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Questions Answered by Jonathan Purcell
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Do I need a living trust if the beneficiary is already in the property title?

I have a couple of homes. One is paid for; the second one is about half the way through the loan life. My wife is on both titles, but I am the loan borrower alone.

I want to create a living trust. Does she need to be named if she is in the title already? We (wife and I) have a son; can I... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Sep 12, 2021

Contemplating the post mortem disposition of your two properties , is important, and I encourage you to continue down this path,

but I believe you would be better served by engaging in

a comprehensive estate plan with an estate planning attorney.

The information presented...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I am being offered money for a lot I own. Problem is I have no record of how much I paid for it back in 2003. It's a sma

I am being offered money for a lot I own. Problem is I have no record of how much I paid for it back in 2003. It's a small dirt lot and paid under $1,000 for it. I am being offered more than that. How do I work this in my 2021 taxes when I file if I will have no idea how much I paid in order... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jul 29, 2021

Real property is normally transferred by a deed that includes a description of property, an assessor's parcel number, and a chain of title in the public record.

Assuming that you have already researched the property in the relevant county, It seems like your 'lot' may be a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: When a Trust gets restated is the initial Trust still have power as a separate Trust?

My Grandparents made their Living Trust in 1993. In 1995 my Grandmother passes away , in 1998 my Grandfather makes some changes to Trust as a survivor and his Trust is known as Trust B while my Grandma’s is known as decedent Trust “A”. My Grandfather passed away in 2007. Trust A instructs... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jun 14, 2021

I suggest you hire an attorney to perform a detailed reading of the trust, write a description of the trust provisions, and explain the interaction between the trust components.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Is this illegal?? I'm attempting to rent a condo with a "watered down house hacking" idea.

I want to house hack (buy a property, live in it, rent out the other rooms to pay expenses, cash flow, live for free, etc.) But living in soCal I can't do that yet. So, I was thinking what if I find a 3bd condo, find 2 roommates, furnish the shared spaces with my furniture, bring my Wi-fi... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jun 7, 2021

The enterprise you are suggesting is a sublease. It is done on different scales from residential real estate, to large retail establishments. I suggest you find a model residential sublease or two on the internet, and read through the legalese, while keeping in mind that every problem the sublease... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I am a real estate agent and want to set up an LLC. What or who is the most affordable attorney or advisor to assist me
Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jun 1, 2021

A: Your LLC must pay the annual franchise fee of $800, file federal and state taxes, as well as quarterlies.

Failure to fulfill your obligations will result in interest and penalties, interest on penalties, and penalties on interest, as well as letters from the FTB. It is a good idea to get...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My mother passed and left her estate to her living children. Since she passed three of her nine children have passed.

Does the estate get divided between the living children. My mother said she only wanted her children to have her estate or does the deceased children receive it?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 27, 2021

If your Mother died with a trust, the terms of the trust will determine the distribution of assets to her descendants.

I suggest you have an attorney read your Mother's trust and explain the distribution of assets when an heir dies before the distribution of assets.

The...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can I sell my lot person to person without involving a realtor or lawyer if both parties are in complete agreement?

I own an undeveloped lot in Tulare, CA. and the people who own the lot next to it have wanted to purchase mine for awhile. I have finally decided to sell it because my husband and I have found a lovely house with plenty of acreage in Wisconsin. I have talked with the other lot's owners, quoted... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 20, 2021

Most likely the transaction will require a title company.

Title companies usually have a relationship with an attorney, or an attorney on staff, if needed.

If you and your counter-party have agreed on a price, you should be able to avoid a broker's fee.

Without a broker...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Landlord wants to sell the home Im renting. Real estate investor filed for eviction

My Landlord wants to sell the home Im renting from her. The real estate investor who is interested in buying the home first served me with a 30 day notice to "voluntarily" vacate the home. 2 months later the investor interested in buying the home filed an unlawful detainer with the court... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 19, 2021

Reading through your lease may partially illuminate your options.

This posting does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. For specific...
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3 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Do I have to pay the CA franchise and file annual income tax for a newly formed single member LLC with no income?

Hello

I created a new LLC last July and I'm the only member.

So far the LLC has not been operative and has generated no revenue.

Do I need to file an income Tax return or pay the $800 California Franchisee tax?

Thank you.

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 17, 2021

Your LLC must pay the annual franchise fee of $800, file federal and state taxes, as well as quarterlies.

Failure to fulfill your obligation will result in interest and penalties, interest on penalties, and penalties on interest. It is a good idea to get a book keeper to fulfill the filing...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: How do I sell my interest in property in Kern County I own with my sisters? They won't talk to me so I can't ask them

The property was purchased in the early 80's. My parents out us kids on the deed(?) so we all owned it. My mom died in 1989. My dad died in 2003. My step sister says the land us her moms and my dad wanted me to sign a quit claim. I know that's a lie.

