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3 Secrets to Help Your Clients Avoid Probate

The probate process can sometimes be slow and costly. It can also leave information the client might just as well keep private vulnerable to scammers and even burglars. For these reasons, many of your clients will wish to avoid this process. As a real-estate expert you can add value to your clients and make things easier for yourself by letting them know how this process can be avoided when possible. Here are three secrets your client can use to avoid probate.

    • Write a living trust: Many people believe that simply having a last will and testament will prevent their loved ones from going through probate. This is not necessarily so. The truth is that all the assets that you own and will pass on to your beneficiaries are subject to probate. A revocable living trust circumvents the probate process which can leave your beneficiaries waiting indefinitely for the income from the probate property. A revocable living trust is a document whereby you can create a living trust as a separate entity from yourself. The trustee can easily transfer the property it holds to the family and friends it was left to without probate.

 

  • Joint Ownership of Property: By taking joint ownership of a property your client can avoid probate after the first owner dies. Be sure your client has stated on his/her deed how they want the title to be held. This way the property goes to the joint owner when the primary owner(s) dies, avoiding probate completely. Your client can avoid probate using the following kinds of joint ownership: Joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenancy by the entirety and community property with right of survivorship.

 

  • Pay-on-Death Accounts and Registrations: Suggest that your clients designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries on their bank accounts, insurance policies, pension plans, 401K plans, IRA accounts, stocks and bonds. This is actually quite easy and these financial instruments often include language that allows you to do so when you open them. Your client is then able to ensure that his/her assets are immediately dispersed without having to go through probate first. Again, this can save him/her much time and expense.living trust

This list is by no means complete but it is a good start to avoiding the tedium of probate. Even though probate can generate listing leads, your client can begin to do things to avoid the process starting today if they so desire.   

Top 5 Responsibilities of Executors and How You can Provide Value as an Expert

One of the best ways to guarantee your success as a real estate professional is to learn how other experts can add value to your own services. In other words, you should strive to learn how experts among the other fields you encounter can help you to get more listing leads, perhaps through real estate lead generation websites, increase sales and become better at what you do. An executor is one professional whose responsibilities you should know so that you can provide them with greater value as an expert.

What is an Executor?

An executor is someone who is named in a will or appointed by a court that has the legal responsibility to take care of the deceased person’s remaining financial obligations including the disposition of his/her property and other assets. This is a position that is fraught with responsibilities which become even more complicated when there are no direct inheritors.

The Top 5 Responsibilities of an Executor

  • An executor decides whether or not to sell real estate: The disposition of land and property and is among the fundamental and most important responsibilities entrusted to an executor. At times it can be a straightforward process and at other times it can be quite complicated depending on the nature of the will. An executor should know to prepare a house if he/she is going to put it up for sale.
  • An executor gets the property in the estate ready to sell: This of course is directly related to real estate experts. Getting the property ready to sell could entail removing old, word or broken furniture, replacing light fixtures, fixing the roof, etc. Here a realtor is often consulted in order to help determine an effective sales strategy.
  • An executor handles issue related to probate proceedings: This will directly impact you as a real estate expert as well for reasons explained in the previous post concerning how to acquire more listings by becoming a probate expert.
  • An executor handles debt and tax issues: The executor makes sure that the deceased person’s debts are settled and that their taxes are filed. There is a federal estate tax and smaller state taxes that may be due.
  • An executor figures out who inherits property: If the deceased person left a will this duty can be carried out quite easily. If the deceased person did not leave a will the administrator will have to consult state law to see who the decease person’s heirs are and relate them to the “intestate succession” statutes.

How You Add Value and an Expert

There are a lot of moving parts to being an executor. For this reason, executors often engage with and require the help of other experts such as attorneys, CPAs and of course real estate agents. All The Leads offers a system to help you become the HUB of the probate process so you can differentiate yourself against any other professionals and be the first to engage in the conversation.  You may be a real estate agent or investor but first and foremost you are a Probate Expert (the HUB) and then a real estate agent or investor (one of the spokes).  The diagram below will help you understand the HUB concept and what other professionals you can add to your team so you can help the Administrator no matter what their challenges may be. executor

To learn more about our service and how we can provide you a complete system to be THE Probate Expert in your market please give us a call at the number above or click HERE to see if our probate leads and complete system is still available in your county.

How I Got More Real Estate Listings by Becoming a Probate Expert

It is a well established fact that it takes luck, education and no small amount of creativity to be a lucrative real estate professional in today’s market. What I mean by that is that you must sometimes be willing to seek and acquire properties in “non-conventional ways.” Specifically, I’m referring to using probate listings as a way to scoop up good real estate deals. This is what I have done in order to increase my real estate listings. Allow me to explain how this works.

Probate Property: An Untapped Real Estate Resource

What is probate property? Probate property is property that was owned by someone who is now deceased. That property must eventually be transferred to someone. When the owner of house dies it is usually under two circumstances: (1) There is no will or heir, (2) It is handed down to the heirs of the deceased. The probate process is the legal mechanism set up to determine what happens to the property. In the first instance where there is no heir, the property often sells below its market value. This makes it more lucrative than other kinds of properties. In the case where a home is inherited by survivors, the opportunity to buy low still exists. Often, survivors wish to sell the property quickly to avoid taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, etc.

How I Increased my Listings

 

According to some estimates, 2.5 million Americans in the 25 to 75 year old age group who die each year. This means that there are approximately 50,000 probate homes available per state. I learned these general statistics and developed several strategies for growing my real estate listings via probate property. One can easily keep track of probate court filings in the area in which one is interested. I learned to do so by newspaper notices and through county records as well. This gave me information about available properties as well as the area’s median home price, etc. real estate

 

In short, after using the traditional methods of lead generation over and over, I eventually realized that I could grow my listings by learning all there is to know about the probate marketing process. In fact, I learned that these methods are overlooked by other professionals who are either unaware of or simply don’t know how use them.