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Best Probate Lawyers in Allentown

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Albarelli & Stirba, LLC logo
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Albarelli & Stirba, LLC

609 W. Hamilton St. Ste.201, Allentown, PA 18101
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Albarelli & Stirba, LLC, is a legal firm serving the Allentown metro. Its lawyers handle probate administration to help clients in properly transferring assets after death. They assist in administering the estate, preparing estate accountings, filing inheritance tax returns, distributing assets to the heirs and beneficiaries, and processing death and life insurance claims. Albarelli & Stirba provides services in other practice areas, including civil litigation and family, criminal, immigration, and juvenile law. The firm was founded in 2015 by Kathryn Albarelli and Alfred Stirba IV.

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

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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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Fries Law Office logo
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Fries Law Office

106 2895 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18104
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Located in Allentown, Fries Law Office offers legal assistance to clients in probate, estate, and trust administration and litigation, wills, trust and estate planning, and elder law. It also helps families and individuals in other practice areas, including family law and real estate. Founding attorney William J. Fries brings over 40 years of legal experience. He is a member of the Elder Law and Family Law Committees of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and served as president of the Donald E. Wieand, Sr. Barristers Inn.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

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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.
4.0
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John D. Lychak Esquire logo
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John D. Lychak Esquire

60 West Broad Street Suite 98, Bethlehem, PA 18018
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

John D. Lychak Esquire offers legal assistance in the area of probate and estate administration to clients in Allentown. The legal office helps in proving the validity of a will, collecting the decedent's assets, and distributing the estate. In addition to wills and estate planning, it also deals with other practice areas such as business law, personal injury and civil litigation, and divorce and support. The locally owned and operated law firm carries over 30 years of 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.
5.0
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (8)
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)

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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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Klenk Law logo
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Klenk Law

2202 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Klenk Law is a boutique firm that caters to the needs of clients in Allentown and nearby metros. It provides legal counsel to personal representatives and executors on matters involving probate and estate administration. The practice assists with registration of wills or surrogate petition filing, asset collection, creditor claims settlement, tax return filing, and release of liability documentation procurement. Its founder and principal attorney, Peter L. Klenk, is a member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council.

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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (60)
Yelp
3.0 / 5 (15)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)

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Knauer Law logo
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Knauer Law

143 N 8th St, Allentown, PA 18101
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Knauer Law provides probate services to clients in Allentown and the surrounding areas. Bringing over 40 years of experience in the field, the law firm focuses on helping individuals protect the rights of their loved ones and secure their assets by preparing last will and testaments. It also assists in creating various estate planning documents, including special needs trusts, advanced health care directives, prenuptial agreements, and business succession planning. Founding attorney Robert McLean Knauer has been practicing law since 1974.

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
3.7 / 5 (3)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

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5.0
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Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys logo
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Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys

2640 Westview Drive, Wyomissing, PA 19610
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys is an experienced provider of probate services, and this law firm administrates and represents estates at every step of the way. It has experience with estates that hold less common assets such as art, and complex real estate interests. The firm works with executors of estates to distribute these assets and resolve legal and monetary obligations to creditors and the government. Complete estate planning services are offered as well.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.2
Google
4.3 / 5 (19)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)

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5.0
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Law Offices Vasiliadis Pappas Associates LLC logo
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Law Offices Vasiliadis Pappas Associates LLC

2551 Baglyos Circle Suite A-14, Bethlehem, PA 18020
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

The Law Offices Vasiliadis Pappas Associates LLC offers probate assistance to clients in Allentown and the surrounding areas. The firm guides its clients on various matters, from the collation of a decedent's assets to the completion of required court reports. It assists trustees in the administration of a living trust to establish compliance with state and federal laws and the directives in a will. Stanley M. Vasiliadis, one of the firm's lawyers, is certified by the National Elder Law Foundation in the field of Elder 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.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (21)
Avvo
4.3 / 5 (6)

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5.0
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Markofski Law Offices logo
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Markofski Law Offices

1258 East Philadelphia Ave, Gilbertsville, PA 19525
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Markofski Law Offices is a small law firm near Allentown whose two attorneys share more than 70 years of legal experience, which includes probating wills for families and individuals. The firm's services typically include recording the will with the correct probate court and paying the fee, collecting and valuing the decedent's estate, notifying creditors of the probate timescales, and distributing the remaining estate to heirs and beneficiaries. The attorneys also practice criminal defense and personal injury.

