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5 Responsibilities of a Probate Executor and How You Can Provide Value as an Expert

What are the Main Responsibilities of a Probate Executor?

1.  Produce a Will for Validation & Filing of Probate

When someone passes away if they had a Last Will & Testament they have died “Testate” and the Personal Representative, or Executor of the estate is typically named in the will along with the other heirs.  If the deceased did not have a Last Will & Testament they have died “Intestate” and upon filing of probate the court will appoint an “Administrator” to carry out the same duties as an Executor.  In this case the estate will be settled according to local law rather than the Will.

Regardless, the first step in either process is to meet with the Probate Clerk in the county where the deceased held residence.  We simply refer to this as “Filing Probate”.  In order to file probate the family member who is administering the estate (soon to be known as the Executor or Administrator) will need to fill out an application or petition, provide a death certificate, provide a valid copy of the Will (if applicable) and a list of family members and heirs (if not as part of the petition).

Upon probate filing the court will schedule a hearing to determine the validity of the Will and to give interested parties an opportunity to object to the Executor or Administrator’s appointment to settle the estate.

 

Compile a List of Assets & Liabilities & Give Public Notice

Before the initial hearing the person who filed probate is responsible for publishing a legal notice in the local newspaper and notifying each creditor that the estate is being probated.  In order to do this the person administering the estate will need to produce a list of assets and liabilities so they know who the creditors are and if there are sufficient assets in the estate to settle the liabilities.  In some states the court will require appraisal of assets and selling these assets may require court approval.

Compile a List of Heirs

Before the initial hearing, and usually as part of the initial filing, the person administering the estate must produce a list of Beneficiaries named in the Will and Heirs under State Law (those who will inherit if there is not a valid will).  Notice must be given to the heirs prior to the hearing so they have an opportunity to object to the person giving notice being the Executor or Administrator.  Fortunately, this is rare.

Settle All Liabilities

Once notice has been given and the Executor or Administrator has been officially appointed they may open an bank account in the name of the estate using the assets from the estate and begin to settle liabilities.  By this time they should have received creditors’ claims against the estate as a result of the notices sent out.  If there are enough assets to pay these liabilities the Executor can usually settle them without court approval.  If there are not sufficient assets in the estate to settle all of the liabilities the estate is said to be “insolvent” and the court will decide in what order the liabilities shall be paid.  This will vary by state but typically the taxes and probate costs will be paid first followed by the funeral and healthcare costs and lastly the general creditors will get what is left if anything.

Distribute All Assets

Once all liabilities have been paid the estate can be settled and remaining assets may be distributed.  In some states there is a set time that the estate must remain “open” after notice was given to creditors.

Tips for Writing Effective Yellow Letters Copy

The more technologically-advanced the world gets, the more some of us are tempted to abandon methods of communication that seem quaint and out-dated. Well, a yellow letter is a method of communicating with sellers that seems quaint on the surface but can be effective when it is crafted in the correct manner. In other words, communicating with potential sellers is never going to be out-dated. And communication – both written and oral – is a large part of what we as real estate professions do.

What Are Yellow Letters?

Yellow letters are a form of direct mail marketing utilizing yellow, lined paper in order to look more personal. As such, some of the rules governing how to effectively use other kinds of direct mail apply to yellow letters as well. Some of them do. Yellow letters can be very effective when you create them in such a manner as to stand out from the tons of other mail your prospects receive on a daily basis. Here’s a quick primer on how to add color to your real estate marketing efforts using yellow letters.

  • Know your audience: You must know something about the people you are trying to reach in order to tailor your pitch to fit their needs. Otherwise you will be taking shots in the dark and blowing your advertising budget. Do your research first.
  • Carefully draft your letter: Make a draft before composing your letter and watch things such as length and word usage. Be sure to add as much detail as you can so that interested consumers can reach you if they want.
  • Tell them what you want them to do: Never assume readers know what it is that you want them to do. Make your call to action clear and succinct.
  • Create the actual letters: After you have created a framework for your letter it will then be time to write them. If you are not confident in your writing abilities, you can hire others to do this.
  • Track your data: Just as with any advertising campaign you will need to be able to track your results so that you will have actionable data when you need it.writing

Although there are expenses involved in creating, tracking and utilizing the data gathered by yellow letters, they should still be an essential part of your overall marketing strategy. Another part of your marketing strategy that you should utilize is our probate real estate leads. These – and the education our archival phone conferences can bring you – can help give you the edge over the competition. Real estate lead generation websites are also a tool that the successful professional can use to grow his/her business.

