I was wondering how people are using the data on the Probate filings. I went to the courthouse for the first time today and spent a good bit going through the files and putting some of the names into the property appraisals website, however I was getting back random information.
I was wondering if someone with experience could point me in the right direction. I have samples of what my counties probate records look like, would prefer to show them in private messages. (There must be some reason they were kept off the internet?)
Hi @Parth Patel ! You're actually in my hometown of Gainesville, FL in Alachua County. Go Gators!
Generally speaking with probate records, you're usually looking for the estate administrator or executor i.e. the person who has the authority to make the decisions about settling the estate. This is usually the person you need to look for and to contact and many times some of their contact information will be included in the materials.
Now if you're looking to determine whether or not the estate has property, you can go to the Alachua County Property Search Page On The Property Appraiser Website and look up the decedent's name to see if they own any property. That being said, their name may or may not show up on the website. For example, the decedent's may have owned property in a legal entity which would not show up on the property tax records under their name. This is usually the reason I'd suggest contacting most of the people on the list.
In any scenario, feel free to reach out to me if you need some more help.
@Marvin McTaw has some good advice. I've been pulling probates for ages and there's one thing I can tell you. Pull current probate leads but also skip trace them. Without a skip trace you only have names on paper. Then again, do you know the cases you're pulling are the right type of probate litigation? Do you have the time to cross check all the information you get with the courthouse to confirm there is property attached? When you are pulling your information at the courthouse have you read through all the paper work to make sure you'll be reaching out to the right person? What is your time worth? That right there is one of the most important questions no matter what you are doing. Is your time better spent paying for a probate lead so you can spend time making the deal instead of researching?
What you're going to be looking for when you get the probate filings is to check to see if the name of the decedent is still showing as the name of the owner. Basically, you just cross referencing the address with the county records or recorder of deeds. If the names show a match, then you have a solid lead.
It'll take some time if you have to actually go to the courthouse to pull this info but look at this way, there's not a lot of investors who are going to be willing to consistently put their time into doing so.