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
4.5 / 5 (57)

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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Mosebach, Funt, Dayton & Duckworth, P.C. logo
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Mosebach, Funt, Dayton & Duckworth, P.C.

2045 Westgate Drive, Suite 404, Bethlehem, PA 18017
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Mosebach, Funt, Dayton & Duckworth, P.C. offers legal representation to individuals, families, and businesses in Allentown. It focuses on various estate and trust administration matters, which include those related to probate issues, inheritance and federal estate tax returns, estate and trust litigation, and formal and informal accounting. Its attorneys also deal with matters involving complex and simple wills, asset protection planning, advanced directives, and special needs trusts. The firm has been helping clients with their legal needs since 2000.

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 (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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Rowe Law Offices, P.C. logo
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Rowe Law Offices, P.C.

1248 Hamilton Street #201, Allentown, PA 18102
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  • Probate
  • Estate Administration

Business Description

Rowe Law Offices, P.C., serves the residents of Allentown. It offers legal counsel on probate and estate administration process. The firm works with the estate’s executor or administrator in handling matters such as asset consolidation, will filing, debt payment minimization, inheritance tax payment, and asset distribution. It also assists with estate planning documents like last wills and testaments, powers of attorney, and living wills. Rowe Law Offices was established in 1997. One of its associates, Sara Haines Clipp, provides pro bono work for the Children and Families Clinic.

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
Facebook
4.4 / 5 (19)
Avvo
4.5 / 5 (16)
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

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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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Rust Law LLC logo
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Rust Law LLC

4461 Kohler Drive, Allentown, PA 18103
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Robert Rust, Esq., has been assisting Allentown residents for over 37 years in drafting and finalizing estate documents for individuals and couples. These documents include wills, trusts, powers of attorney for assets, and advance health care directives. The firm also guides clients in supervising the execution (signing) of the documents, obtaining the signatures of two disinterested witnesses, duplicating the executed documents, and delivering the executed originals to the clients, along with closure letters, to the clients and the parties named as fiduciaries in the papers.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (5)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (3)
Avvo
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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Schoffstall Elder Law logo
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Schoffstall Elder Law

2987 Corporate Court, Suite 200, Orefield, PA 18069
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Schoffstall Elder Law caters to individuals and families in and around Allentown. The firm guides clients through the process of probate, from asset inventory to debt settlement and property distribution. Other services offered by the practice include estate planning, special needs planning, and guardianship. Sally Schoffstall, the firm's founding member, is a certified elder law attorney recognized by the National Elder Law Foundation. She received an Excellence in Elder Law Award from the Elder Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in 2011.

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 (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.
5.0
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Sebelin Law Offices P.C. logo
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Sebelin Law Offices P.C.

120 South First Street, Lehighton, PA 18235
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Sebelin Law Offices PC is a family-owned and operated firm that practices multiple areas of law. Its probate lawyers near Allentown routinely represent executors, heirs, and beneficiaries. Their services often involve taking on the administrative tasks of probating a will, such as petitioning the court, notifying creditors, and distributing the estate in accordance with the instructions in the will or by the decisions of the probate court. The firm also practices estate planning and trust administration.

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.
4.0
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––
Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC logo
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Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC

44 East Broad Street Suite 210, Bethlehem, PA 18018
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC is a law firm serving clients in the Allentown metro. It gives assistance to legal matters like probate, estate planning, and estate administration. The law office helps in drafting wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, or durable health care powers of attorney. The lawyers at Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler can also assist with individuals' and families' estate litigation needs. In addition, they handle family law, business law, and personal injury.

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
3.7 / 5 (6)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Avvo
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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Snyder & Wiles, PC logo
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Snyder & Wiles, PC

7731 Main Street, Fogelsville, PA 18051
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Inheritance Taxes

Business Description

For more than 20 years, the lawyers at Snyder & Wiles PC have represented the people of Lehigh Valley in multiple areas of law. The firm's probate administration services include guiding the executor, helping them perform their role within the law, as well as taking on the time-consuming tasks of collecting and valuing the estate, liquidizing it, responding to creditor claims, and closing the final accounts with the correct probate court.