W. O. W. – Win of the Week

All The Leads Reviews & Win of the Week Submissions

Each week we hear success stories from our Subscribers on our Weekly Mastermind Call and we LOVE those but our most successful Subscribers are busy and often cannot make it to our weekly calls so you guys don’t get to hear their stories like we do.  To level the playing field and give everyone a fair chance we have implemented a better system for capturing these stories so you can easily find them and we can ensure everyone has a fair chance to win their choice of rewards: 1) $100 in historical probate leads, or 2) $100 credit toward your next set of probate leads

How To Post Your Win to be Eligible for Win of the Week

We have a diverse customer base so we use three different platforms to capture the W.O.W. entries each week.  You will find links and instructions for each below:

Facebook Page Submission

Google Submission

BBB Submission

 

Referrals, Gatekeepers and Voicemail Drops | Probate Mastermind Episode #347

Probate Mastermind Episode #347 | Recorded Live on 9/30/2021   

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These episodes are recorded as a live Question and Answer Mastermind with participation from agents and investors across the country. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes!

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

Jim, Bruce and Tim share general updates.

02:02 How to Get Past Gatekeepers

A listener asks about what kind of content should be included in a communication to an assistant that will help ensure it's opened by the intended recipient. Jim and Bruce explain some techniques to make sure your communication looks official and urgent. Tim adds that asking for a few minutes of time to speak about a sensitive issue would not be inappropriate in this instance. Bruce reminds the listener that when dealing with a gatekeeper (like an assistant) to pose an open ended question about the best way to “grab five minutes of their [bosses] time”.

09:15 Voicemail Drop Strategies 

Scott from Atlanta asks what kind of voicemail drops the Team would recommend for older leads. The Team shares multiple examples of voicemail drops and the reasoning beyond each strategy. Bruce explains the benefits of sending additional letters to older leads. 

30:00 Doorknocking 

Bruce answers a question regarding “knocking on doors”, explaining that it can be very valuable if done correctly. Tim expands on the topic by explaining that knowing the address of the personal representative can be very valuable when “door knocking” , reminding the caller that ATL provides this information and much more to its subscribers.

37:30 Rodger’s Win

Rodger shares his own experience doorknocking. Jim tells a quick story about two docks and some shrimp boats. Rodger lays out his recent win and how he provides great value to his clients!      

49:33 Referrals for Attorneys 

A caller from Boston asks about how to make great relationships with attorneys. Bruce explains how he uses referrals and his network of professionals to yield the desired connections with estate attorneys.  

56:15 Docks and Shrimp Boats 

Bubba from Nebraska calls in to provide an example of what a powerful tool referrals can be.

 

 

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Door knocking, Selling Your Business and More | Probate Mastermind Episode #346

Probate Mastermind Episode #346 | Recorded Live on 9/23/2021   

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These episodes are recorded as a live Question and Answer Mastermind with participation from agents and investors across the country. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes!

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

Jim and Bruce share general updates. Jim reminds the listeners that we are looking for the win of the week (probate related) and the idea of the week! 

01:33 Steps to Sell (Your Business!) 

Eddy from Kansas City shares a story about getting a great deal on a home in a neighborhood he has already purchased in. Jim comments that great deals are still out there if you are willing to put in the time and effort. Eddy poses an additional follow-up question about making his business a valuable asset for a possible buyer. Tim shares some expert tips for how to make the business a worthwhile purchase for a possible buyer (like the creation of intellectual property) . Bruce expands on this topic noting that the creation of a corporate brand will be key for the resale of the business. 

20:39 Working Leads Without Calling

A listener from Orange County California asks the best way to market to leads without calling. Bruce recommends changing up the content of the mailing, adding memorable items and inserts like the trifold brochure or a custom pen. He adds that a quick offer letter with a value range for their home may garner a favorable response. The team discusses bulk email vs manual emailing.  

34:51 Adding Value to Pre Probate

Steve from Arizona brings up some questions in regard to marketing to pre probate. Bruce suggests leading with the value add portion of your pitch. Adding that the value at the start of the call should be focused around a concierge style service.     

38:42 Expanding Beyond the Local

Daniel from Orange County asks about the waitlist for his local area. Tim responds that the limits for each area are in place for the benefit of our clients, suggesting using the waitlist or choosing a neighboring county that has available space. Bruce explains that when moving into new counties to show confidence when presenting your expansion to the prospect.

48:40 Door Knocking and Coaching  

Eric from Los Angeles brings up a question about “door knocking” at the Personal Representative’s home. Bruce offers some insight into the concept stating that he's an open advocate of door knocking, though some may respond poorly to it.Door knocking will certainly set you apart from your competition. Eric also asks about the coaching programs to which Tim explains that coaching is not a one size fits all and stresses the importance of the discovery call. Also adding that if you want to increase the success of door knocking “don’t go empty handed” bring handouts and marketing materials! Eric thanks the team for their time and answers.

