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Probate - Send Letter to PR and Heirs?

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Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Jun 06 '11, 11:45 AM


Hello all!

For those of you who market to probate deals, do you have a better response and success rate mailing letters to the Beneficiaries/Heirs as well as the Personal Rep/Executor? Or do you find it just as good to send a letter just to the PR (Personal Rep).

I am trying to figure out if it is worthwhile for me to send a letter to the heirs as well.

Thanks in advance for the help!



William D.

Homeowner from

Jun 06 '11, 12:30 PM


I think the largest net cast would be be most effective; however, if you are looking for efficiency I would go with executors/administrators over heirs. The executors have a fiduciary duty to the estate and may have an obligation to report any purchase offers. The executors/administrators are the conduit to getting the offer submitted and considered by the heirs and court.

They could be akin in the lending arena to submitting a purchase offer to the servicer who in turn submits it to the investor.



Tom Bujnowski

Developer from Tinley Park, Illinois

Jun 06 '11, 02:02 PM


Send just to executors - based on my experience!!



Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Jun 06 '11, 09:36 PM


Thanks for the help guys!

It looks like I am just going to mail a letter to the executor and only the heirs if there is 1 or 2 since sometimes there are over 5 or 6 heirs which then becomes pricey sending letters out to all of them.

Do either of you have luck sending letters to the attorneys representing these cases?



Douglas Wolf

Real Estate Investor from allentown, Pennsylvania

Jun 06 '11, 11:21 PM


Hi, i just finished being the executor for my fathers estate.... It would have been a circus if my sisters were getting offers for his condo.... in my opinion, it is always better to talk to the person who makes the decisions... Thanks



Jackie Pyle

Real Estate Investor from Rockaway Beach, MO

Jun 06 '11, 11:51 PM


How do you go about finding the executor? Any ideas?



Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Jun 07 '11, 05:44 AM
1 vote


Thanks Douglas for the personal experience, it makes sense to have just the PR involved.

Jackie, I get the probate cases file from each district's probate court. In each case file, you will find out where the estate lived and who is the executor along with a lot of other information.

There is a probate group on here that has a bunch of information about probate real estate if that helps.



Jackie Pyle

Real Estate Investor from Rockaway Beach, MO

Jun 09 '11, 11:38 PM


Thanks Nerissa! We do a lot of foreclosure property but have not looked into probate. I appreciate the info.



Brooks Conkle

Real Estate Investor from Mobile, Alabama

Jul 15 '11, 03:00 PM
2 votes


100% executor. They're the decision maker. If there are co-executors, I mail to them both. Good luck!



Sharon Vornholt

Real Estate Investor from Goshen, Kentucky

Jul 20 '11, 03:29 PM


Nerissa -

I have great luck with probates. I mail to the executor or personal rep.

Call your local probate court and ask them how they are published. In my area, they are in the newspaper at the same time each month. In other areas, they are online. Regardless, they have to be published so that the creditors know that the person is deceased. I have a lot of info on probates on my blog.



Brian P.

Real Estate Investor from Taylorsville, Utah

Aug 16 '11, 10:15 AM


Often times a PR or executor has their own agenda and does things for their own purposes. Don't give me their legal obligations, they are laymen and act as laymen. Often times the probate attorney has a crony they like to feed deals to. In the real world games go on.

Because of that, if there is no response, or a response I don't like, I mail to all of the heirs, which makes things more interesting. One probate attorney called and threatened me if I continued, I responded I would be happy to join you at the State Bar with your complaint and we can discuss it with them what day would be good for you?



Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Aug 16 '11, 02:09 PM
1 vote


An update on my probate letters: I mailed out letters just to the PRs.

My last mailer was 43 letters total and out of those, I got 3 calls. Two of whom want to sell and another call was to inform me that the house was already sold (since they called just to tell me it was already sold, I think they would have called me if it wasnt sold, or at least I think that might have been the case).

With 3 calls out of 43 letters, that is almost a 7% response rate. Maybe I'll try to mail to the heirs to see if I get a better response but to be honest, I'd rather just email a new group of PRs.