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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (9)
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
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The Law Office of William W. Matz, Jr. logo
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The Law Office of William W. Matz, Jr.

211 W. Broad St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Office of William W. Matz, Jr., assists clients in Allentown in dealing with estate planning and probate concerns. It helps draft trusts and wills for families, files death and inheritance taxes, and distributes assets to specified beneficiaries. The firm handles complicated estate matters concerning family limited partnerships, intentionally defective grantor trusts, and grantor retained annuity trusts. It also covers practice areas related to family law, such as guardianship, child support and custody, and division of 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.
4.3
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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The Law Offices of Everett Cook, P.C. logo
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The Law Offices of Everett Cook, P.C.

1605 N Cedar Crest Blvd Suite 520, Allentown, PA 18104
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Everett Cook, P.C., a general practice law firm that helps clients in Allentown navigate the legal landscape. It assists individuals and families in creating wills and personal representatives of estates at courthouses. The law firm guides clients in preparing powers of attorney documents and finalizing estate administration. Its primary lawyer, Everett Cook, has been practicing law for more than 14 years. Cook practices tax and family law and handles 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.
4.4
Google
4.5 / 5 (31)
Yelp
2.5 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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The Law Offices of Nancy K. Busch logo
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The Law Offices of Nancy K. Busch

825 North 19th Street, Allentown, PA 18104
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

The Law Offices of Nancy K. Busch has been providing legal services to clients in Allentown and the surrounding communities for over 34 years. It helps estate executors and potential beneficiaries navigate the probate process, performing tasks such as asset inventory, debt and tax settlement, and property distribution. It also drafts estate planning documents like wills, revocable trusts, and advanced healthcare directives. A member of the NAELA, lead attorney Nancy Busch arranges long-term care plans for the elderly.

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
4.4 / 5 (31)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)
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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The Roth Law Firm logo
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The Roth Law Firm

123 North 5th Street, Allentown, PA 18102
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate

Business Description

The Roth Law Firm provides personalized legal solutions to clients in Allentown. For over 40 years, it has been helping clients in the areas of probate administration, real estate, business law, and tax planning. The legal professionals at this law office help clients review their deceased loved ones' assets, pay existing estate debts, and determine rightful inheritors of estates. The Roth Law Firm's founding partner, Larry A Roth, is a member of the Lehigh County Orphans' Courts Rules Committee.

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
4.1 / 5 (14)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)
Avvo
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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Wallitsch & Iacobelli, LLP logo
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Wallitsch & Iacobelli, LLP

1605 N Cedar Crest Blvd. Suite 516, Allentown, PA 18104
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Wallitsch & Iacobelli, LLP, is a law firm that represents clients in the Allentown area. It handles probate administration, which is the court-supervised process of distributing the assets of a deceased person. This includes helping settle outstanding debts and managing disputes among the beneficiaries. The firm also provides estate planning services and assistance for family law and taxation cases. Managing partner Abele Iacobelli has been practicing law for more than 20 years. She speaks English and Italian.

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
4.3 / 5 (15)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)
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.
5.0
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William P Bried, Esq. LLC logo
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William P Bried, Esq. LLC

1600 Hamilton St, Allentown, PA 18102
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

William P. Bried, Esq. LLC is a law firm in Allentown that represents residents and businesses across the local area. It offers clients legal services and guidance in matters relating to estate planning, estate administration, administrating an estate without a will, and powers of attorney and healthcare directives. It also deals with trust administration, business and corporate law, incorporation, and personal injury. William P. Bried established his private practice in 2019 and has more than 40 years of experience in the legal 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.
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.
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Zamborsky & Zamborsky logo
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Zamborsky & Zamborsky

2030 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, PA 18104
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  • Wills

Business Description

Zamborsky & Zamborsky is a law office in Allentown that has been assisting families and individuals for more than four decades. It plans and creates wills and power of attorney documents that help clients make decisions about their estate for themselves and their families. In addition, the firm handles bankruptcy and family law matters, including divorce, child custody and support, and alimony. Zamborsky & Zamborsky is a member of the Northampton County Bar Association and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania 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.
5.0
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.
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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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