Trust and Estate Solutions
first PROBATE Loans

Hi, I'm Jonathan Brooks the principal of First Probate. As you probably know, First Probate is a real estate broker specializing in providing liquidity for estates providing services to trustees, administrators, executors, conservators and heirs.


I have provided these services to the Probate Community for more than twenty years.


This publication represents a new initiative to provide services to the Probate Community. I am well aware that we are all awash in email communications, so I am hoping that the method of delivery and level of information will distinguish me and my company from the endless onslaught from other services.


First, this publication will only be emailed on a QUARTERLY basis. The delivery dates scheduled for this year are February, May, August and November.


Second, I am going to use every ounce of effort and intelligence I possess to make the information presented useful, intelligible, and perhaps even entertaining.        


Take a look at this first issue to see if I am on the mark.

If you have any comments simply hit REPLY and let me know.  

If you have some information that you would like to communicate to the Probate Community, forward it to me for consideration.

Lastly, if I haven't convinced you that my newsletter is worthwhile, just press "SafeUnsubscribe" below.


Here's hoping we continue to stay in touch and that we may be of service to you!


Very truly yours,

Jonathan Brooks  



Managing the Probate Financing Process
Working with fiduciaries and their attorneys to borrow on behalf of trusts and estates is no small matter with complex probate, national and local real property, and finance lending laws. First Probate Loans manages the probate financing process for short-term loans to trusts and estates, post-property distribution loans, and distributions of trusts and estates. 

The following examples illustrate the firm's highly specialized expertise in assisting fiduciaries, and its reputation for resolving challenging and difficult problems.


  • Paying for conservatorship costs: A PFAC member was appointed conservator of an estate with real property valued at $400,000. The fiduciary obtained a court order to borrow $200,000 from First Probate Loans to pay for the ongoing costs of the conservatorship. 
  • Helping heirs keep the family home: In a case where a PFAC member was named the court-appointed administrator of a decedent's estate, intestate heirs wanted to keep the family home. The estate, however, had no liquidity to pay administration expenses, including attorney fees, administrator commissions and creditor claims. The member was able to obtain a court order to borrow $50,000 from First Probate Loans. Fees, commissions and claims were ordered paid, with the property distributed subject to the First Probate Loans lien. First Probate Loans then arranged long-term financing for the heirs. 
  • Netting profits for a trust estate: A PFAC member was named the court-appointed successor trustee (and conservator) of an estate with real property valued at $1.7 million. The first trust deed was $1 million; the member and her attorneys negotiated down a Franchise Tax Board lien of $1.5 million to $100,000. She obtained a court order for a second trust deed, which First Probate Loans funded, to pay off the lien. The court approved the sale of the property for $2.2 million. The PFAC member netted the trust estate $1.7-1.8 million from her services, the sale and the First Probate Loans financing.
Fiduciaries looking to borrow on behalf of trusts and estates, and obtain loans at competitive rates, need a partner that can navigate complicated waters effectively and efficiently. Finding the right firm results in positive results for all parties.
Property Tax Re-Assessment Strategies
Fiduciaries can save a family an immense amount of money through careful estate planning. A common strategy to prevent a property tax reassessment event, and the resultant higher property tax, is for a third party lender to loan money directly to a trust or estate prior to distribution.

Many family homes in the 1960s or 1970s were purchased for $50,000.00 or less. These homes are now valued at 10-30 times the original purchase price. If the current property tax is $500-$1,000 per year, the reassessed property tax could be $5,000 to $30,000 or higher; and per year savings is enormous.


"The State Board of Equalization has taken the position that where the value of the real property being distributed exceeds the beneficiary's share of the trust . . ., the fiduciary making the distribution may avoid reassessment by placing debt on the property to adjust the value of the assets distributed to the various beneficiaries. The preferred method of encumbering the property is to have the trustee obtain a loan from a third party lender." California Trust and Estates Quarterly, Volume 12, Issue 4 - Winter 2007.


If after distribution, one beneficiary buys out another, then the transfer will trigger a reassessment event. The alternative is for a third party lender to loan directly to the fiduciary, pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 63.1.


I have a great deal of experience in working with fiduciaries and their attorneys, effectuating these property tax reassessment strategy loans.
Have Questions?
We're happy to help answer any questions you have.