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Questions Answered by Gerald Barry Dorfman
1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Sale of Property - Title parties disagree

Sorry, I'm sure this is not an original question, but here it is.

My name is listed as one of two on the deed of a property. There are no banks nor outside liens against the property. Party Two physically lives on the property, while Party One (me) would like to live there. However,... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jan 17, 2021

You can file a court action for "partition". The court will order the sale of the property (assuming physical division is not appropriate). Often, once such an action is filed (sometimes just after getting an attorney letter that filing is imminent) parties will work out a settlement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Need info on wording for deed. 3 people owned house together and assumed it was survivor rights. However deed lists each

Deed just lists each name with percentage equally held. One passed away and we are attempting to refinance. Days away from closing title co now says we must go through probate. Attempting to determine what our deed wording means

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jan 10, 2021

You are going to have to pay a lawyer to actually read the language of the deed, but from what you have posted, it is likely that probate will be required. Nothing you posted indicates the property was held in joint tenancy with the deceased.

2 Answers | Asked in Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death for California on
Q: Hello there , Is there any path of legal options on a sepsis death of a 64 year old from a heart valve replacement ?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jan 5, 2021

Yes. It begins with expert opinions that the "standard of care" was violated, and that that violation legally "caused" the death.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Is power of attorney all that's needed to get access to deceased mothers bank account

My mother recently passed away. I have a will and a power of attorney signed by my mother. I am her sole survivor. The bank will not allow me to access her bank account saying that I need to go to the county and get a small estate affidavit and/or appointment papers as the... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jan 2, 2021

Sorry for your loss. A power of attorney expires when the person who gave it dies. So, you can not use the power of attorney to access the bank account. You can use a small estate affidavit if the estate is small enough, but it is not something the County will provide for you. Otherwise, you... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Probate for California on
Q: my siblings took my dad and grandma to the lawyer office to change their will to a living trust

I'm a abused beneficiary my siblings won't show me my dad and grandma accounting I believe they're are stealing from my dad and grandma they change their mailing address to a p.o box I've believe my grandma and dad been abused physically and mentally.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 27, 2020

You can report your observations and suspicions to Adult Protective Services in the counties in which your grandma and dad reside. They will conduct an investigation.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: I am trying to find a Probate attorney. Unfortunately my boyfriend left a holographic will that names me as executor.

Because he listed so many beneficiaries I am running into a problem finding someone who will take it. What happens then?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 23, 2020

Sorry for your loss. If you are in possession of the will, you need to "lodge" it with the court in the county in which your boyfriend last resided. If the estate is large enough, it should not be a problem finding a probate attorney, even with a large number of beneficiaries. If you... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: Do car insurance companies cover damage to personal property that was inside a vehicle at the time of an accident.

My van had 5 road bikes in it when it was smashed by a drunk driver. The driver's insurance company isn't paying for damage to the bikes.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 22, 2020

A driver's insurance should cover all the damage done by the collision, up to the policy limit amount. The company's refusal to pay may be related to a policy limit problem or a question of your proof of loss. You may need to sue, obtain a judgement, and then collect the proceeds.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can my landlord's property management company do quarterly or semi-annual inspections to "check-up" on the property?

I signed a rental agreement in September of 2020 and I noticed a clause that said the property management company will perform non-specific inspections, pretty much to check on the property and the tenants. We haven't been here 90 days and they are already trying to do said inspection. Do they... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 8, 2020

Civil Code section 1954 covers the landlord's right to enter a dwelling unit. It does NOT provide for general "inspections". Any provision in a lease or rental agreement purporting to have a tenant waive their rights under section 1954 is void [Civil Code section 1953(a)]. You... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mother pass away 4/11/2020. It is now 11/30/2020 and no deed to my home

Daughter is executor. I don't have a lawyer. Daughter has asked me 4 times to put the deed in her name so she can buy property in Tennessee. Transfer of deed daughter states has to go into her name then to me the beneficiary and not directly to me.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Dec 1, 2020

This does not sound right. If the estate is in probate, and your daughter has been appointed executor, then the court process will have to be followed, and the property will pass according to the will. If the property is in trust, and your daughter is the successor trustee, the transfer should... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: Is a legal nonconforming auto service station required to comply with business regulations such as hours, tow yard ?

the neighborhood that I live in has been having ongoing issues with an auto service station. Neighbors have contacted the Code Enforcement unit because of various activities that we believe should not be allowed at that property, including:

painting vehicles outdoors and releasing chemical... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Oct 22, 2020

Even though it may not be a code enforcement issue, it may still constitute a "nuisance". Private parties, with very limited exceptions, can not bring a legal action for a "public" nuisance, but they may bring an action for a private nuisance. If you can't get the City... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: Can I put a lien on debtors property if the IRS has a lien already
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Oct 21, 2020

Yes, although the IRS lien will have priority, you can record an abstract of judgement in order to create a lien on a debtor's real property.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Hi, can a customer sue us for asking him to wear a mask?

