Questions and Answers

Probate. We Make It Simple!

  • I've never heard of Probate Real Estate Services and Sales LLC. What do you guys do?


    Probate Real Estate Services and Sales, LLC, PRESS, is a real estate brokerage firm licensed in DC, MD, VA and Alabama. Along with “traditional” real estate brokerage services, we provide 30+ additional services that help probate, conservatorship, and trust clients manage and resolve their estate cases.

  • What do you mean by ``traditional`` real estate services?

    Traditional real estate companies’ help clients buy or sell a home they want to live in or move from. Although we do the same thing, our experience and training goes far beyond that. We specialize in estates (more commonly known as probate, conservatorships, and trusts).

    Probate, conservatorship, and trust clients have unique issues and needs when dealing with estate property. Our agents are trained in understanding what those needs are and how to deal with estate issues before they arise.

  • I get it so I could say that PRESS agents are specialists when someone dies or is not considered legally competent to handle their own affairs?


    Yes, exactly. Most agents have very limited experience and knowledge about probate, trust and conservatorship matters. In fact, many real estate agents consider probate too difficult an area to work. At PRESS we disagree. Probate has challenges, but we look at those challenges as an opportunity to serve the public in an underserved area. Probate requires expertise and that’s what we provide. In fact, that’s all we do! We have over thirty years of experience in estate matters.

  • Why is experience in probate matters so important? Can't any agent sell my probate property?

    Experience matters because it will get you the most financial gain for the estate with the least amount of frustration. For example, if you as the Personal Representative (PR) of the estate make a mistake completing the paperwork, it could double the time it takes to liquidate the estate’s assets. We’ve seen that happen more than once.

    Secondly, marketing estate properties is both an art and a science. Our agents have a “strategic marketing plan” for each estate property that has been tested and proven over many years. PRs that have come to us with offers in hand have been amazed that we’ve gotten them prices significantly higher!

    Thirdly, an estate situation may take from a few months to several years to resolve; that could take longer working with people that don’t know the ropes. Most real estate agents are reluctant to commit to that long of a transaction.

    Finally, we have a 100% success rate when marketing estate properties. That speaks for itself.

  • What other services do you provide that makes your firm special?


    Because we specialize, we offer services that you won’t find at any other real estate brokerage firm. For instance, because of our experience and knowledge of estate matters, we are able to help our clients work through the probate process efficiently by a doing a Comprehensive Estate Assessment, or CEA, for them.

  • What is a Comprehensive Estate Assessment CEA?

    A Comprehensive Estate Assessment (CEA) is an evaluation of an estate done by a licensed professional with experience in probate matters. The goal is to help the client understand the local jurisdictional requirements in order to move the estate through the probate process with minimal problems. Issues of filing deadlines, paperwork completion, asset valuation, and professional resource requirements are all evaluated and recommendations, then presented upon completion.

  • How long does a CEA take to complete?


    Generally, the CEA takes approximately a few days to a week to complete.

  • How much does a CEA cost?

    PRESS performs the CEA at no charge, FREE, to our clients!

  • If I want to get my Comprehensive Estate Assessment what must I do what's the process?

    To have your CEA done the process is very simple. Just call our office to schedule a consultation. Our professionals will review what documentation you presently have, ask you relevant questions, and began the evaluation process. Once that’s done you will be presented with a list of recommendations. Once you’ve reviewed our recommendations, you’ll know how to proceed.

  • Do you provide legal or tax advice?


    No. We are not attorney’s or tax consultants. We are Realtors. We can, however, recommend well respected and qualified professionals in both those areas.

  • The other 30+ services you mentioned are they by referrals also?

    Yes, exactly. We have an extensive list of qualified professionals that we refer our clients to. They do everything from property cleaning to tax planning.

  • Final question. What would you tell someone who's a new PR and wants to get the ``best`` service available?

    We get that question often and the commonsense answer is the same every time; get recommendations, check those recommendations out, and hire expert professionals to get the job done right!

WHAT IS A “TRUST” AND WHAT IS A “TRUST SALE”?

A trust is a legal entity that can hold the title to a property or other assets for one or more people or entities. A trust sale is simply when a property that is owned by a trust is sold. In order for a trust sale to occur, all of the beneficiaries of the trust must agree to the sale, unless one person has been designated to be in control of the trust.

WHEN IS A TRUST USED?

Usually a property is put into a trust when the original owner has either passed away or is no longer able to manage his or her affairs. It is becoming common for property owners to put their home in a trust instead of a will.

WHO IS A “TRUSTEE”?

The trustee is the person who controls the trust and manages its assets. The trustee may be one of the beneficiaries of the trust or an independent person.

WHY IS A TRUST SALE USED?

Privacy is one reason a property is put into a trust because the trust, instead of individuals, will be named in any public documents regarding the property sale. Another reason is that a trust can be established which directs the proceeds go to all beneficiaries in predetermined amounts, even if one person is in charge. In cases of family disharmony, this can be a way for the property owner to make sure that the heirs receive proceeds according to their wishes, while making sure that a responsible party of their choosing is in charge of the details.

