banks, Attorney at Law logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Scott T. Banks, Attorney at Law

219 East Main Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Scott T. Banks, Attorney at Law is a private multi-practice firm that caters to individuals, families, and businesses in Norman and surrounding areas. The firm guides clients, including those involving out-of-state decedents, through the administration of the probate process. It also provides legal representation for will contests. In addition, the firm offers probate avoidance planning, estate tax avoidance planning, and estate planning services. Principal attorney Scott T. Banks has been practicing law for more than a decade.

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
Google
4.1 / 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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Seda Law Firm logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Seda Law Firm

1624 Southwest 122nd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73170
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Seda Law Firm is a solo practice founded by Roberto L. Seda, a probate attorney near Norman who has more than eight years of experience helping families honor the wills of their loved ones. The attorney's services include advising executors, working with administrators in cases where there is no will, and ensuring the estate is collected, its bills paid, and the heirs given their inheritances. Attorney Seda is also licensed to practice in New Mexico, Texas, and North Dakota.

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 (10)

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
The Law Office of Tyler R. Barrett, P.L.L.C. logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Law Office of Tyler R. Barrett, P.L.L.C.

131 East Main Street, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The Law Office of Tyler R. Barrett, P.L.L.C., provides a range of legal services in Norman. The firm is operated by Tyler Barrett, an elder law attorney who simplifies the probate process and handles matters involving ancillary probate, estate litigation, will contests, and summary administration. He is focused on building relationships with clients by offering solutions based on their individual circumstances. Barrett is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the American Cancer Society's National Professional Advisor Network.

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 (38)
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
––
Tontz Law, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Tontz Law, PLLC

301 E. Eufaula, Norman, OK 73069
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Tontz Law, PLLC, serves families, businesses, trusts, and foundations in the Norman metro and nearby locations. Founding lawyer Greg Tontz, who has been practicing law since 1994, takes an aggressive approach to representing clients and litigating cases. He takes on a variety of concerns such as real property disputes and transactional matters, administration of deceased loved ones' assets, elder law, and estate planning. He has also defended and prosecuted over 30 appeals in Oklahoma appellate courts.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 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
Unity Legal Services, PLLC logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Unity Legal Services, PLLC

3750 West Main Street, Norman, OK 73072
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Unity Legal Services, PLLC., is a law firm based in Norman that deals with probate cases. Mona Guziar, the senior lawyer, helps individuals who have debt issues and provides them with legal strategies. She also deals with the distribution of a client's property after death and transfers its legal title to his or her beneficiary. As a resident of the community, she helps individuals by providing her services. Guziar is a board member of the Norman Kiwanis and an advocate of the organization.

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 (50)
Facebook
5.0 / 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.
4.0
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