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Probate Work?

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Tony in Ohio

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
I have been doing a little work to diversify out of the Lender only field and I just received my first “probate” order. I was hoping some of you that do this work could tell me a few war stories so I know what to expect.

I think my major questions would include;

I think I have a handle on the USPAP end, and despite the minimal reporting, I plan on gridding my sales on a 2055 or URAR for my own files. Should I write up a letter stating intended use, the jurisdictional exception for fees, etc. for my own file or is that just assumed?

What if any pressure will I probably get? High/Low value? Turn Times? Politics? Other?

Am I going to have to wait till the case is settled or do lawyers pay promptly?

What is your opinion of the typical probate appraiser in your area?

Thanks for sharing
 

Fred

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Virgin Islands
Tony,
I don't see USPAP as a significant factor in probate work. The big issue for me in probate work is getting paid. (Remember the property owner is not around any more).
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I do lots of work for attorneys, bankrupcy, estate taxation, elder law etc. I usually prepare a URAR along with a cover letter. I think that following USPAP is important since you can defend your work by showing that you followed standards.

As for getting paid, I usually have the client pay me COD. In some cases the attorney will guarantee payment. Do not agree to wait until the case is closed for your money.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I do lots of work for attorneys, bankrupcy, estate taxation, elder law etc. I usually prepare a URAR along with a cover letter. I think that following USPAP is important since you can defend your work by showing that you followed standards.

As for getting paid, I usually have the client pay me COD. In some cases the attorney will guarantee payment. Do not agree to wait until the case is closed for your money.
 

Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I have just upgrading my Lic. to certified residential and I too am looking to diversify. What, in your opinion, do I need to become competent for this area (Probate) of appraisal. Educational and experiance. I have some contacts?
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Consider all probate work COD. In fact, ask the personal representative for a check at the time you do the inspection.

Effective date should be the date of death. Be careful about condition, old folks who are dying seldom keep the place up. Value shouldn't be an issue, the market is the market.

Consider doing a mailing to all the attorneys in your marketing area. Develop a list of fax numbers and do a "fax" mailing on a regular basis. Yellow page ad could say "Probate Specialist". Mine doesn't but it's a good idea. See if there is a legal services referral program in your area...good place to be known.

Lastly, after you do a couple for an attorney...ask for a referral.
 

Tony in Ohio

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
Thanks for all the good advice everyone,

My big question with collecting COD is based on the fee. The court allows us to set our own fees, but limits them to $x.xx/$1,000 of appraised value. I don’t understand how you can avoid exceeding this on ones that turn out to be a really crappy property if you charge a set fee that is anything approaching reasonable. Also, while I am pretty sure that there is a customary fee range for such work, I do not really know anyone in my market who does it so I am riding a little blind. I am sure that the lawyers will let me know what they usually pay, but ….. :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Tony,
I don't know if Ohio limits fees but I do know that in some bankrupcy cases the appraiser must be appointed by the court. The best way to deal with these situations is to have a long talk with the attorney before you start work. Tell the attorney what you charge rather than ask them what they want to pay.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Tony,
I don't know if Ohio limits fees but I do know that in some bankrupcy cases the appraiser must be appointed by the court. The best way to deal with these situations is to have a long talk with the attorney before you start work. Tell the attorney what you charge rather than ask them what they want to pay.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Tony Kohnle said:
The court allows us to set our own fees, but limits them to $x.xx/$1,000 of appraised value. quote]

Woof!

That sounds perilously close to running yourself into a USPAP violation!?!?!

My fee is not dependant on the results of this valueation... or whatever wording is in your specific certification.... I don't have one in hand but ?!?!?, particularly as you indicate on the low end properties...

I guess you can do the work sort of pro bono, but you may need to have a discussion with your client or whoever is in cahrge of that particular law!

There are always exclusions... but the cleint/lawyer would need to make a motion for acceptance/waiver by the court. Business decision time I think!

BTW all the advice about collect up front is QUITE good advice, unless the attorney in charge is a highly responsible kind of person: lawyers are notoriously difficult to collect from!
 
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