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Best Probate Lawyers in Charleston

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Bailey & Slotnick PLLC logo
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Bailey & Slotnick PLLC

500 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Bailey & Slotnick PLLC is a law firm with over 20 years of legal experience offering estate planning services. Catering to clients in Charleston and its neighboring areas, the legal office assists in planning estates that fit individual goals and budgets, as well as the drafting of wills and trusts. Additionally, the practice’s legal team helps with living wills or living trusts establishment, powers of attorney selection, and advanced healthcare directives setup.

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
4.0 / 5 (7)

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4.0
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Bailey & Wyant P.L.L.C. logo
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Bailey & Wyant P.L.L.C.

500 Virginia Street East, Suite 600, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Bailey & Wyant P.L.L.C. addresses the estate planning needs of individuals in Charleston. Its lawyers strive to understand the goals and needs of its clients in order to design custom estate plans for them. They draft wills, powers of attorney, trusts, and advance directives. They also offer tax avoidance strategies and assist in probate administration. In addition, they develop succession plans for any size of business. Associate Lakyn D. Cecil, who is admitted in the state bars of Ohio and West Virginia, deals with probate, estates, and civil litigation.

Reputation:

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4.8
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (20)
Google
4.4 / 5 (7)

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5.0
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Caldwell & Riffee, PLLC logo
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Caldwell & Riffee, PLLC

3818 MacCorkle Avenue Southeast, Charleston, WV 25304
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Caldwell & Riffee, PLLC, is a general practice firm based in Charleston. The firm can help individuals and families in matters such as estate planning, family law, and wills and trusts. It has also represented individuals in consumer law cases such as disputes with credit card companies, landlords, and car dealerships. The firm's lead lawyer, Joseph Caldwell, has been in law practice for 46 years. The law office of Caldwell & Riffee also handles bankruptcy and personal injury cases.

Reputation:

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4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (15)

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5.0
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Duffield, Lovejoy & Boggs, Attorneys at Law logo
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Duffield, Lovejoy & Boggs, Attorneys at Law

3139 16th Street Road, Huntington, WV 25701
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

Duffield, Lovejoy & Boggs, Attorneys at Law, is a legal firm founded in 1997 that handles estate disputes. Its probate attorneys near Charleston have over 70 years' combined experience helping fiduciaries understand their responsibilities and protecting their rights. It represents clients in will and estate contests involving misappropriation of assets, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent administration of an estate or trust. It also offers personal injury and employment law 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (26)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (25)
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
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Frazier & Oxley, L.C. logo
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Frazier & Oxley, L.C.

320 9th St Ste 200, Huntington, WV 25701
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Frazier & Oxley, L.C., is a private practice that handles matters concerning estate planning and probate administration. It serves the Charleston area and the surrounding communities, working with clients to handle and distribute assets on behalf of the deceased. Its legal team also addresses conflicts that may arise, like will contests, and assists in drafting and preparing wills and trusts. Leon Oxley, a partner of the firm with over 40 years of experience, is a certified public accountant.

Reputation:

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4.4

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5.0
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Good Grief Law logo
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Good Grief Law

105 Capitol St., Suite 300, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Good Grief Law handles legal cases in Charleston and the surrounding cities. It guides clients in probate administration to help them manage their deceased loved ones' assets. It also serves elderly individuals wishing to prepare for their future through estate planning services. Before practicing elder law, managing partner Rachael Carrico has represented personal injury victims for over 25 years. Carrico also served as a guest speaker at legal seminars, where she covered the duties and responsibilities of a guardian ad litem.

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5.0
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Jackson Kelly PLLC logo
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Jackson Kelly PLLC

500 Lee Street East, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes

Business Description

Founded in 1822, Jackson Kelly PLLC is a law firm with over 150 attorneys in more than nine offices across Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Its probate lawyers in Charleston are also certified public accounts and members of the ACTEC. The legal team has extensive experience with preparing federal and state estate tax returns and providing fiduciary litigation for matters involving breach of fiduciary, will contests, and disagreements between beneficiaries.

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
3.9 / 5 (11)

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4.0
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Karr Law Office logo
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Karr Law Office

815 Quarrier Street, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Settlement

Business Description

Karr Law Office in Charleston has over 30 years' experience providing legal services for clients throughout West Virginia. Its attorney has extensive knowledge of probate and estate law and guides executors and administrators through the court proceedings, including estate accounting, management, and asset appraisal and distribution. Attorney David R. Karr, Junior handles litigation matters, such as will contests and claims against the estate. The firm also handles elder and child guardianship, real estate disputes, and family 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.
4.2
Avvo
5.0 / 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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Lacy Law Offices logo
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Lacy Law Offices

103 Pennsylvania Ave N, Charleston, WV 25302
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Lacy Law Offices represents parties in Charleston who have concerns arising from probate and inheritance law. It litigates disputes due to alleged instances of undue influence exerted on a person while writing their last will and testament. The office seeks remedies against executors and administrators of estates and works for heirs who have received insufficient shares from the decedent's assets. Counsel Gerald R. Lacy is a trial practitioner with more than four decades of experience as a lawyer.