 

 

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Mailers, Common Mistakes, and the Systems Approach | Probate Mastermind Episode #345

Probate Mastermind Episode #345 | Recorded Live on 9/16/2021   

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These episodes are recorded as a live Question and Answer Mastermind with participation from agents and investors across the country. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes!

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

Jim reminds the listeners that you don’t need to know everything about probate to get started. Tim provides an update on Chad’s most recent adventure and also reveals a brand new machine delivered to the print shop. Bruce shares some tips on making your mailers more memorable and effective. 

19:10 Origin Story

The Team talks about the creation of All the Leads and its original purpose and design. Tim tells the listeners about how the print shop has been specially developed to support the needs of ATL customers. Jim expands on the topic by speaking about the ATL “systems approach”. 

26:30 Common Mistakes

Jim asks Bruce about what are the most common mistakes for those just starting probate. Bruce explains that “you don't have to be an expert to start making your calls!”. Although the ISA program can be useful it's still important to learn to make great calls yourself!

32:08 Getting a YES!

Mary asks the Team about a common objection she has been receiving from her leads. Bruce addresses the question by reminding Mary of some clever rephrasing. Pivoting to real estate during your initial call may be crucial to scrubbing your leads! Jim adds that some gentle questions about a lead’s plan for the property may root out any “reflex nos”. 

43:02 Mailers, Inserts, and Common Elements  

William from Michigan asks about what to include with each specific mailing. Bruce reveals his strategy for a ten or eleven touch-point campaign. Tim tells William to make sure that each mailer contains something that will help with the continuity of his brand - “Make sure everything you've got has one common element”. Jim reveals a great tip in contacting attorneys using Tri-fold brochures.

 

 

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Due Diligence Deposits and Big Wins! | Probate Mastermind Episode #344

Probate Mastermind Episode #344 | Recorded Live on 9/9/2021   

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These episodes are recorded as a live Question and Answer Mastermind with participation from agents and investors across the country. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes!

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

Jim and Bruce share general updates. 

03:00 First Win 

Jim shares a win from some participants that couldn't make it to the meeting. Stating that a subscriber made the best of a tough situation by picking up adjacent counties and getting an excellent ROI on their leads.

05:45 Call Frequency 

Mary asks about Probate Mastery and whether or not calling daily is too frequent. Bruce explains that very few subscribers call daily but that he encourages calling often when the leads are fresh but to space them out as the lead ages. Jim adds that attentive agents that call often also show good work ethic and initiative to the potential clients. 

13:01 How To Avoid The “Bait And Switch” 

Listener states that probate has been the single best lead source that he has ever had. The listener also shares a story with the Team where he helped their client navigate a tricky situation for their listing when the buyer tried to perform a classic “bait and switch” maneuver. Bruce explains that his local market uses a “due diligence” deposit to curb buyers from trying to lock property up under contract when they don’t have the intention of buying. 

Bruce and the listener discuss tempering one's expectations to be prepared to work a lead for five to six months. Tim comments that out of town leads (PR’s) are often neglected and are in fact one of the best chances to provide value and help them through the probate process by acting as a local solutions provider. 

38:05 Scott's Win From Probate Foundations 

Scott from Atlanta shares a tale about a win where a lead turns from “cold” to “hot” after he applies what he learned from Bruce’s Probate Foundations course. Taking the property under contract quickly and even earning himself an extra listening from the family in the process. 

44:52 Trusts And Probate

Listener asks about the relationship between trusts and probate. Jim offers a best guess on the situation where a trust may be unfunded and made mostly meaningless by not including all of the decedent's assets (also encouraging the listener to contact an attorney in his state for further clarification). Bruce states that it may be possible to sell the property in North Carolina without probate needing to be closed. 

Listener asks for suggestions on dealing with a PR that is also an attorney. Bruce explains to lead with questions like “do you have anyone that helps with property cleanouts on your team?” or “who do you typically refer?”. 

55:34 Tax Implications 

Scott from Atlanta asks about tax implications when dealing with the sale of property from a trust. Bruce tells the listener he believes that talking to a CPA may be the best course of action to resolve his question.

 

 

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Accountability, Roleplay, Connecting Emotionally | Probate Mastermind Episode #343

Probate Mastermind Episode #343 | Recorded Live on 9/2/2021   

Join Us Live Every Thursday | Previous Episodes.

 

These episodes are recorded as a live Question and Answer Mastermind with participation from agents and investors across the country. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes!

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

Jim introduces Mastermind call 343 and reminds subscribers that Foundations is a free class for them to attend. Bruce encourages Foundations class to attend the role play call.

