Probate Monday #2 – Finding the Public Notice Newspaper

probate investingI’ve decided on which area I will be focusing on to find probate leads (Morris County) and now it’s time to do a little detective work and uncover which newspaper contains the public notices.

Let me explain as to why we want to find the public notices.  A decadent (the deceased) still has bills and outstanding debts that must be paid.  These creditors must be notified of the persons passing in order to give them an opportunity to submit a collection claim.  One of the first duties of an executor (or personal representative) of the estate is to publish a Death Notice to the local newspaper that publishes legal notices.  The Death Notice could also be called an Estate Notice or Notice to Creditors.

I’ve searched in the past and have not really come up with definitive answer on which paper in my county published the notices as it’s usually not the major daily paper (mine being the Star Ledger or Daily Record).   I’ve gotten a hint to look for the local legal newspaper and hopefully I’ll have some luck there.

Another prime spot that I’m going to check is online.  Here are two websites that Ron suggests could be of some help…

I’m going to add to that list a check of my county’s surrogates office website.  I’m not sure what the probate court is called in other states, but in New Jersey it’s called the Surrogate’s Office.

for a list of all other surrogate websites in New Jersey you can go here…

If I don’t have any luck on my own finding the public notices I will try a few of the following

  1. call a probate attorney’s office and speak with one of the staph members
  2. talk to one of the workers at the surrogate’s office
  3. find another probate investor and ask them

If all else fails I know I’ll be able to find the probate information at the courthouse, however, working a 9 to 5 job makes it very difficult for me to make it over there before they close.  I may have to hire someone, but that is a discussion for another Probate Monday.

You have one week…GO!

P.S. Remember to post any questions or any helpful information that others could use.

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    Comments

    1. Scott,
      I went to publicnoticeads and did a search for Notice to Creditors and found the Daily Record for Morris county. There were 3 notices that came up. It may or may not be the only paper for notices. I'm finding that there can be several here in Colorado, since it is up to the PR to make the notice, they may be unaware of the cheaper options.

      Jason

    2. Have you considered the website Ron Mead promoted last week? Can't remember the URL, but you can buy the info directly from them online for many areas.

      Don't worry…if all else fails, I can't imagine calling a probate attorney would fail you. Or any attorney for that matter. Any local Esq. should know in which paper probate stuff is posted.

      …jp

    3. JP,
      the website is usprobatesleads.com I signed up last night to get 25 leads. I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes. It costs me $200 per month. Colorado has a nasty charge of $5 per file and only allows 3 files pulled per day. Raises the cost. I'm hoping it keeps others out though. Essentially he is charging me $3 per lead on top of their charge.

    4. strugglinginvestor says:

      Thanks for searching Jason. From everything I've read, the county will designate one “official” paper for all public notices to be published. Other papers may have public notices but the executor is only required to publish that designated paper.

      So far I've found two pretty good websites the might help me in Morris County, NJ

      http://root.tendtobusiness.com/Search/DisplaySe
      http://www.publicnoticeads.com/nj/

    5. strugglinginvestor says:

      Thanks JP and Jason. I'll take a look at that site, just in case someone tries to follow that link it's actually

      http://www.usprobateleads.com

      Jason you added an 's' on probate. I'm not to sure about paying for the leads right at this moment, I'd like to figure out the process first. Helps me understand what's going on.

    6. So Scott, if one has time to do the whole courthouse thang, would you think that the courthouse info is more up to date or the public notice in the paper is more up to date?

      For instance, ok Joe Smith dies (sorry Joe) is that info going to be in the courthouse file first or the public notice in the paper?

      Luckily our county doesn't charge a thing for the files at the courthouse and you literally could sit there all day and get them ALL. I tend to look through them tho and only take the ones that of course, have property.

    7. strugglinginvestor says:

      I would imagine that the court records are the most up to date, but remember that publishing the Death Notice is required in order for an estate to get through probate. In terms of a timeline though, The probate file will get opened first and then the Death Notice will be published. I'm not sure how many days or months the notice is published after the probate file is opened, but I can't imagine it being to far down the line.

      Does that answer you question?

    8. So Scott, if one has time to do the whole courthouse thang, would you think that the courthouse info is more up to date or the public notice in the paper is more up to date?

      For instance, ok Joe Smith dies (sorry Joe) is that info going to be in the courthouse file first or the public notice in the paper?

      Luckily our county doesn't charge a thing for the files at the courthouse and you literally could sit there all day and get them ALL. I tend to look through them tho and only take the ones that of course, have property.

    9. strugglinginvestor says:

      I would imagine that the court records are the most up to date, but remember that publishing the Death Notice is required in order for an estate to get through probate. In terms of a timeline though, The probate file will get opened first and then the Death Notice will be published. I'm not sure how many days or months the notice is published after the probate file is opened, but I can't imagine it being to far down the line.

      Does that answer you question?

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