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Best Probate Lawyers in Brownsville

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Ezell & Ezell, PLLC logo
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Ezell & Ezell, PLLC

312 East Van Buren Avenue, Harlingen, TX 78550
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Inheritance Taxes

Business Description

Ezell & Ezell PLLC is a father-daughter team that operates throughout Brownsville. The two attorneys serve those dealing with a lost loved one by helping clients navigate the distribution of the decedent's assets. The lawyers negotiate and settle debts on behalf of the estate's executor. The firm also offers litigation services in cases involving administrators who fail to execute their duties and wills signed as a result of fraud. Ezell & Ezell is proficient in dealing with intestate estates.

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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Garza & Garza Law, PLLC Attorneys at Law logo
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Garza & Garza Law, PLLC Attorneys at Law

1200 East Harrison Street, Brownsville, TX 78520
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Garza & Garza Law, PLLC Attorneys at Law, provides legal services to clients in Brownsville. The firm guides clients through the probate process, tackling matters like powers of attorney, medical directives, and estate administration. It also offers legal representation in criminal cases involving drug trafficking and money laundering. The firm's other practice areas include personal injury law. One of the firm's founders, Robert Garza, is a former state district judge.

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 (16)

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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Friendliness
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Detail
Hamilton & Lucio, P.C. logo
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Hamilton & Lucio, P.C.

805 Old Port Isabel Road, Brownsville, TX 78521
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Hamilton & Lucio PC is dedicated to serving its clients' best interests. The firm's probate lawyers in Brownsville work on behalf of individuals and fiduciary institutions in contested and uncontested litigation matters. They guide their clients through each step of the process. Hamilton & Lucio petitions the court, works through dispute resolutions, settles debts, liquidates assets, and disburses funds to beneficiaries. The firm's attorneys hold board certification in estate planning and probate law through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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
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
––
Limon Law Office logo
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Limon Law Office

890 West Price Road, Brownsville, TX 78520
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Limon Law Office has worked in the best interests of its clients for more than 28 years. Founder Abe Limon is a probate attorney in Brownsville who assists executors or administrators with settling the deceased's estate. He provides guidance with paying creditors and liquidating assets, including insurance policies, retirement plans, and real estate. Mr. Limon ensures the remaining funds are paid to the appropriate beneficiaries. Limon Law Office's other practice areas include estate planning and bankruptcy 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.
4.0
Google
3.9 / 5 (13)
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
––
Michael Gonzalez Attorney at Law logo
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Michael Gonzalez Attorney at Law

623 East Saint Charles Street, Brownsville, TX 78520
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Michael Gonzalez, Attorney at Law, offers legal assistance from his Brownsville location. He practices several areas of the law, including estate which involves assistance in filing documents such as muniments of titles and affidavits of heirship. In addition to estate law, the lawyer handles cases concerning personal injury, real estate, and immigration. He also represents clients with criminal charges. Gonzalez, who earned his license in 2011, provided criminal defense for indigent members of the community prior to establishing his firm.

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 (12)
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
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Rentfro, Irwin, & Irwin, PLLC logo
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Rentfro, Irwin, & Irwin, PLLC

1650 Paredes Line Road, Brownsville, TX 78521
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Rentfro, Irwin, & Irwin, PLLC handles probate and estate administration of individuals, families, and business owners in Brownsville and nearby metros. It assists clients in creating an estate plan which includes special needs and revocable living trusts, advanced health care directives, and simple and pour-over wills. One of the firm's partners, Daniel Rentfro Jr., has been acting as a mediator for estate and probate cases since 1995. The firm's other areas of practice include civil, municipal, and real estate law.

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 Barrera Law Firm logo
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The Barrera Law Firm

1314 East Harrison Avenue, Harlingen, TX 78550
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  • Wills
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

The Barrera Law Firm is committed to protecting its clients' legal rights. The firm's attorneys work on behalf estate representatives, beneficiaries, or spouses in matters involving probate law. The firm examines all pertinent information and files the appropriate documentation with the court. The Barrera Law Firm assists representatives with settling debts, liquidating assets, and paying heirs. Its team also represents beneficiary and spousal rights when issues arise and probate is contested.

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
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (19)
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.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a probate attorney do?

