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

 

Getting Past The Receptionist | Should You Change Your Intro For Recent Date of Death? Episode #333

Probate Mastermind Episode #333 | Recorded Live on June 25th, 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!

 

Get Probate Leads

Get Certified in Probate

Call Re-cap:

00:00 Introductions

Jim and Bruce share general updates. 

  1. Jim reminds Subscribers about Hybrid Lending with Navigator Capital: Learn More in this video: https://youtu.be/kpkROMh3jmQ or jump to their site 
  2. Bruce shares an update on the ISA service and the bi-weekly management fee.
  3. Bruce shares updates on Probate Foundations.

12:33 Getting Past The Receptionist

Kristin is trying to prospect attorneys and is often reaching their receptionist. What are some tips for getting through the gatekeeper? Bruce and Jim share what's worked before.

 

23:22 What To Say When The Death Occurred Recently

Rick Wilson is looking for advice on approaching probate leads where the death may have occurred recently.  How should he open these calls?

 

33:57 Probate In Texas

Tony from New York shares thanks for the weekly calls! He and his partner are working leads in Texas. A lead wants to sell before going through the process. This is possible in Texas (and is called Muniment of Title)

 

37:56 Pete Double-Ends a Deal Referred by A Probate Contact

Pete shares a win! He is in Denver and double-ended a deal referred to him by a personal representative! He is proof that leading with value first will help you help more people and get more deals under your belt all at the same time.

 

42:03 Hoarder House With A Reverse Mortgage?!

Caller was able to get a Personal representative out of Probate Quicksand. She leveraged her network to help evaluate the belongings to get the house cleared out. The house is currently listed and has a reverse mortgage. There might be some medical debt as well. What's the best course of action? (Tip: See if your state allows the personal representative to get paid for their time handling the administration of the estate!).

 

47:25 Buying Personal Property From A Seller

Belinda offers advice on getting money by selling other assets in the property, such as a washer and dryer.

 

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6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name for Your Probate Website

6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name for Your Probate Website

 

"Woah, I've got to come up with a domain name for a second website?!" 

 

Agents and Investors often create separate websites for the probate side of their businesses and sometimes create a separate business entity for their probate deals. The rationale here is that offering value to families in probate means offering more options than just “real estate” solutions. Creating a separate website is a great way to take off your real estate hat and brand yourself as the solution for any number of problems someone in probate might be facing. Accomplishing this means you’re much more likely to be the go-to when a personal representative’s real estate needs become the priority.

Pretty simple, right? 

The problem is, I still see many real estate agents and investors set their probate website up as something that mirrors their regular real estate website. Their website screams “I’M A REAL ESTATE AGENT” or “I’LL BUY YOUR INHERITED HOUSE, CASH, 7 DAYS!” 

The website they set up to develop a probate brand that stands apart from their main real estate brand, is accomplishing the opposite of what they intended.

I wanted to share some tips for avoiding the biggest probate website mistake people make: choosing a poor domain name. Whether you find it hard to think of a name from scratch, or you’re having trouble shaking the notion that your URL MUST include a mention of real estate, the following tips will greatly improve your overall approach to your probate branded website.

 

  1. Use a Brand Name: A brand name makes a massive difference in how memorable you and your offer are. Your probate brand name doesn’t need to be the same as your real estate brand name, and it most likely should be quite different. This brand name will give you something to use across all marketing efforts. Using a memorable brand name in your website URL will make it easier for people to find your website online.

  2. Make The Name Unique - You do not want to compete with a domain name that’s already established and ranking well. In other words, if “ProbateAgent .com” is taken, choosing “TheProbateAgent .com” might be confusing to people looking for your website, and you’ll be competing with the pre-existing website for search rankings. The less competition you have to deal with, the better.

    Tip: Need some ideas to get you started? Check out Shopify’s business name generator for inspiration.

  3. Make It Memorable: Memorable and Unique have their overlap, but they are not the same. If you’re like most people, you type a brand name and run a search when you don’t remember a company’s exact URL. If all goes well, the company you’re looking for will show right at the top of the results and you’re good to go. But if not, then what?
    Or what if you can’t even remember the brand name you wanted to search for in the first place?