We are a franchise restaurant located in Ladera Ranch Orange County California.

One customer came to our restaurant without the mask, so we asked him to cover his face.

He refused it due to medical condition. we never forced him to wear it, but asked him to place the order online.... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Oct 13, 2020

With very limited exceptions, anyone can file a lawsuit. However, you will win based on the facts you stated here. If he really does file suit, depending on the court and his legal theory, you may even be able to recover any attorney fees you are required to spend. Since you no doubt have... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I have 3 of 4 people on a deed for vacant land who want to sell. Can the 4th person be forced to sell?

The 4th person is going through dementia & her caregiver is trying to make decisions for her & will not allow us to speak with her.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 24, 2020

The standard way to force a co-owner to sell real estate is through a "partition action". That is a lawsuit where the court orders the division or sale of property. It takes time and can be expensive. In your situation, it might make more sense to see about instituting a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Do the attorneys who defended me on a civil case have any obligation to defend me on another civil suit?

A year ago I prevailed in a breach of contract case brought against me. Now the plaintiffs from that case are attempting to sue me for "wrongful use of civil procedures" from the breach of contract case. The plaintiff complains about the manner in which my attorney's defended me in... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 24, 2020

No one can answer your question with any degree of certainty without a thorough analysis of all the facts. However, it sounds like a very good possibility that you may prevail in the current case by promptly bringing an anti-SLAPP motion. If so, you would be entitled to recovery your attorney... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My landlord let the cops in my apartment while my family was sleeping. There’s was no warrants issued nor an emergency.

Is that legal for him to unlock the doors and allow the cops in?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 18, 2020

That is not legal in the State of California. See, for example, Civil Code section 1954.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: in CA, do i still have to do probate if all my grandma owned was her home? im on the deed already
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 18, 2020

If the deed names you as the person to whom the property is transferred upon death, or if you are listed as a joint tenant, then no, probate will not be required. You do have to take care of the correct paperwork.

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3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a landlord refuse to rent to someone who is self-employed?

We are a couple, both over 55, who own our own company. We have credit over 800 (each of us) , joint income over 100k, and savings that would cover rent for several years. We tried to rent in a 55 + community to see if we like it before we buy there. One unit was $2200 and the other $2400. Both... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 17, 2020

Unfortunately for you, the general rule is that a landlord is not required to rent to anyone they do not want to rent to. Very notable exceptions include discrimination against members of protected categories, but self employed is not one of those categories. The good news is, despite these... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I've been paying my apt rent through COVID. Can I terminate mid-contract and move out without losing money and credit?

I live in a residential apartment complex in Los Angeles. I've never had a late payment, despite COVID. Although, due to COVID all the amenities in this complex have been shut down (I believe my rent includes the cost of these amenities). Also, the general safety-level of the overall... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 15, 2020

No, the COVID-19 related legal changes do not allow cancellation of a lease under the circumstances you describe.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Who owns what in this multifamily complex?

Grant Deed cites "Mr X and Ms. Y and Mr Z and Mrs Z, husband and wife as community property with right of survivorship." Mr & Mrs Z manage 2 rental units; separately Mr X and Ms Y serve eviction for owner move-in on the 3rd unit. Wouldn't the eviction need to be served by Mr... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 5, 2020

You should do your own homework assignments.

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6 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for California on
Q: I was in a boat fire and suffered 3&4th degree burns on my hands and face. How do I file a claim for damages?

My friend & I were in a boat fire and suffered 3&4 the degree burns over large amounts of our bodies. We were hospitalized for over a month while intubated coma. How do I file a claim for damages?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Sep 1, 2020

It almost never makes sense for an injured person in California to handle their own personal injury claim. The more serious the claim, the less sense it makes. Insurance companies can and do take advantage of unrepresented people, and injured people who have lawyers tend to get much more... Read more »

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