There can be significant tax benefits to putting real estate into a trust, including the reduction of estate and gift taxes. Trusts can also protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits, and allow heirs to avoid the delay and cost of probate court.

HOW IS A TRUST SALE HANDLED DIFFERENTLY?

A trust sale is handled like a regular sale, except the name of the seller is the name of the trust. The trustee signs documents and provides disclosures just as a traditional seller would. Barring special circumstances, the purchase should run in a normal fashion and on a regular timeline.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The agent will need the trust documents to show that the individuals or individuals selling are allowed to sell the property held in the trust.

The agent will pass the trust documents to the title company, and the title company will go through them and see HOW the sellers can sell (who has signing authority, etc). Depending on the trust, the title company may need to get a tax ID number for the trust, and may need a death certificate if heirs are selling the property.

The trustee of the trust makes decisions regarding the sale.

The difficulty with selling properties in trusts is that often multiple people, who may or may not get along, are involved and may have different goals in regards to the property. To successfully manage a trust sale, an agent needs excellent personal and communication skills.

If you are a trustee contemplating the sale of real property, The PRESS Team has decades of experience representing sellers of real estate through trust, probate and conservatorship. We work closely with your attorney and financial advisors to assure that you understand the sale process and the implication of your decisions along the way. Please review our pages on trust sales and contact us for additional information.

Sell Trust

If you are a trustee contemplating the sale of real property, The PRESS Team has decades of experience representing sellers of real estate through trust, probate and conservatorship. We work closely with your attorney and financial advisors to assure that you understand the sale process and the implication of your decisions along the way. Please review our pages on trust sales and contact us for additional information.

Buy Trust

While the purchase of a property offered for sale through a trust may look just like a “normal” real estate transaction, it is subject to the standards established by the Probate Code.

To assure that they meet the terms and deadlines and complete their transaction without surprises, buyers are advised to work with a sales professional who is experienced in trust sales.

WHAT IS A “TRUST” AND WHAT IS A “TRUST SALE”?

A trust is a legal entity that can hold the title to a property or other assets for one or more people or entities. A trust sale is simply when a property that is owned by a trust is sold. In order for a trust sale to occur, all of the beneficiaries of the trust must agree to the sale, unless one person has been designated to be in control of the trust.

WHEN IS A TRUST USED?

Usually a property is put into a trust when the original owner has either passed away or is no longer able to manage his or her affairs. It is becoming common for property owners to put their home in a trust instead of a will.

WHO IS A “TRUSTEE”?

The trustee is the person who controls the trust and manages its assets. The trustee may be one of the beneficiaries of the trust or an independent person.

WHY IS A TRUST SALE USED?

Privacy is one reason a property is put into a trust because the trust, instead of individuals, will be named in any public documents regarding the property sale. Another reason is that a trust can be established which directs the proceeds go to all beneficiaries in predetermined amounts, even if one person is in charge. In cases of family disharmony, this can be a way for the property owner to make sure that the heirs receive proceeds according to their wishes, while making sure that a responsible party of their choosing is in charge of the details.

There can be significant tax benefits to putting real estate into a trust, including the reduction of estate and gift taxes. Trusts can also protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits, and allow heirs to avoid the delay and cost of probate court.

HOW IS A TRUST SALE HANDLED DIFFERENTLY?

A trust sale is handled like a regular sale, except the name of the seller is the name of the trust. The trustee signs documents and provides disclosures just as a traditional seller would. Barring special circumstances, the purchase should run in a normal fashion and on a regular timeline.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The agent will need the trust documents to show that the individuals or individuals selling are allowed to sell the property held in the trust.

The agent will pass the trust documents to the title company, and the title company will go through them and see HOW the sellers can sell (who has signing authority, etc). Depending on the trust, the title company may need to get a tax ID number for the trust, and may need a death certificate if heirs are selling the property.

The trustee of the trust makes decisions regarding the sale.

The difficulty with selling properties in trusts is that often multiple people, who may or may not get along, are involved and may have different goals in regards to the property. To successfully manage a trust sale, an agent needs excellent personal and communication skills.

If you are a trustee contemplating the sale of real property, The PRESS Team has decades of experience representing sellers of real estate through trust, probate and conservatorship. We work closely with your attorney and financial advisors to assure that you understand the sale process and the implication of your decisions along the way. Please review our pages on trust sales and contact us for additional information.

Sell Trust

If you are a trustee contemplating the sale of real property, The PRESS Team has decades of experience representing sellers of real estate through trust, probate and conservatorship. We work closely with your attorney and financial advisors to assure that you understand the sale process and the implication of your decisions along the way. Please review our pages on trust sales and contact us for additional information.

Buy Trust

While the purchase of a property offered for sale through a trust may look just like a “normal” real estate transaction, it is subject to the standards established by the Probate Code.

To assure that they meet the terms and deadlines and complete their transaction without surprises, buyers are advised to work with a sales professional who is experienced in trust sales.

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