What if Real Estate Isn't Mentioned in the Probate File?

5 Replies

While researching probate case files, I come across the following scenario quite often:

- There's no Estate Inventory sheet in the file

- The Decedent (the deceased) has a property registered in their name, which is the same address that shows up when I look them up in the phone book.

So does this mean that the case just hasn't gotten to the point where the inventory has taken place yet? 

I even came across a situation today where the inventory sheet had "n/a" in the real estate assets section, but I knew for sure that the Decedent passed-away in a property that is in their name with the county, which confused me.  

I'm still learning the probate process, so forgive me if this is a dumb question.

So, in summary, my question is should I still mail the Executor/PR about the property that I know is in the Decedent's name at the county, even if there is no mention of it in the probate file?

Frankly, I don't know the answer, however that never stopped me from having an opinion.

I suggest calling a few PR's and just ask them what is going on. Hard to say about your state's forms or the process.  Check some older case files and determine if a lack of inclusion of real estate info is typical or if files commonly get amended later.

When I want to learn something new, I envision writing a book with chapters and research the heck out of it thoroughly. 

Originally posted by @Rick H. :

Frankly, I don't know the answer, however that never stopped me from having an opinion.

I suggest calling a few PR's and just ask them what is going on. Hard to say about your state's forms or the process.  Check some older case files and determine if a lack of inclusion of real estate info is typical or if files commonly get amended later.

When I want to learn something new, I envision writing a book with chapters and research the heck out of it thoroughly. 

 Thanks Rick.  Yeah, I'm just going to continue mailing all of the leads I gather, and then use the info I get from calling them to get a better grasp of what's going on with these situations.  

When you say that you "envision writing a book with chapters and research the heck out of it thoroughly," are you saying you research a thoroughly as if you were going to write a book based on the info you learn by researching?  

Yep. Just like you are going to have to teach it to someone else (because someday you nay want to!).

As I review the filing dates and the status of the cases that I create this thread about, I notice that most of them were still in "open" status, and were filed within the last month.

I think that means that the inventories come later on in the case, which is likely why I didn't see estate inventories in the files.

I believe that I either need to hold-off on mailing the PR's 'till I see an inventory that states that it contains real estate, or just go ahead and mail them now and call them until I can find out whether or not there's actually real estate in the estate that's available.

The benefit of mailing them now, is that I might be able to get a jump on being the first person that contacts them about the property, so that could be a good thing, even if I have to waste some postage sending stuff to PR's that won't even have properties in the estates they're in-charge of.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you