What Defines You in Your Role When Administering an Estate? – Fiduciary Broker Vlog #5

Hi, I’m Dan Collins – a Sacramento, California licensed real estate broker with expertise in real property matters involving Probates and Trusts. I am also a California licensed general contractor and I act as court appointed receiver administrator for the Superior Court.  If you have found yourself tasked with being an Executor administering a Probate or a Trustee in an estate, I can help you effectively execute your duties that attorneys do not help you with. To learn more, please visit my website: probate-realtor.biz

Today’s subject is about serving as a Trustee or an Administer to an Estate, and the obligation to act as a fiduciary in your role. I read a Zig Ziglar quote this morning that was very appropriate to this subject.  Mr. Ziglar stated: “Integrity eliminates guilt, because you do the right thing.”

If you are a family member that has been tasked to administer an estate, you may not know it but your actions will define you, and your family’s opinion of you, for years into the future.  I know this from my own personal experience having acted as Probate Administrator in my father’s estate, and as the Trustee in my mother’ estate. If you have recently been appointed as a personal representative to a Probate or, as a Trustee to administer an estate, you will be presented with challenges in the coming months that you never imagined.

Let me share with you a story about a very difficult I challenge I personally had to negotiate while acting as a Trustee administrating my mother’s estate. To complete the distributions to my siblings, who were beneficiaries, I needed to sell an income property that her estate partially owned. The tenant had provided me with the required written notice of their intention to exercise the option to purchase, and my siblings and I were anxious to complete that sale and make the final distributions of the estate.

I had a willing buyer, who was the tenant in the property, but his business partner objected to the terms.  The negotiations to settle with his unhappy partner took almost three months, during which time the bank withdrew its offer to fund the loan.

Meanwhile, my younger sister, who had anticipating that the sale would be completed, and that she would receive a cash distribution, had gone under contract to buy a home in the city where she lived. She had placed a large non-refundable deposit on the home and had days to close her acquisition or she would forfeit her large deposit. As you can imagine, this created a lot of stress on me to perform and meet everyone’s expectations.

Despite years of experience as a court appointed receiver administrator, and years of experience with all facets of probate, I found myself in a defining moment in my life.  I knew that how I handled this situation would define my relationship with my siblings for the rest of my life.  Fortunately, following the integrity advice of Zig Ziglar, I met the challenge head on and I did the right thing for my siblings.

I managed to salvage the sale of the trust owned property, I found a bridge loan for my sister, so she did not have to forfeit her deposit and lose the home she and her husband wanted, and I made it possible for the tenant to get new preferred loan terms from their lender.  It was the best solution for everyone, even though I personally had to give up a lot financially to make it happen.  But I absolutely don’t regret the decisions I made at my own expense because I kept my relationship with my siblings in good standing.

And that’s the same advice I would give anyone who is a trustee or an administrator to an estate: Do the right thing!  Benefiting yourself at the expense of others is a recipe for broken relationships and poor reputations.  In the long run, the potential financial gains are never worth the lifelong costs of bitter hurt feelings, and family rifts that can sometimes last for generations.

My name is Dan Collins, I act as a “fiduciary broker” in probates and trusts that involve real property assets.  To learn more, please visit my website: probte-realtor.biz

Thank you for joining me today.