Probate Made Simple
If you want a faster, easier probate experience in Bakersfield, then you need to call Coleman & Horowitt at 661-325-1300. Consultations are by appointment only.
- We have experienced probate attorneys and staff, which means that your probate experience is smoother and quicker than most other law offices.
- We have in-house real estate brokers, which means that we are experts in handling the probate of real estate matters.
Probate doesn’t have to be lengthy. It doesn’t have to be complex either. I’ve learned that the biggest problem that causes long probates is inexperienced lawyers who don’t specialize. They forget to file paperwork or don’t realize that they can submit much of the paperwork simultaneously.
When I started working at Coleman & Horowitt in their Probate Department, I thought all attorneys who offer probate services were the same. Because I worked as a real estate agent and took listings from multiple probate attorneys, I quickly learned that I was wrong. Coleman & Horowitt showed me why they work faster and smarter than other attorneys.
The Secret learned at the Bakersfield Office of Coleman & Horowitt.
In March 2021, I accepted a real estate listing from a Bakersfield attorney who advertised probate and estate planning. This home was the second listing I received from this attorney. The other one was still pending after more than 8 months. I cautioned the home sellers: “This is going to be a long process, but as soon as we get Letters of Administration, I can start moving the house sale pretty quickly.” By September 2021, they still did not have Letters of Administration. But what was it that this attorney was doing wrong that other attorneys were doing right?
One month after I took the listing, I started working as a Law Clerk for Coleman & Horowitt. The Bakersfield office had over 30-years of experience and focused on two things: Probate and Family Law (divorces). The office had one paralegal that only worked in one area of the law, and they were efficient! Each paralegal has over 20-years of experience, so they fly through the paperwork. Watching them work through stacks of clients while I struggled with just one impressed upon me the following: with enough experience, the work becomes second nature.
I immediately noticed differences between what I saw at Coleman & Horowitt versus what I saw from other attorneys. Other attorneys submitted one document to the court at a time. They would submit the petition for probate and wait for an answer. Then they’d submit the notice of hearing, and they would wait for an answer. Next, they’d submit a petition for letters, and they would then wait for an answer. At Coleman & Horowitt, I learned that attorneys could submit all the documents simultaneously, and the court will answer them much faster when submitted this way.
Next, I noticed that some attorneys had delays because they had to amend the court orders when they later learned that the real estate had a slightly different name on the deed than the court paperwork. For escrow to close, the names have to match exactly! So, once we had letters, the escrow company would call a halt, and the attorney would then have to amend his petitions. The attorney would file the documents, and then we would wait. But, at Coleman & Horowitt, Lisa showed me how important it is to review every bill, testament, and deed before filing so that the names were all listed the first time correctly. Coleman & Horowitt saved weeks (and sometimes months) on the entire probate process by taking an extra hour to verify the information before filing.
Why don’t all attorneys do Probate like Coleman & Horowitt?
One attorney at a slower firm told me once: “If you want to make money, find clients who have a lot of it.”
I don’t remember which attorney told me this, but this idea makes sense on its face. What better place to discover clients who have money than to offer Estate Planning services as an add-on to whatever service you offer?
When I looked into why other attorneys took so much longer than Coleman & Horowitt, I discovered that they offered Estate Planning (and Probate) as a way to find clients who had money. But Probate wasn’t their main service area, so they lacked experience, and the Probate cases always took a back seat on their schedule to the work that provided the primary income.
In the situation I discussed above, the attorney who took more than six months to get Letters issued in the name on the deed did just that. He offered probate and estate planning services, but 80% of his work was based on Elections Law. He loved Elections Law and Politics, but he believed that estate planning was a way toward a more profitable future. So, he threw out his fishing line, created a page about estate planning on his website, and occasionally attracted business in that realm. But when the Republican National Party needed work done, his probate clients had to wait. The clients frequently noticed that the attorney would stop responding to emails and phone calls for long periods of time.
Other attorneys don’t know how to do Probate fast because they are learning it as they do it because it is not their primary business.