Trust and Estate Solutions
first PROBATE Loans

Hi, I'm Jonathan Brooks, the principal of First Probate. First Probate provides short term loans to fiduciaries - executors, administrators, trustees, conservators and guardians - who borrow on behalf of trusts and estates.  First Probate specializes in resolving challenging and difficult title problems associated with trusts and estates.    I have provided these services to the probate community for more than 20 years.


First Probate is happy to provide you with a complimentary property profile, recorded lien and last vesting deed, upon request (Send us an email).  


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  



What to Know About Reverse Mortgages
By Jonathan Brooks, President, First Probate Loans
In my business of extending credit to trust and probate estates, I regularly payoff reverse mortgages. To assist the Trust and Estate Bar, I have added the following Reverse Mortgage Informational Guide, published by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, to our First Probate website  link to article

Addressing Complex Borrowing Challenges: Success Stories from First Probate Loans
By Jonathan Brooks, President, First Probate Loans
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. 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.
First Probate Loans introduced a new loan product a few years ago to provide liquidity to upgrade, fix, enhance and/or clean up homes, to allow the family to obtain the best sale value. Visit our website for more information

These loans can be first trust deeds or in junior position (2nd, 3rd, or even 4th position) and be used for all loan purposes to benefit an estate. The terms of the loan can be tailored to the specific estate's needs. For example, if the estate can make payments, a simple amortizing or partially amortizing loan may be the best value. Or, should the trust or estate be unable to make payments a straight note may be the best option. A straight note has no payments; and, all principal and interest payments are due at the maturity date of the promissory note. Loan terms are usually 12-24 months; interest rates vary depending on location, lien position, loan to value, and the ability to make payments.

Selling and Listing Valuation A dvice
By Carol A. Scurlock, JD, ePro, SRES, GHS
CA Realtor No: 01744622
Ms. Scurlock can be reached at:  
In my 30+ years working with decedent real property; attorneys, realtors and appraisers should be aware that property valuation can be skewed by the comparisons sales ("comps") that have been recently flipped and rehabbed affect the comps in different ways in comparison to probate properties being sold "AS-IS". 
I recommend looking at the actual sold properties ("Solds") and evaluate each property for evidence of renovations that cause the Listing Prices to be higher.  However, the whole process makes the "real market prices" difficult to access.  So, practitioners need to be careful in setting realistic home value prices after renovations.  Properties may have longer days on the market while the buyers' market determines what the market will bear.
Website Resource Guide for Fiduciaries and their Attorneys including Practical Tips for
Non Pro-Rata Distributions to Avoid the Property Tax Reassessment Event
In my business of arranging loans to trusts and estates, I work directly with fiduciaries and their attorneys. This resource guide will assist you to quickly find what you're looking for::
  • To find out what is necessary to obtain a probate loan,  go here 
  • To find out what is necessary to obtain a trust loan, go here 
  • To learn more about funding Non Pro-Rata Distributions to Avoid the Property Tax Reassessment Event, go here 
  • To learn more about Paying Off Reverse Mortgages, go here 
  • To learn more about Loans to Upgrade Trust and Estate Real Property Prior to Sale, go here
Have Questions?
We're happy to help answer any questions you have.

(818) 788-2308