  4. Make it Easy To Type: Avoid words that are hard to spell; a best practice is to keep it phonetic and make sure the name you choose is spelled the way it sounds. While it might seem tempting to add hyphens and numbers to your domain name (as it often makes the domain name cheaper to purchase), it’s harder to remember and harder to tell someone about verbally.
    The harder it is for someone to type your URL exactly as it is, the harder it is for someone to successfully land on your website. So before you use Probate-agent .com because probateagent .com is taken, remember that anyone who leaves out the hyphen will become somebody else’s web traffic.

  5. Think Long Term: It costs time, money, branding, and SEO juice to change a domain name. If you think there’s a chance you might expand your team, service area, or business offerings, take this into consideration when choosing a domain name. Limiting your brand to your personal name, geographic space, or a single service offering today could inhibit growth in the future. Consider whether you will need an all-encompassing brand and if so, start building it now. Remember, you can also create subdomains specific to different markets and niche offerings to keep everything located in one home base.

  6. Check Availability and Current UsageKnowEm.com is a cool tool that will allow you to search your potential name and show you if that name is available on social networks, any trademarks already registered to the name, and of course if domains using that name are available or taken.
    Consider also running a search for your prospective name on a few search engines and social media platforms to get an idea of current results. Do popular brands come up first in the results? Are the results relatively quiet? Does the search engine/social media platform suggest relevant results, or is the prospective name too vague to interpret? Searching prospective names can help spark some great ideas for improvements.

 

The most important takeaway from all of this is that you should treat your domain name as a brand name, and you want that brand name to be unique, memorable, and a reflection of the value you can offer. There are plenty of resources out there that dive more deeply into domain names and the technical aspects of SEO, as well as the psychology behind brand names and their impact. 

Instead of cramming your name, market, and a bunch of keywords in a domain name, invest some time and thought into choosing a really great and future-forward brand name. After all, your website is the online home of your brand.

 


Exhausted after picking out a domain name? We can handle the rest of the site for you: Probate Websites made Easy.

5 Ways to Offer Value to Surviving Spouses in Probate

5 Ways to Offer Value to Surviving Spouses in Probate

via Katt Wagner

Surviving spouses often insist they have no plans of selling their primary residence or other property left behind by their spouse.  However, emotional, physical, and financial factors can make it necessary to sell the property at some point in the future.  Even in situations where there is no property involved at all, there are many ways you can easily provide value to a surviving spouse and solidify referral relationships with vendor partners at the same time, all while strengthening your own sphere of influence.  We talk about ways to carve opportunities out of these situations often in our mastermind calls and training, but here’s a short refresher list of ideas to keep you on your toes:

  1. Assistance with Tax Preparation – Death, in essence, is a taxable event.  The finances in the decedent’s estate can be a complicated tax situation for a surviving spouse. Oftentimes, the person in charge of settling the estate has never navigated tax scenarios beyond a 1040 annual filing.  Emotional distress can also distract a grieving widow from taking the necessary tax preparation steps.  Pairing a surviving spouse with a CPA who specializes in probate accounting is a great way to make sure important tax tasks are handled sooner rather than later. More on tax liability for heirs.
  2. Estate Clean Outs – Emotional, physical, and financial stressors can make estate clean out services especially valuable to surviving spouses.  Grief can make it difficult for a spouse to sort through belongings, but financial factors might make it necessary to sell valuable assets and/or clear out other belongings to prepare for downsizing.  A surviving spouse might also simply need help with the physical laboring required to sort through and move items around.  The role you can play here is pairing a surviving spouse with a local estate clean out company that has experience dealing with different and complex situations: Look for a local company that mentions senior estate clean outs! See More: Rebel shares how she navigated complex fumigation and fire-damage cleanouts, as well as selling specialty items in an estate.
  3. Property Management – Not every surviving spouse wants to sell their primary residence or other properties previously owned or co-owned by the decedent.  However, creating cash flow by renting these properties can help create monthly income for the surviving spouse.  This monthly income might be necessary for a surviving spouse to maintain the property/properties and other personal living expenses.  Your role here could be highly involved if you choose to help get these properties rented out yourself, or you could pass this on as a referral to a property manager you work with. See more: Building Generational Wealth: Turning an Inherited Property Into An Investment Portfolio. 
  4. Life Insurance Evaluation – Especially in situations where the breadwinner passed away and left behind a spouse who has little to no experience in managing finances, life insurance policies could bring in lump sums and residual income.  It’s possible a life insurance policy can help settle any debts in the estate and be turned into a source of monthly income for the surviving spouse through a concept called Infinite Banking. Your role here is as simple as finding an insurance agent that understands creative financing and the infinite banking concept. See more on Infinite Banking and Leveraging Investment Advisors. 
  5. Estate Planning – If a surviving spouse is going through probate, it’s likely the decedent did not have a proper estate plan in place.  As a surviving spouse navigates the probate process, it’s probably easy to assume they don’t want to do this again or subject their heirs to the same process.  Getting the surviving spouse set up with a free consultation with an estate planning attorney is the first step in planning for a probate-less future for the family, and a great way to open the door to reciprocal referrals from estate planning attorneys near you. More on prospecting attorneys for reciprocal relationships