02:41 Never Split The Difference

Eddy asks about the team's opinion on “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss and its proposed approach. Jim expands on Chris Voss’s background informing the listeners that Chris had worked as a hostage negotiator. Eddy elaborates on the way in which he has applied Chris’s strategy of posing questions where the anticipated answer is “no”. Bruce provides a warning on the use of these types of questions in a high frequency and also suggests using the “that's right” approach. Bruce commends Eddy on his quiver of prepared questions.

17:37 Accountability And Roleplay 

Mary from Denver introduces herself to the Team, asking if anyone is interested in roleplay and accountability partners. Bruce comments that roleplay partners should commit for at least one month (as opposed to one week). Mary asks for insight on the Colorado probate process.

Jim explains that nothing is posted until probate is completed and that many of the leads with property remaining to the end of probate will most likely be ready to transact. Bruce tells Mary to focus more so on real estate due to coming in so much later in the time table for probate. 

23:39 Anticipate A No

Mike asks about the “no” questions that Eddy made reference to earlier in the call. Bruce provides an assortment of example questions that would anticipate a “no” from the prospect. 

Mike shares some of his prepared questions with the team! 

28:29 Large Lists

Listener asks the Team about working a large list. Jim discusses working older leads first (less competition). Jim recalls a story on when a prospect with no real estate was turned into a buying lead from their newly inherited money. 

36:54 Foundations Course Information

Mike asks about the Foundations course. Bruce reminds him that it starts on the 1st wednesday of every month and explains the best way to locate and register for the course. 

38:20 Connecting Emotionally

Eric poses a question about probate leads that are in the process of grieving. Bruce takes Eric through the process noting how to stay respectful and appropriate while still receiving confirmation (“thats right”) from the prospect. Tim reminds Eric to connect emotionally and  commiserate with the lead and give them the opportunity to air their problems and grievances. 

48:01 Roleplay Opportunities 

Douglas from Seattle thanks the Team for the class today. He asks the question “how do I make myself available for accountability and roleplay?”. Bruce states that role play is done on the second day of the Foundations class, in addition to that there is a secondary role play day available to those from Foundations on a monthly basis (3rd Wednesday of every month. All the Leads Mastermind group on Facebook is a great place to find accountability and roleplay partners too!

 

 

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The Advocate Approach + Improving Mail Campaigns | Probate Mastermind #342

Probate Mastermind Episode #342 | Recorded Live on 8/26/2021   

Join Us Live Every Thursday | Previous Episodes.

 

These episodes are recorded as a live Question and Answer Mastermind with participation from agents and investors across the country. Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes!

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

03:41 Approach: As-Is Offer vs Listing for Top Dollar

Bruce explains how you can present the options without pigeonholing yourself into just one option. Stay general until you know more about the PRs situation and what options will be best for them. Also dig deeper for more information so that you can guide the PR to the best solutions for them.

14:07 Baby Stepping Leads Into Appointments

Kyle talks about how the approach taught in Probate Foundations is much smoother than his experience calling other types of leads. Jim and Chuck elaborate on how important it is to reach out with the right attitude and approach.

21:36 Investor Advice: How To Introduce Your Real Estate Agent To A Client

If you are an investor and your client wishes to list with a real estate agent it is okay to pass them along to the real estate agent on your team or in your network. Remember that you are a guide. Being transparent and letting the PR know how you do business is key. 

24:51 Advice On Sending Text Messages And Emails To Leads

Tim, Bruce and Jim each offer valuable advice on how to phrase your text messages and emails.

28:57 How To Finding Additional Addresses In An Estate

Jim promotes our Probate Plus service that improves upon our base lead data with additional addresses and contact information. Tim and Jim talk about how all leads can turn into business and don’t assume that the lack of property in an estate means the lead isn’t worth pursuing. Bruce expands on the benefit of Probate Plus and how it often reduces your marking costs.
https://alltheleads.com/probateplus/

37:01 How To Make Your Mail Campaigns Stand Out In A Competitive Market

Bruce explains how frequency, number of touches and length of campaign are all aspects to consider when setting up a mailing campaign.

39:12 Should I Put A Return Address On My Letters?

Bruce talks about the benefit of adding a return address on the first couple of letters. Tim Elaborates on the accuracy of our mailing addresses.

42:34 How To Increase Your Mailing Campaign Effectiveness

Tim talks about some options for increasing your mail open rate. Bruce talks about the purpose of a postcard in a mailing campaign. 

49:30 Advice And Breakdown On Processing Your Leads

Eric shares his process for working his leads and gets feedback from the team.

54:01 How To Keep Track Of Your Calls When Using A Multi-Dialer

Bruce suggests making quick notes and spending time before and after a calling session to review notes and transcribe shorthand notes made during the session.

 

 

Ways To Catch Probate Mastermind:

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