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Best Probate Lawyers in Portsmouth

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Basnight, Kinser, Leftwich & Nuckolls, P.C. logo
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Basnight, Kinser, Leftwich & Nuckolls, P.C.

308 Cedar Lakes Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23322
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Basnight, Kinser, Leftwich & Nuckolls, P.C., is a law firm that serves the Portsmouth metro and the neighboring areas. The firm assists its clients in probate and trust administration to ensure that the estate or trust is settled efficiently. It offers litigation services for disputes involving impeachment of wills and the replacement of trustees. One of its attorneys, Jeffery L. Nuckolls, is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

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
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (15)
Google
4.4 / 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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Berg & Chmielewski, PC logo
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Berg & Chmielewski, PC

3115 Western Branch Boulevard, Chesapeake, VA 23321
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Founded in 1981, Berg & Chmielewski PC is a law firm with considerable experience in key areas of law that involve the protection, management, and distribution of wealth. The firm's probate attorneys provide compassionate guidance and advice to executors and families who need to process the will of a loved one. The attorneys' services include collecting the decedent's estate, deal with claims from creditors, and distribute the remaining estate in accordance with the will's instructions.

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 (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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Coleman & Coleman, PLC logo
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Coleman & Coleman, PLC

611 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Coleman & Coleman, PLC is a general practice law firm that offers comprehensive residential and commercial real estate services. Aside from handling real estate transactions, the firm has estate planning attorneys in Portsmouth who have experience in drafting wills and trusts, protecting beneficiaries, reducing taxes, and other related legal matters. Attorneys in this firm handle cases using a personalized approach. Coleman & Coleman, PLC's practice areas also include business and corporate law, general/civil litigation, 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.
4.3
Facebook
5.0 / 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.
4.0
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Cooper, Spong & Davis, P.C. logo
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Cooper, Spong & Davis, P.C.

200 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Cooper, Spong & Davis PC is a firm of probate attorneys in Portsmouth that's been assisting executors, families, and beneficiaries since the 1950s. Attorney Edward Miller has more than 13 years of legal experience, with much of it involving probate law, where he assists executors tasked with honoring wills and advises heirs and beneficiaries. The attorney also handles the practical aspects of the process, such as petitioning the probate court, collecting the estate, and paying its creditors from funds.

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
4.4 / 5 (20)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
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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Ganderson Law, P.C. logo
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Ganderson Law, P.C.

Suite 200, 409 Bank Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Ganderson Law, P.C. is a boutique firm with a focus on estate planning and administration, trust and estate litigation, and tax planning. Serving Portsmouth and the surrounding areas, the firm provides clients with legal guidance in matters of planning estates and assisting trustees and executors in the administration of their fiduciary duties. This includes providing assistance in probate proceedings, asset collection, tax returns preparation, debt and liability identification, and asset distribution. One of its shareholders, Martin J. Ganderson, established the law office in 2008.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)
Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC logo
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Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC

4705 Columbus Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

Mahoney & Richmond PLLC is a well-established law firm near Portsmouth that practices probate law. Attorney L. Ashley Brooks has considerable experience in all aspects of protecting estates and transferring them to the decedent's heirs and beneficiaries. The attorney navigates executors through the probate process and handles the time-consuming procedures, such as notifying creditors and filing documents with the probate court. Attorney Brooks can also arrange guardianships to protect vulnerable estate owners who now need 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.
5.0
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
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Paulson & Paulson, PLC logo
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Paulson & Paulson, PLC

1432 North Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23454
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust

Business Description

Paulson & Paulson PLC is a law firm that was established in 1980. For 40 years, the firm has served Virginia Beach residents and nearby areas like Portsmouth and Arlington. The firm has extensive experience in estate plans, including wills, trusts and administrations, and probate litigation. While its attorneys are passionate about rendering their services to clients, they also educate them to be active in decision-making in their legal matters. Paulson & Paulson represents a variety of individual and business clients.

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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––
Poole Brooke Plumlee PC logo
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Poole Brooke Plumlee PC

TowneBank Bldg 200 High Street, Suite 302, Portsmouth, VA 23704
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Poole Brooke Plumlee PC has been delivering legal services for probate-related issues to people in Portsmouth for the last three decades. Its attorneys and administrative staff represent fiduciaries, including conservators, guardians, executors, and trustees. Its services include estate planning, charitable gift planning, beneficiary representation, estate management, and probate litigation. Laura S. Douglas, the firm's lead attorney of the Trusts, Estates & Elder Law Department, creates estate plans and aids clients in putting them into action to meet the family's unique needs.

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 (3)

Professionalism:

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

840 Greenbrier Circle, Chesapeake, VA 23320
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Shannon & Associates, P.C., provides legal counsel and representation from its Chesapeake location. Included in its practice areas is estate planning. Kristen M. Shannon, the firm's estate planning attorney, provides assistance in drafting different types of documents, such as trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and guardianship. She also offers legal counsel for cases that involve probate or estate administration. The legal firm's team of lawyers carries more than two decades of collective experience in the industry.

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
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Detail
The Law of Offices Edward F. Halloran logo
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The Law of Offices Edward F. Halloran

5233 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Inheritance Taxes
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

The Law of Offices Edward F. Halloran is a private law firm that has an estate and probate attorney in Portsmouth. Edward F. Halloran takes a proactive approach when safeguarding the client's assets, handling estate tax planning and business succession, wills, trusts, and living wills. He also has a proven track record of success in handling cases involving personal injury, family law, civil law, criminal law, and real estate 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
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.
5.0
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Virginia Beach Law Group logo
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Virginia Beach Law Group

780 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Virginia Beach Law Group has probate lawyers near Portsmouth. Attorneys at this firm aim to provide individual attention to every client dealing with issues in wills and other estate-related matters. Their practice areas are also focused on family law, immigration, business law, criminal law, traffic law, and real estate. Virginia Beach Law Group's founder, David C. Johnson, is a member of the Virginia Beach Bar Association and the Norfolk-Portsmouth 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.
4.4
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (24)

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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Helpfulness
Detail
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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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