Inheritance Data vs Probate Leads Lists

In the last post, I defined some terms, making the distinction between inheritance data – aka ‘pre-probate’ lists, and probate leads mined from courthouse-compiled data. While there is no crystal ball and no one can predict the future, the vast majority of executors or administrators that are interjected into a probate case want to sell the property to infuse much-needed liquidity in the estate.

That is not to say, however, that there is not a place in your prospecting campaign for inherited lists. One advantage to these type of leads is that you will have a bigger pool to tap into. Since death does not equal probate and the whole probate process is circumvented in many cases by way of a living trust, there are considerably more records to select in any given market.

This seems to be valuable to real estate agents and investors that concentrate on a small farm area – it seems like a lot of REALTORS® I speak with want to find opportunities in their own backyard. By working an inherited property list, you can select a handful of zip codes to populate a meaningful amount of leads.

There is no such luxury with probate. Since probate lead lists are generated from the county courthouse, they will be county-wide with no provision to filter them by city or zip code.

So, like most things in life, it is a trade-off. You can slice inheritance lists more finitely, or you can cover a larger area to find potential sellers that are on balance, more motivated to sell the estate property.


Jim Rutkowski has married his legal background with his real estate experience and passion for marketing to help real estate agents, investors, property management & financial professionals get more consummated transactions by getting their message out to families that have duties under a will, probate proceeding or trust agreement. If you are in the arena of probate, trust or inheritance, Jim is always happy to bounce some ideas around – call him at 310-595-5112 or send a scribe to



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