I haven't closed on any houses yet but at least I got some responses which is where it all starts :)



Chris Colvard

Wholesaler from Dallas, Texas

Aug 16 '11, 02:25 PM


That's great!

Would you mind sharing the letter you used to get that response rate?

Thanks



Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Aug 19 '11, 11:43 AM
2 votes


Sure Chris, here it is. I try to keep it as short and to the point as possible. I altered my version from a couple others that I have seen so feel free to alter it to whatever you like.

Dear Ms./Mr. ________,

First and most importantly, may I offer my condolences on the passing of your loved one,________. I am sincerely sorry for your loss.

The reason I am contacting you is I understand the house located at ___________ may be available to purchase. I am looking for a house in this area and would be interested in making an offer if it is going to be sold. Of course, I’m sure at this time the property may not be a priority for the family, but if in the future the heirs decide to sell, please call me and give me the chance to make an offer.

I will purchase the property in it’s “As-Is” condition and pay all cash. This will save the estate time of fixing up and/or cleaning up the house and the extra attorney and realtor fees. I hope you understand you do not have to wait until this probate is completed to sell the property.

If you wish to discuss this further, I can be reached at __________. I’m sure I can give you a fair offer and get cash in your hands right away and faster than if you listed it in this current housing market crisis

In any event, I wish the best for your family in their time of loss.

Sincerely,



Chris Colvard

Wholesaler from Dallas, Texas

Aug 19 '11, 11:49 AM


Thanks Nerissa.

I can add it to the list of probate letters I have been gathering.

Good luck on your future deals!

Thanks again



Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Aug 19 '11, 01:11 PM


No problem Chris. Good luck as well on those probate deals!



Joshua Dorkin Verified Donor

BiggerPockets Founder from Denver, Colorado

Aug 19 '11, 01:27 PM


Chris/Nerissa - I was wondering if you'd be willing to share your sample probate letters on the BiggerPockets FilePlace? All you need to do is upload the Word doc and others can then find and download it as needed. Its a great way to help other investors out. I hope to see some examples from you guys! Thanks



Medium_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
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Jerry Puckett Verified

Wholesaler from Irving, Texas

Aug 20 '11, 03:56 PM
1 vote


Originally posted by Nerissa Vento:
An update on my probate letters: I mailed out letters just to the PRs.

My last mailer was 43 letters total and out of those, I got 3 calls.

Hi Nerissa,
Don't forget to follow up! Take the three names of the folks who called off your list, and send postcards to the rest. I send out letters every week and do this, building a spreadsheet out of the no replies. My list gets 1 letter, then 3 follow up postcards (one every three weeks or so). It more than doubles my response rate, and the postcards are cheap.

Josh asked for your letter in the BP docs, I'll go ahead and put in my template for the probate postcard.



Medium_untitledJerry Puckett, New Refined Images LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (214) 699-7565
Website: http://marketlikeawholesaler.com
I help Investors buy wholesale | Direct Mail & Internet Marketing


Greg Sharp

Anaheim, California

Aug 21 '11, 07:54 AM
1 vote


FYI - I am a Private Money lender and talked to a lawyer about financing property or purchasing property in probate. He said "Hard money? You guys are scum! I will never work with a hard money lender!"

I laughed so hard after I hung up! I have been called scum by a lawyer - Now THAT is funny!

Others were more receptive, but you always want to deal with the decision maker, which is the PR. The lawyer, if they take their job seriously, is obligated to pass correspondence on to the client. Anybody send out letters to lawyers addressed to the PR with the case number and "confidential" stamped on the outside of the letter?



Nerissa Vento

New Britain, Connecticut

Aug 27 '11, 08:49 AM


Josh, I just uploaded the Probate letter in FilePlace, it's great that you encourage people to help each other out!

Jerry, I was wondering if I should follow up but with you getting double the response, I definitely should. Thanks for letting us know that and showing us the postcard you use.

Greg, I have heard mixed reviews on whether you should mail a letter to the lawyer representing the probate case. Can anyone else relate to whether mailing lawyers is a helpful tool for probate?



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