As you speak with prospects this week, remember all the ways you can help them besides helping them sell their house right here and now.  Offer value first – your pipeline will thank you for it!

More: How to Turn Closed Probate Cases into Real Estate Deals

Contact Rates, Calling Windows, and Old Leads vs. New Leads | Episode 324

Probate Mastermind Episode #324 | Recorded Live on April 22nd, 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!

 

Get Probate Leads

Get Certified in Probate

Call Re-cap:

00:00 General Updates

Jim and Bruce share general updates.

 

7:10 Calling Windows and Contact Rates

Clift just finished Probate Mastery and has a few questions about contact rates, time windows for best contact, and the DNC list. Bruce shares some of his statistics and offers advice for a prospecting strategy.
See more: DNC Validation for All Phone Numbers - All The Leads

 

20:03 Leveraging Your “Probate Expert” Status to Grow Your SOI.

Beth Whitney is making connections and getting listings through probate, using what she’s learned. She is having great success with the vacant insurance approach. Bruce offers advice on how she can not only use her expertise as a Certified Probate Expert, but also sharing real experiences of how she has helped.  This edge will give her endless opportunities to grow her sphere of influence and stand out as the probate specialist in her market. Bruce also offers advice to other listeners to follow Beth’s example of reaching out to Surviving Spouses instead of being afraid to.
See More:

 

33:42 What Leads Should I Call First?

Nick has probate leads spanning several months to work with. Is there an order he should start prospecting them in? They are all worth calling, but don’t forget to reference any letters you’ve sent them along the way!

 

38:21 Cold Calling Leads That Don’t Have Real Estate

Nancy Brook is comfortable making calls, but she got caught up in an awkward moment when one of her leads told her there was no real estate in the estate.

 

44:34 Working Probates Remotely

Larry lives in Colorado but is interested in working probate leads in Texas remotely.  He used to live and is still licensed in Texas.  Jim and Bruce offer advice on finding boots on the ground and getting started.

 

50:25 Keeping in Touch Until The Appointment

Fed is working with a family that intends to sell the property in probate.  There are several decision makers and they live away from the property.  He set a tentative appointment with the family, but wants to make sure he stays top of mind between then and now to prevent any changes.

 

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7 Tips for Long-Distance Investing

With low interest rates and the work-from-home boom, the demand for housing has surged in many areas across the country.  Investing in areas where demand is growing is a great idea, and is entirely possible to do long-distance.

Here are some tips to consider when thinking about long-distance investing:

 

  1. Find a local Real Estate Agent - Having a dependable and knowledgeable agent in the market where you’ll be investing long-distance gives you important boots on the ground.  A great way to find a strong agent is to seek an agent that has their own team, as this suggests they have been successful enough to scale and grow their business.  They have likely built strong relationships with quality property managers, general contractors, and photographers in the community and will know who to send out to find, prepare, and maintain your investment properties. A strong agent will also be able to give you insight on the biggest housing expenses in the area you’re investing in.

  2. Find Out What Property Taxes You’ll Be Paying - You’re likely familiar with property taxes in your own market, but don’t overlook this simple step when browsing long-distance markets!

  3. Get and Idea of Homeowner’s Insurance Rates - Same as tip #2: You probably have a good idea of homeowner’s insurance rates and benefits in your local market, but there could be significant differences between what you’re used to and what homeowner’s insurance rates look like in the long-distance markets you’re considering.  Take a few moments to get familiar with homeowner’s insurance rates as you’re doing your research.

