finding addresses for probate

11 Replies

I am doing probate campaigns and don't know how to find property addresses of decreased. People say public records but where?  Assessors office. Trustee office.  I am in Colorado please help.  I need to put the address my letters. 

@Mike McFadden  - addresses for property owners in Colorado typically come from the County Assessor's website. Not sure where you are getting the names. There are services that provide all that information. You can purchase the lists. I'm sure you know this but not all probate cases involve real estate. I did a fairly small sampling and found that only about 40-50% of the cases had RE. 

At one point I was having someone farm the obits in the paper and then cross checking for ownership. I was sending letters from that but, it was too early and most were not ready to even think about selling. It was a bit creepy too so I set that approach aside. 

Most Colorado counties I have looked in for one reason or another have a property search section of the county assessor's web site where I can search for property. Search items vary from names to addresses and parcel id's. 

In other states, I have found that this information is accessed via the county treasurer's websites. 

It is very tedious work and if your time is worth more than about a nickle an hour it's more cost effective to buy the lists, unless you have found a way to beat the list folks to the punch. 

@Bill S. whats your probate marketing strategy ?

I'm a probate attorney (in Connecticut) by trade and out here, all probate documents are public. Unfortunately, the information isn't online. You can go to to the probate courts directly and ask for files - you'll find the names and addresses of the Executors in there. It'd make more sense for you to send anything to an executor or administrator than directly to the decedent's house.

You could perhaps instead target probate attorneys and let them know you buy real estate from estates and explain how you can help them. That may be more effective than targeting the probate estates that are currently active, since the estates are constantly changing so you'd have to continue your marketing efforts aggressively. Instead, target the people handling the estates. That way, you pay attention to one professional who has the opportunity of giving you repeat leads.

One thing I do when doing probate campaigns is identify the towns that have an assessor's database that allows you to lookup addresses by names and search for "est" or whatever the abbreviation would be out there for estate owned properties. You may get some results that aren't a match, like anything owned by an Ernest would show up, but at least this is a good point of departure to help you narrow down your search a bit.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Stephanie

@Stephanie Cabral is "notice to creditors" a way to find probates? Or is that too late in the process to contact a fiduciary?

Originally posted by @Stephanie Cabral :

I'm a probate attorney (in Connecticut) by trade and out here, all probate documents are public. Unfortunately, the information isn't online. You can go to to the probate courts directly and ask for files - you'll find the names and addresses of the Executors in there. It'd make more sense for you to send anything to an executor or administrator than directly to the decedent's house.

You could perhaps instead target probate attorneys and let them know you buy real estate from estates and explain how you can help them. That may be more effective than targeting the probate estates that are currently active, since the estates are constantly changing so you'd have to continue your marketing efforts aggressively. Instead, target the people handling the estates. That way, you pay attention to one professional who has the opportunity of giving you repeat leads.

One thing I do when doing probate campaigns is identify the towns that have an assessor's database that allows you to lookup addresses by names and search for "est" or whatever the abbreviation would be out there for estate owned properties. You may get some results that aren't a match, like anything owned by an Ernest would show up, but at least this is a good point of departure to help you narrow down your search a bit.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Stephanie

 Stephanie you are fantastic!   Thank you for the tips. 

Originally posted by @Ken T. :

Stephanie Cabral is "notice to creditors" a way to find probates? Or is that too late in the process to contact a fiduciary?

 Hi Ken, yes you could definitely search the notice to creditors and those are published very early on in the probate process. Most often within 30 days of death but always immediately upon the Court appointing an executor. I guess this way is less cumbersome than going to the courts but you'll have to comb through a lot of newspapers. 

A point worth noting - the notice to creditors gives you contact info for the attorneys that represent the estate, rather than the executor. I've received a lot of unsolicited mail for investors trying to notify the executor (via me) that they would purchase the homes. I've found that at that point, the contact has to be incredibly credible so maybe some marketing materials with stats on how you've helped other estates, ie cash purchase in x number of days, avoid using an agent so the estate nets a higher profit. I do not suggest a  hand note written on a napkin...which I've gotten :). From a credibility standpoint, I believe you'd be better making contact and developing a relationship with an attorney before the estates are relevant so it doesn't seem too much like an ambulance chaser.

Hope that helps!

@Stephanie Cabral

 ahh thank you very much, I'll have to build a portfolio but great idea! I've noticed that the newspapers notice to creditors has the fiduciaries name (is fiduciary the same as executor?)  I wonder if its worth using a name-address lookup site?

another option is to find properties I'm interested in and then head to the courthouse with a list of probate names.

Originally posted by @Ken T. :

@Stephanie Cabral

 ahh thank you very much, I'll have to build a portfolio but great idea! I've noticed that the newspapers notice to creditors has the fiduciaries name (is fiduciary the same as executor?)  I wonder if its worth using a name-address lookup site?

another option is to find properties I'm interested in and then head to the courthouse with a list of probate names.

 Yes, an executor is one type of a fiduciary. Good luck! I'm happy to offer feedback on any letters you're going to send to probate attorneys if it'd help.

@Stephanie Cabral, Great Tips!

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