8 Replies

Hello!  This question for all the probate experts out there.  So I've accumulated a stack of recent Notices of Administration with the name of the deceased and the petitioner's attorney's name and address.  I know that it is best if I can determine if the estate has real property; unfortunately, my county tax assessor's office does not allow me to pull up property/tax information using the owner's name.  I can only do so using the property address and/or APN.  

Do you encounter this problem in your area, and if so, how do you go about finding out if the deceased owned any real property?  And if your approach is go to the court to pull the files, which document do you look for to see if the estate has real property?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

@Uyenchi Ho  

Contact your title company, and request a free property data base account, where you can look up properties, obtain ownership and tax values, and in the better programs, comps and trust deed information.  I use First American Title Company's, and have been very pleased with the result.

@Uyenchi Ho  

 Correction, that is the old URL.  The new one to ask for is  Tell them you plan to buy some properties, and will be happy to have them do the title insurance  work.

Thank you, @Dave Metsker , for your suggestion.  I will definitely do that.  I need to start building a relationship with a tittle company anyway, so it's really good to know that I can access all this information from them.  Thanks again.

@Uyenchi Ho   I'm assuming you collected/gathered your "Notice of Petition to Administer Estate" list's using The San Jose Post-Record. (Adjudicated Legal Newspaper)

For the month of November, there's 10 new filings and 2 past pending sales.

Yes, as Mr. Metsker suggested, your going to have to contact a local title company and open a property profile account to research what you currently have.

When you go to the court house to pull files, the document your looking for is "Petition For Probate" (DE-111).

This will give you "Estate Of (decedents name)" Here you'll cross reference the decedents name and verify he/she had real property. Sort of "scrubbing" your list(s) to check for real estate.

Hope this helps..

@Mark Pedroza, yes, I get my notices from San Jose Post-Record, but also from for all notices not posted on the SJ Post-Record.  On this site, you can do a one-click search for notices for all counties and publications (except for SJ Post-Record), which is great - but you do have to shift through all other irrelevant notices.

Thank you for the advice regarding looking at the estate of decedent section in the Petition for Probate form.  I will look into that.

Hello all,

Anyone have any luck contacting the attorney handling the probate filing to buy property? I've found a number for who I believe is the estate rep but she seems way off and just keeps hanging up the phone. I've reached out to the attorney. Just wondering if there is a better tactic. Taxes continue to be paid and the tax bill still goes to the property. Any help would be appreciated.

Excellent info,  @Dave Metsker  . I have been trying to find a way to word this with my title company to no success. We have a First American here and will definitely be setting that up. @Kevin Davis  - You may have better luck networking with attorneys organically. Once you become friends with one or a few they will be happy to connect you with others and help you out. Make sure you are benefiting them in some way greatly and they are aligned with your cause. Don't want to come off as someone who just is trying to take. 

@Richard Bunch that is one strategy I am going to employ once I've built a good list of the attorneys handling probate in my market but I've located a specific property and can't get the estate rep to respond so just wondering if there is a restriction for the attorney to provide me any information or to put me in contact with them.

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