  4. Research Neighborhood Desirability - Get more granular than just the overarching location and look at the walk scores of different neighborhoods.  If you’ll be renting a property out and/or buying to hold and sell a few years from now, desirability is foundational to the underlying demand of housing in one neighborhood vs. the next.

  5. Calculate Rent - Use a tool like rentometer.com to get a rough idea of monthly rental income for specific properties. Then, head over to Craigslist.com, apartments.com, or Facebook Marketplace>Rentals to get a big-picture view of what rentals are going for, and what availability looks like.
    The goal here is two-fold: To establish a bottom line for what renters in the area will pay for what you’re offering; and to establish a ceiling - knowing the most people are paying to live in a neighborhood will help you set a budget for repairs and upgrades that makes sense for rentability. This range is crucial in determining if the purchase price + estimated repair costs make sense.

  6. Get an Idea of Vacancy Periods - Bookmark a few properties as you’re searching for answers in step #5. Check them periodically to see if they are still available; if units are going quickly, demand is high and that’s a good sign you won’t have to deal with long vacancy periods if your rent price is set properly. Low vacancy periods can also indicate high neighborhood desirability.

  7. Consider the Long-Term Price-to-Rent Ratio.  This is where the 1-percent rule comes into play: If a property can generate 1% of the purchase price in rent each month, the price-to-rent ratio is strong and indicates a high likelihood of profitability and positive cash-flow. Consider your overall cost to purchase the house (purchase price, financing fees, interest, etc..), repair costs before renting, ongoing maintenance costs, and tax and insurance payments when estimating your cash flow.   Will this cash-flow hedge against unfavorable marketing conditions? Do trends in market conditions suggest the value of the property will go up with the market? If the answer to both questions is yes, you’re likely looking at a great long-term investment opportunity: positive monthly cash-flow and a chance to make a profit by selling down the road.

Investing does not require your physical presence - it simply requires due diligence and a willingness to work with the right partners in the target market.  If you’re willing to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, long-distance investing is a great way to build your property portfolio and grow wealth strategically. 



Probates often involve Property Distress and Owner Distress, two factors that can help you buy investment properties below market value.  What would Probate Leads in Another Market Cost?

Making the Most Of Your Cold Calls, PLUS Probate Foundations Updates. Episode 323

Probate Mastermind Episode #323 | Recorded Live on April 15th, 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!

 

Get Probate Leads

 

Call Re-cap:

00:00 General Updates and Probate Foundations News

Jim and Bruce share general updates and two callers ask more questions about Probate Foundations and Probate Mastery Certification.

18:54 Making The Most Out Of Your Cold Calls

Mike shares his experience working probate leads before and after certification course, and discusses a conversational obstacle he’s running into. What should you do if you reach a contact that isn’t the executor/administrator? What should you do to not sound scripted/recorded? Bruce and Mike also discuss Go For The No.

27:19 Probate Prospecting In Colorado

Vincent (A Floridian transplant to Denver, CO) is looking to get in contact with a surviving spouse. He has no made contact with her yet, and the probate case is still in process. How can he get a jump start without waiting for Colorado’s unique probate process to play out?

36:59 Are Probate Leads from All The Leads currently in Probate?

Doug asks where in the process probate leads from ATL are.

38:57 What Percentage of Leads Have Real Estate Involved?

Caller asks how often probate leads have no real estate. Should you approach leads differently depending on whether it appears they inherited a property or not?

Looking to hear prospecting tips in action? Check out our live role play series.

 

 

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Episode Transcript

Probate Mastermind Real Estate Podcast Episode #322

 

A.I. Voice Narration: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Probate Mastermind Podcast. These episodes are recorded live once a week and are hosted by the AllTheLeads.com coaches. Agents, investors, and wholesalers join the coaches each week for everything from marketing tips, sales, psychology, live deal analysis, transaction engineering, advanced real estate strategy and personal development.

You will learn to get more listings, more deals and find financial freedom by listening to these episodes. Be sure to catch show notes at AllTheLeads.com/podcast and join our free Facebook mastermind community: https://facebook.com/groups/AllTheLeadsMastermind

 

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Join the All The Leads Mastermind Group on Facebook. Networking, Accountability, Masterminding, and more!

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New Uploads Weekly, featuring live Q&A, Tips From The Trainer, Interviews with Industry Experts, and Success Stories to Keep You Motivated

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