One of our niches in real estate is...Estates. Just as in divorce related transactions...the emotions can run at a high pitch...the "Mom always liked me best...wanted me to have...." claims are made and often when the last parent is gone,...the family as it once was, is no longer. People steal, lie, complain, sue...and as a real estate agent...you can be somewhere in the middle of the fray with your focus on selling property and communicating with necessary parties in a timetable that the law may sometimes dictate. The FOR SALE sign cannot go on the property moments after the funeral....the necessary steps for Probate if there is a will...a Trust...OR what happens when neither exists, are spelled out in the laws of each state. There are heirs who are anxious to sell who may not have the authority or understand the process. If you are considering this as a niche, we recommend with any niche...education first. Beware of the get rich quick, sell dozens of listings a month courses advertised in social media.
Sometimes we are contacted well in advance and refer the all important legal structure to one of our trusted attorneys. Who is the personal representative,....who holds the health care power of attorney...what if a parent comes to live with a child or the child with the parent...having everyone know all the details in advance of having to execute the plan is valuable to everyone.
There are many people who choose to name heirs because they were people valued during their lifetime. People are left off of the list of heirs for the opposite reason...being a sibling, a child or dear friend does not secure any inheritance....and often,...that isn't learned until the will is read or the provisions of the trust become known.
For reasons that escape our minds...children decide that equal division of assets is just not equal enough....when money is involved the green eyed monster of greed appears....and can result in lengthy and expensive legal proceedings. Anyone can sue an estate and the estate's assets dwindle with legal fees paid as the war among the heirs escalates. Certainly the Parent who is fortunately, not witness to these selfish acts would be surprised and hurt that siblings dishonored their wishes.
Well written wills/trusts always have a "plan b ...c, d" that is...no one knows when someone will die or become incapacitated and that may well change the division of property or the designation of a personal representative.
There is more to working with estates than putting a sign in the yard and a listing on MLS...if you choose it as a niche...as with any other...choose education first to best serve your clients as a real estate agent,
If you are named the personal repreesentative for an estate, know your responsibilities. If you live in southeastern Wisconsin and are looking to hire real estate agents with estate experience...call the Hansons, Broker Associates with EXP Realty, LLC,