PROBATE INVESTING: GETTING INSIDE THE MIND OF THE EXECUTOR SHARON VORNHOLT The executor is named in the will by the deceased. In this case the deceased has specified who they want to be in charge of their estate. In the absence of a will the court will appoint an administrator. Both the executor and the administrator (also referred to as the PR or personal representative have the same duties and legal responsibilities. That person is the decision maker, so that is the person you ideally want to be in contact with regarding the sale of the property. There are times however when one of the heirs will be the one to show you the property. This is generally because the personal representative isn’t available. Maybe they live out of town or they can’t be there for some other reason. This isn’t unusual, but you need to be aware that they cannot legally sell the property unless the heir is also the executor or administrator. Get in the habit of asking the person contacting you if they are the executor. If they say no, ask what their relationship is (family member, heir etc.), and ask who the executor is and get their contact information. The Typical Investor’s Mindset If you ask the bulk of the investors out there why they aren’t working in probates, they will tell you that they feel uncomfortable since the property is being sold due to a death. Many will say they don’t know how to talk to those sellers; they don’t know what to say. Sometimes they will say probate investing is just plain “creepy”. The truth of the matter is, these are just regular people that have a problem. They have an estate to settle that involves selling property. This whole process can be very confusing to the executor or administrator. They aren’t familiar with the terminology or the timelines. In addition to settling the estate, they have their own lives to get on with. They have jobs, families and other responsibilities. The last thing most of these people need is an unwanted property they have to sell. When you can show up as the expert, they will be so thankful for your help.