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)

Professionalism:

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5.0
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Larry L. Rowe logo
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Larry L. Rowe

4200 Malden Dr, Charleston, WV 25306
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Larry L. Rowe is a general practice firm serving clients in Charleston and neighboring communities. It guides estate executors and beneficiaries through the probate process to facilitate a fair distribution of the decedents' assets. Estate planning services are also available, such as drafting wills and advanced health care directives to protect families from confusion and discord. During his time as a legislator, founding attorney Larry Rowe authored West Virginia's Minor Settlement Proceedings Reform Act of 2002, which protects the rights of injured children. 

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 (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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Peyton Law Firm, P.L.L.C. logo
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Peyton Law Firm, P.L.L.C.

2801 First Avenue, Nitro, WV 25143
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Peyton Law Firm, P.L.L.C., attends to the counsel needs of its clients in Charleston and its nearby areas. Its team provides legal representation and assistance for probate, real estate, family law, disability and retirement claims, and life insurance claims. The firm also handles personal injury and criminal defense matters. The firm has been catering to clients in the area for more than 40 years. Its founding attorney, Harvey D. Peyton, previously served as the president of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers 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.
4.7
Google
4.4 / 5 (19)
Facebook
5.0 / 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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Pritt & Pritt, PLLC logo
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Pritt & Pritt, PLLC

700 Washington Street East, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Founded in 2009, Pritt & Pritt, PLLC, is a law firm handling family law and personal injury cases in Charleston. Its attorneys have experience in dealing with estate planning matters and probate law. They can help clients in drafting wills and trusts as well as preparing the financial and healthcare powers of attorney during the incapacity planning process. The firm is additionally led and owned by the wife-husband duo, Kelly and Chris Pritt.

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
Google
4.0 / 5 (43)

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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Ray, Winton & Kelley, PLLC logo
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Ray, Winton & Kelley, PLLC

109 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Living Trust
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Founded in 1897, Ray, Winton & Kelley PLLC in Charleston is a small law firm that's one of the oldest legal practices in West Virginia. Its attorneys provide estate planning services to reduce probate time, administer estates and trusts after a client's death, and offer litigation to defend their last wishes when necessary. Ray, Winton & Kelley PLLC also handles mediation, lawyer disciplinary proceedings, real estate transactions, and general civil law and 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.
4.1
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
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Romano & Associates PLLC Attorneys at Law logo
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Romano & Associates PLLC Attorneys at Law

208 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Romano & Associates PLLC Attorneys at Law provides legal counsel and representation to individuals, families, and businesses in Charleston and the surrounding areas. Its attorneys help clients avoid the probate process by drafting a comprehensive estate plan that consists of last will and testament, revocable or irrevocable trust, power of attorney, and advance health care directive. They have more than 30 years of combined experience. Other areas of their practice are personal injury and business 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
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.
5.0
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Shaffer Law logo
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Shaffer Law

103 Pennsylvania Ave,, Charleston, WV 25302
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Shaffer Law aids Charleston clients in preserving their legacies for their family's future. It handles contested claims against estates or last wills and testaments and works on resolving matters involving allegations of wrongdoing by estate personal representatives. In addition, its team helps clients and their families navigate the delicate and sensitive probate process by streamlining procedures and filings. Lawyer Drew Shaffer started his career as an assistant public defender at the Harrison County Public Defender’s Office.

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 (18)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)
Summers Law Office logo
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Summers Law Office

2424 Charleston Road, Poca, WV 25159
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Summer Law Office is a legal firm representing fiduciaries in estate and trust administration and litigation matters. The probate attorney near Charleston provides clients with advice and guide them through the court proceedings, including filing the will with the proper county court and notifying heirs. Summer Law Office also handles estate planning services, such as drafting wills, living wills, and standard and medical powers of attorney. Other practice areas include family 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (30)
Avvo
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.
4.0
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The Law Office of Michael J. Bell, PLLC logo
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The Law Office of Michael J. Bell, PLLC

3845 A Suite 1 Teays Valley Rd, Hurricane, WV 25526
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  • Trusts
  • Wills

Business Description

The Law Office of Michael J. Bell, PLLC, caters to clients throughout Charleston and its surrounding neighborhoods. This full-service firm deals with legal matters involving probate and estate planning. It helps clients organize their assets and financial records and assists with the distribution of assets for beneficiaries or heirs. It also offers elder law and disability planning and Medicaid planning and application. Michael J. Bell, firm founder, established the practice in 2001. He 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.
4.1
Google
4.6 / 5 (17)

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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Van Deysen Law logo
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Van Deysen Law

400 Allen Drive, Charleston, WV 25302
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  • Wills
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Van Deysen Law is a practice that assists seniors, caregivers, and family members in Charleston and its neighboring communities. It offers legal representation in probate, wills, deeds, asset protection trusts, guardianship, and powers of attorney. The firm also handles Medicaid application and planning. Van Deysen Law serves as a corporate sponsor of Morgantown, West Virginia’s annual Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk. Lawyer Deysen 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.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)
Facebook
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
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White, McCann & Stewart, PLLC logo
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White, McCann & Stewart, PLLC

125 South Main Street Suite 201 Winchester , KY 40391, Winchester, KY 40391
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

White, McCann & Stewart PLLC is a law firm with over 70 years' experience providing legal services for individuals, families, and businesses in the Charleston area. Founded in 1949, its attorneys handle probate proceedings and estate administrator for personal representatives and executors. The team helps clients understand their duties and offers litigation following will contests and claims against the estate. Other practice areas include state planning services to reduce or prevent probate time.

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 (20)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
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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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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