My father and his wife took... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 13, 2021

I suggest you contact a real estate attorney in Kern county regarding a petition of the property, in the hope that your attorney will be able to negotiate an out of court monetary settlement.

This posting does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My mother died and I am her sole beneficiary in a trust. Is it more beneficial to leave trust intact with EIN or not?

My mother recently passed away and I am her sole beneficiary in a revocable trust (which is now an irrevocable trust on her passing). The trust contains two CDs and an annuity. When the trust was made, the lawyer that made it advised me to close these accounts and re-open them in accounts in my... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on May 8, 2021

Consider:

1. Estate income tax uses a different type of accounting than personal income tax.

2. Transferring your trust assets to your personal ownership will collapse your tax return obligations into one personal income return with which you are already mostly familiar....
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for California on
Q: What can be done if "B" trust assets were donated benefiting "A" trust executor and second wife?

Father-in-law is Bill. His 1st wife is Mary. They had a trust that owned 20 rental homes. Beneficiaries were 3 kids. About a year after Mary died, Bill remarried. Ten yrs later, Bill and second wife Joyce created a trust. At that time, 10 rentals were put in a "B" trust (Mary's... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Apr 12, 2021

The 'B' subtrust of the Mary and Bill trust, holds ten properties.

Joyce presumably has a right to periodic income from rents.

Could a loan be arranged using equity based on one or more properties to secure a loan, which would be repaid on the death of Joyce?

This...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I live in a house that was gifted to me. If I sell this and buy a new home will it still be considered separate property

My home is considered separate because it was gifted, but if I sell this and buy a new home while still married, will the new home still be separate property or would it now be considered community property? I live in California.

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 20, 2021

I suggest you contact an attorney before you sell your house, or transfer the proceeds of a sale into a bank account. In general, separate property that is commingled with another person, such as money in a joint bank account, may not be considered as separate property after it is commingled,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My daughter left no will but had made me beneficiary of all she had. Do I need to go to court for anything?

Her bank accts, life insurance and house were all under both our names

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 14, 2021

Bank and life insurance should pass through beneficiary designation by providing to the relevant institutions a certified death certificate and your credentials.

Assuming that the house was held in joint tenancy, You will need to file AFFIDAVIT - DEATH OF JOINT TENANT, a Preliminary...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What is the best way to remove my mother in law and deceased Father in law from my deed.

30 years ago we bought a house with my Father and mother in law. The verbal agreement was that they would provide the down payment and we would make the payments and pay for the utilities and take care of my mother in law when my father in law passed. The house is held as Joint tenants and my... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 13, 2021

In general, the Statute of Frauds requires that certain transactions must be in writing.

See, California Civil Code Section 1624(a)(3)

This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My grandmother died without a will about 5 years ago without a will. Left a real estate property.

My grandmother died without a will about 5 years ago. She has a property and my dad is being paying for the loan & taxes?

How can my dad transfer the house to himself? Or what’s the route to go to?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Mar 13, 2021

If there are no testamentary documents such as a will or trust, you will need to have an attorney file for probate in the appropriate court. The probate court will determine who will inherit the property.

This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Our mom died now my sister and I are the equal owners of her trust. I have a 25 year contract to farm the almonds

The lease states: “if the property is sold during the term of the lease the lease shall terminate and the lessee shall be entitled to the sum of $5000 per year for all years remaining on the lease as liquidated damages.”

If I buy the property before the lease is over does the trust owe... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 20, 2021

You should have an attorney review the lease, the contract, and the trust, as well as other real estate documents.

This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Should a real estate agent or attorney be hired to facilitate a tenants-in-common sale between the co-owners?

It is not required in California to have a real estate attorney, but given that the seller already has a buyer, i.e. one co-owner is selling their share to the other co-owner, would it possibly be cheaper to have a real estate attorney draw up documents instead of a real estate agent?

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 2, 2021

You might consider contacting a title company.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In California, the DMV has their own specialized small estate affidavit form. However I'm a bit confused about this part

Example: My friend's dad's car was solely owned in his name, and no beneficiary was designated in the title, but the friend is a beneficiary in his will. However for small estates the gross value has to be below $166,250, yet cars are excluded from determining the value for this kind of... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Feb 2, 2021

There are a variety of methods to transfer assets post-mortem, including trusts, wills, intestacy, beneficiary designations, etc.

The DMV provides a method of transfer that is specific to vehicles.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: I have two mortgages on two properties in CA. One will soon be used as a rental. Is it better to consolidate the two?

I should refinance both properties now because I can save money with the low interest rates on mortgages. One lender suggested that I consolidate the two loans and pay-off the loan on my future rental property. But I wonder if I will benefit more (because of the tax benefits) if I maintain the loan... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jan 27, 2021

I suggest you build a good spreadsheet and analyze and compare individual scenarios as they arise.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be...
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