What is Title Insurance?

We’ve had the privilege to sit down with Kevin Sayles, Vice President at Lawyers Title, a prominent figure in the Los Angeles probate real estate scene. Kevin’s wealth of knowledge in the field is unmatched, making him a trusted advisor for anyone dealing with probate properties. In this informative article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of title insurance and the probate process, exploring key insights from Kevin’s expertise.

Understanding Title Insurance and Its Role in Real Estate

Title insurance is a crucial component of real estate transactions, ensuring the smooth transfer of property ownership from sellers to buyers. Kevin eloquently breaks down the essence of title insurance, highlighting its significance in the probate process:

  • Ownership Verification: Title insurance verifies the authenticity of property ownership, especially in cases where common names like “John Doe” can lead to confusion. The title company ensures that the seller is the rightful owner, safeguarding against potential impersonation or fraud.
  • Clearing Liens and Judgments: The title company investigates and clears any outstanding debts, liens, or judgments associated with the property. This meticulous process ensures that buyers acquire the property free from any encumbrances.

Probate vs. Regular Transactions: Unraveling the Differences

Probate transactions introduce unique challenges compared to regular real estate deals. Kevin clarifies the distinctions, particularly when the property owner has passed away:

  • Role of Court Documents: In probate cases, court documents play a pivotal role in establishing the authority to sell the property. These documents, such as letters of administration or letters testamentary, designate the executor or administrator responsible for the estate, ensuring a legal and legitimate transaction.
  • Trust Properties: When a property is held in a trust, the trustee’s role is crucial. The trust document dictates the successor trustee’s authority, streamlining the process of transferring property ownership without the need for court intervention.

Safeguards and Regulations in Probate Sales

Probate sales require meticulous attention to detail to prevent potential exploitation. Kevin sheds light on the safeguards and regulations in place:

  • Notice of Proposed Action: The probate code mandates sending a Notice of Proposed Action to heirs, notifying them of the intended transaction. This transparency ensures that all involved parties are informed, promoting fairness and preventing disputes.
  • Publishing Requirements: Probate sales necessitate public notifications to creditors, alerting them about the ongoing transaction. Meeting these publishing requirements is vital to validate the sale and protect the interests of all stakeholders.

Expert Advice and Ethical Standards

Kevin emphasizes the importance of seeking expert advice and adhering to ethical standards in probate real estate dealings:

  • Expert Guidance: Engaging experienced professionals, such as probate realtors and title experts, is paramount. Their knowledge of local regulations and nuances can guide sellers and buyers through the intricacies of probate transactions.
  • Ethical Integrity: Upholding ethical integrity is non-negotiable. Kevin advises against relying on questionable practices, urging individuals to be transparent, honest, and diligent throughout the process. Building trust among all parties involved ensures a smoother and more successful transaction.


Navigating the probate real estate landscape demands a combination of expertise, integrity, and adherence to legal protocols. Kevin Sayles, with his wealth of knowledge and ethical approach, stands as a beacon of guidance in this complex field. Whether you’re a seller, buyer, or real estate professional, understanding the nuances of title insurance and probate transactions is vital. Stay tuned for more insights from Kevin Sayles, the expert shaping the future of probate real estate.

🗣️Notable Quotes:

“We ensure the transfer from the seller to the buyer. We take on some of the liabilities with our insurance policy to ensure that the property is cleared of any ties from the seller before it goes to the name of the buyers.”

📇Connecting with Kevin:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ksayles/

Instagram: @sayleskevin

Website: https://laltic.com/KevinSayles

📺Full Episode

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DISCLAIMER: The Probate Realtor® Matias Baker Masucci is a licensed real estate broker in California DRE # 02054763. Any legal information provided is for informational purposes only and NOT for the purpose of providing legal advice. Contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue or problem. We make no guarantees as to the accuracy of any information.

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