New feature alert! Pro and Ultimate plan subscribers are now able to search trust cases within Los Angeles County at no additional cost right from the Probate Money dashboard.
Generally, trusts avoid probate, but there are some exceptions. In fact, there are hundreds of these exceptions every month and they present unique business opportunities for real estate agents and investors. We’ve been keeping tabs on these cases and now they are available for search and preview.
How Do Living Trust Cases End Up in a Probate Court?
Living trusts are private documents. They are not recorded at the county clerk’s office and your title rep won’t be able to pull trust data for you. So how are we able to get information on hundreds of trusts in Los Angeles County? Because certain trust documents become a matter of public record when parties involved in the trust go to court.
There might be a variety of reasons why this happens. For instance, the successor trustee might feel that there are some ambiguities and, in order to avoid potential liability in the future, they are asking the court for clarification on certain matters. There might be a conflict between the heirs when some suspect undue influence to the original trustee and they are asking the court to rule deem parts of the trust invalid. Regardless of the underlying causes, if there’s litigation of any kind, trust information becomes public record.
Why Would Real Estate Agents and Investors Want to Access Trust Records?
Have you heard of a "blue ocean" business acquisition strategy? It’s based on a book by W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne. Blue ocean metaphor signifies expanding, competitor-free markets that innovative companies and individuals can take advantage of. Unlike "red oceans," which are thoroughly explored and crowded with competitors, "blue oceans" represent "untapped market space" and the "opportunity for highly profitable growth."
Going after trusts means you’re willing to create your own largely competition-free market. Many of the living trusts that end up in litigation contain real estate. It’s not unusual for some of the trusts to contain multiple houses worth millions of dollars. Just like any conflict or financial hardship situation -- think divorce, short sale, foreclosure -- litigation involving living trust with real estate in it may result in the sale of the property (or multiple properties). If you are able to get a hold of the person in charge (who is always listed in the court filings), you can end up with a lucrative listing.
What Data Can You Expect to Access?
If you are familiar with our probate search, you will notice that the trust case search does not contain as much information. Our system provides basic information on each case, such as case number, date filed, future hearings (if available), responsible parties, and summary of documents filed. This is enough to sift through the cases and decide which ones might contain real estate and overall might be worth looking into from the perspective of a real estate agent and/or investor.
Below is just a snippet of the case file page randomly pulled from the Probate Money system.
To determine whether you wish to pursue this case further and seek the listing, you will need to follow the steps provided for our Pro and Ultimate plan subscribers and do further research on your own. Probate Money founder attorney Paul Horn has recorded an in-depth video available for subscribers that walks you through the steps. There are additional links and resources which will guide you through the process of obtaining court documents necessary to evaluate whether there’s an opportunity for a real estate professional.
Trusts search module is definitely not for everyone. It required lots of hard work, determination and many hours of research. But it can be very rewarding since you would be doing something that very few real estate agents ever get involved with. It is provided for Pro and Ultimate plan subscribers at no additional cost. If you’re looking for a new stream of revenue in your real estate business, this is something you should check out.« Back to latest posts