Probate attorneys are licensed professionals who represent executors and heirs after someone has died. They provide personalized legal advice, assist with tax planning, settle debts, and facilitate the distribution of assets. Probate attorneys typically represent clients during administrative proceedings overseen by probate courts, although some litigators focus on handling disputes and lawsuits related to contested estates.

What is probate court?

Probate court works with the family or beneficiaries of a deceased person to validate their last will and testament. The courts review the individual's will to identify and calculate assets, pay off remaining debts, and distribute the remaining property to beneficiaries per the deceased person's requests. Depending on state laws, property valued under a certain amount may not require probate.

How long do you have to file probate after death?

The amount of time loved ones have to file a will after a person dies varies from state to state. While California courts require probate to be filed within one year, New York has no deadline. That being said, it's advisable to file probate as quickly as possible once a person has died, as the process itself can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year.

Does life insurance go through probate?

Life insurance doesn't need to go through the probate courts if the deceased individual has named a beneficiary on their policy. However, life insurance policies without beneficiaries, or with beneficiaries who are either deceased themselves or cannot be contacted, go directly to the deceased individual's estate. When this happens, life insurance proceeds must go through probate court to determine how funds should be allocated.

Do household items go through probate?

While the exact rules do vary from state to state, most household items don't require probate and are automatically left to immediate families unless otherwise stated in the deceased person's will. When it comes to property, only items above a certain value or held in title are required to go through probate in most states.

Do bank accounts with beneficiaries have to go through probate?

In the event a beneficiary has been named, bank accounts are not required to go through probate and will be paid directly to the person designated by the deceased individual. However, should that individual be deceased themselves or if contact cannot be made after a certain period of time, funds will be allocated to the estate and put through the probate process.

What happens if no probate is filed?

Depending on the circumstances, probate may not be required in all cases. If a person passes on and their remaining property is jointly owned, it automatically transfers to the other owner. However, if a property is not jointly owned and no probate has been filed, the executor of the will won't be able to transfer titles or cash assets to beneficiaries. Be aware that the specific laws surrounding probate requirements vary from state to state.

What is probate real estate?

Probate real estate is the process that happens when a realtor steps in to handle the sale or transfer of a deceased person's owned home to another individual. In some cases, the house is sold as a means of liquidating assets, and proceeds from the sale are used to pay debts or are distributed to beneficiaries.

Can I probate a will or estate without an attorney?

It is possible to probate a will and close an estate without hiring an attorney. However, it requires multiple steps and an understanding of the law. The first step is to petition the court to appoint a representative for the estate. Next, the executor must notify all heirs and creditors before switching ownership from the decedent to the estate. Once all debts, taxes, and final expenses have been paid, funds can be transferred to heirs. To close an estate, the executor must submit a report showing the court that all obligations and final wishes have been satisfied. While a will and estate may seem straightforward, things can get complicated quickly if multiple heirs are involved, or if disputes or disagreements arise over distribution. A probate lawyer can help navigate these disputes effectively, and take pressure off the executor when beneficiaries aren’t getting along.

How many years can an estate remain in probate?

If the will or proposed distribution of property is contested, an estate may remain in probate for several years. The timeline depends on how long relatives have to initiate probate, how long creditors have to come forward, and how busy the courts are. In some states, such as Florida, relatives have just 10 days to initiate probate, and the entire process takes approximately six months. In other areas, such as Massachusetts, the process can last one to two years, although the majority of probate activities occur in the first nine months. The value of the estate also affects the duration of the case. For example, California and Texas have simplified procedures for smaller estates, such as those valued at $150,000 or less.

When is a will's probate an automatic process?

Probate is the legal process of validating a last will and testament to ensure that the decedent's wishes are followed. A probate judge may automatically clear wills if they're accompanied by an affidavit from the decedent, a notary, and a witness. Some assets, including financial accounts with designated beneficiaries, and funds held by certain types of trusts don't have to go through probate.

What does it mean when property is under probate?

Real estate that's under probate is typically liquidated through the court system, which is most common when someone dies without a will. Home buyers who are interested in this type of property must follow special rules regarding deposits, which are sometimes nonrefundable, and buyer's premiums. Additionally, the court must approve the purchase price.

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