Looking up probate case files at the court building

7 Replies

Hey everyone,

Well, I have finally transitioned from the analysis stage to the 'doing' stage. Yesterday I made my first trip to the courthouse to get my feet wet. I went in and requested to have access to the probate files, which are considered public record. I was allowed into private room with computers (called a 'kiosk'), where I was able to look up real records of estates going thru this process. This was my first time doing this so please bear with me. I focused on those files whose title read: "Conservatorship of person and estate" and gathered data on these files... My core question is: How does one go about finding out whether a given estate has real property in it? I looked at every screen and document in the files and did not fine this information anywhere. Is calling the guardian or conservator of the estate the only way? an alternative would be to run a title look up based on the name of the decedent, but how would I know for sure if there is more than one person with that same name? Can someone please advise? Much appreciated.

you're going to have to read the will. There's no one part where put this info. You just have to comb through it. If they owned real estate it will be left to some one. 

If they don't have a will assume the place of domicile is the real estate. They will not call or call and tell you they don't own it. 

Once you find one call the attorney and make friends with them. Ask for a referral the next time they get a probate case so you don't have to get your feet wet. 

@Javier Osuna Conservatorships are intended for living persons over the age of 18.

Conservators may be empowered to be responsible for for the Conservatee's 'person' (meaning care taking and welfare) or 'estate' meaning their assets, debts and financial affairs. 

Similar process for minor children who are wards of a legal Guardian.

In CA, all matters involving sale or encumbrance of real property requires court confirmation so there will be plenty of eyeballs in such deals.

Knowing this, why would you target property subject to conservatorship?

Thanks Mike!

The will document would be imaged and attached to the court case file as one of the appendix or exhibit documents? I looked at a couple of cases and found documents such as the hearing notice, appointment of guardianship, representation and contact info., etc, but no will and testament. Am I looking in the wrong place, or perhaps these people did not leave a will and this is precisely the reason their estate must go thru probate?  Thank you again. Do you think I'd be better off payng for ready-to-go probate leads to market to?

Well, that's the problem. I did not know and I will obviously have to do quite a bit of learning as I go. So when I look at probate case files from now on, I shall only focus on the 'estate' which deals with deals with the real property and other assets left behind by the deceased and not conservstorship which deals with the taking care of a 'person'. Got it! I will need to brush up on the various most commonly terminology used in probate. You know what they say, the most stupid of all questions is the one you don't ask... Thank you Rick.

I attend the REI club which meets at the Del Mar Hilton on the first Thursday of every month (F.I.B.I.). Are we talking about the same meetup club?

If so, I have missed the last couple of meetings. I've made a couple of good contacts there, but lately I've been focusing on my business plan, building up my knowledge and on getting leads. I'd like to move forward much faster but there are only 24 hours in a day and I'm having to do this around my work schedule and family. I certainly plan on attending next months meeting.