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Best Probate Lawyers in Suffolk

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Atlantic Law PLC logo
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Atlantic Law PLC

5265 Providence Rd Suite 303, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Atlantic Law PLC is a firm that serves clients in Suffolk. It offers its services in areas such as estate planning and probate. The firm aids clients with estate planning needs by utilizing tools including wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, medical power of attorney, and advance medical directives. The firm provides legal representation to clients in estate disputes. Owner and sole practitioner Brian Boys is also a public speaker, talking about Estate Planning 101 and Estate Planning and 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.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (11)
Davis Law PLC logo
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Davis Law PLC

555 Belaire Avenue, Chesapeake, VA 23320
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Davis Law PLC is a boutique law firm with a team of probate attorneys near Suffolk who have handled legal matters for clients since 2008. Its attorneys work with individuals and business owners to draft wills and trusts that maximize their income tax benefits and reduce estate taxes. The firm crafts an estate plan that ensures a client's assets are preserved for their beneficiaries after they have passed. Davis Law also creates powers of attorney and medical directive documents.

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 (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
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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 legal firm that offers services to clients in the Suffolk metro. It assists in probate matters and estate planning and aids estate executors in fiduciary duties, such as identifying debts and liabilities, gathering assets, distributing assets to the beneficiaries in compliance with the will, and preparing accounting and tax returns. Martin J. Ganderson founded the firm in 2008. He co-authored “Estate Administration Procedures: Why Each Step Is Important” 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)
Karen L. Fortier, P.C. logo
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Karen L. Fortier, P.C.

3061 Brickhouse Ct., Suite 101, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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  • Probate

Business Description

Karen L. Fortier, P.C., is a law firm that serves clients in Suffolk. It has helped clients facilitate their matters of probate since 2015. The firm handles legal issues that involve estate planning, guardianship, and conservatorship. Karen Fortier, the firm's attorney, uses her expertise in probate, trusts, and estates to provide legal solutions. She served as the president of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. In 2013, the Virginia Lawyers Media awarded her the Leader in the Law recognition.

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 (12)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Karen Robins Carnegie, PLC logo
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Karen Robins Carnegie, PLC

308 George Washington Hwy N Suite 2, Chesapeake, VA 23323
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Karen Robins Carnegie, PLC, is a multi-practice law firm that serves the residents of Suffolk and its surrounding areas. It assists clients with probate concerns and helps them distribute their deceased loved ones' estates and other assets. It also handles trusts made for individuals who are minors or have special needs. Its team creates personalized legal plans tailored to address each client's specific needs and concerns. Other practice areas it works in include real estate and business law, adult guardianships, and adoptions.

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

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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Oast & Taylor logo
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Oast & Taylor

277 Bendix Road, Suite 400, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Oast & Taylor is a law firm that has been providing legal services to clients in Suffolk since 1915. Its lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling probate matters, such as estate planning and litigation, along with trust administration. It also assists people with limited mobility with their legal concerns through in-home consultations. One of its attorneys, William Oast III, was included in Coastal Virginia Magazine's CoVa Biz Top Lawyers list two times.

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

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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Palmer Elder Law logo
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Palmer Elder Law

1530 Breezeport Way, Suffolk, VA 23435
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Palmer Elder Law is a firm serving the needs of clients in the Suffolk area. Capable of handling probate matters, this firm ensures that estates are settled quickly and in accordance with the will, if applicable. It thoroughly understands probate laws and can protect the rights of beneficiaries as well as any property belonging to the decedent. Attorney and firm founder Timothy K. Palmer is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

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
4.4 / 5 (15)

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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ReavesColey, PLLC logo
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ReavesColey, PLLC

505 Independence Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23320
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration

Business Description

ReavesColey PLLC is a law firm serving clients throughout the greater Suffolk area. This firm has experience with handling a range of probate matters quickly and cost-efficiently. It guides the individual named as the trustee or executor and ensures that they fulfill their duties to the estate. Probate-related tasks it assists with include gathering assets, addressing creditor claims, and distributing property to the heirs. ReavesColey also drafts will and trusts.

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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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ROD K. SUTHERLAND ATTORNEY AT LAW logo
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ROD K. SUTHERLAND ATTORNEY AT LAW

484 Viking Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Rod K. Sutherland, Attorney at Law is a firm led by an experienced probate attorney. Mr. Sutherland understands probate laws and is able to guide clients through the process of successfully closing an estate, regardless of size or complexity. His firm helps clients properly evaluate the assets and property and distribute the estate. Rod K. Sutherland, Attorney at Law also provides legal counsel for situations in which the decedent died without a will.

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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Saunders & Ojeda, P.C. logo
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Saunders & Ojeda, P.C.

705 West Washington Street, Suffolk, VA 23434
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Saunders & Ojeda PC is a firm staffed by probate lawyers in Suffolk. The practice represents clients who are undergoing the process of settling their deceased loved one's estate. It can handle estates of all sizes and types and it has extensive experience with transferring assets and property quickly and tax-efficiently. Attorney and partner Whitney G. Saunders has been practicing law for nearly 40 years and is a member of the Suffolk 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

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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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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