Questions Answered by Gerald Barry Dorfman

Q: how to change a name on the deed my grandpa diddt leave a will or a trusted on the property

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Apr 6, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Without a will or trust, the property goes to your grandfather's "estate", which means it is divided among his lawful heirs. If you are the only heir (for example, no wife, or living children and you are the only grandchild), then it goes to you. In order to have it pass legally, if the entire estate is worth more than $150,000, it will have to go through probate. Probate requires a court proceeding. Any probate attorney can help you with this.

Q: I had a claim against an estate for $2,000 rejected by the Administrator. How can I contest the rejection?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Answered on Apr 3, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
You have to file suit. Make sure you do not miss any deadlines/statutes of limitation.

Q: can i sue my realtor and the seller to pay for my roof leaking?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Mar 30, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Yes, based on what you have said here, you have a very strong case. Whether your matter belongs in court or arbitration may depend on your contract(s). Start contacting real estate litigators right away.

Q: Can my landlord enter my apartment without prior notice?

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Answered on Mar 24, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Assuming it was not an emergency, no, a landlord may not simply enter without notice. 24 hours is presumed reasonable notice, in the absence of evidence otherwise. Read carefully Civil Code section 1954, which deals with entry by landlords, and required notice. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV§ionNum=1954

Q: My $$ is stuck bcuz attorney lied to trustee who sold my houseSays i hired her to collect SurplusFunds.I did NOT hire

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Consumer Law and Contracts for California on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
If an attorney is claiming you owe them money for work you hired them for, but in fact they have never even been contacted by you and have done no work for you, that is a very serious matter. You certainly should consider a complaint to the State Bar of California. That process is not very quick, and is not very well suited to actually releasing any funds being held in the meantime. If the company is actually filing a court action, it is called an interpleader, and they should be depositing...

Q: . I've been renting a house going on three yrs. I have a 5 yr a lease. New owners gave me 30 days to move

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Answered on Mar 8, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
In the usual situation, if you have two years remaining on your lease, you can stay at least two more years. When a new owner takes over, they take the place "subject to" any leases in effect at the time. If you live in an eviction control jurisdiction, you have additional protections. Be sure to review your lease to be sure it does not have a special provision which allows the tenancy to be terminated in case of a sale.

Q: How do we record a handwritten Will in Los Angeles county? Thanks.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Answered on Mar 7, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Wills are not recorded. If the person has died, and you are not filing a probate proceeding, you should "lodge" it, within 30 days of learning of the death. If you want to "lodge" it, you do so with the Superior Court, in the county where the person who died last resided.

Q: My lease says the leasing office will receive packages on our behalf but the new owners stopped without giving us notice

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Answered on Mar 7, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
No. New owners take the property "subject to" any leases that are in effect at the time of acquiring the property. If you have a lease, the terms remain in effect until the lease expires. If you are month to month, 30 days notice is required to change the tenancy terms. This assumes there are not alternate provisions contained in the lease, so check it carefully.

Q: My 28 year old son passed away in California recently. I was contacted by a lawyer hired by my ex husband.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Answered on Mar 6, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Sorry for your loss. If it is a simple estate administration, you will probably not need an attorney to actively participate. It will probably be worth your while to have a consultation to review the situation. If there is litigation involved, such as a wrongful death suit, then you would want to have an active attorney protecting your interests.

Q: I have a situation and I know I need legal help but I am not even sure what type of Lawyer I would need.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 28, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
A real estate or probate/trusts attorney with litigation experience is a good fit for your issues. They will need to take a thorough look at the facts and your documentation. You may not be too happy with their analysis, unfortunately.

Q: My step bother lied on probate papers, never notified he's selling the he property. What can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Probate for California on
Answered on Feb 21, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
That depends on what you can prove, and what you would like to accomplish. Certainly, making a false statement under penalty of perjury is a very serious act, and could result in court sanctions, removal of the executor/administrator and even criminal charges. If you are referring to the service of a "Notice of Proposed Action", it is possible it was actually mailed to you, but lost in the mail, unless you have proof to the contrary. If you want to stop the sale, your chances of doing so...

Q: My uncle and his girlfriend bought a house together about 4 years ago. He wants to sell but she doesn't. What can he do?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Assuming the property is in California, he can file a court action for "partition". In this type of court proceeding, the court divides the property according to the interests of the owners, sometimes adjusting their shares. Most of the time this is accomplished by a court-ordered sale and division of the sale proceeds. Sometimes just the threat by a lawyer to bring such a case will stimulate settlement discussions.

Q: What are my rights if i live in the home my brother inherited from my grandma and he wants to sell it.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
If there is more to the story, you should consult with an attorney. Based just on what you have said here, it seems you are a month-to-month tenant, entitled to 60 days notice of termination of tenancy.

Q: 2018 son died contest family and beneficiary no will and no wife or kid both parents alive but can't afford to pay for

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for California on
Answered on Feb 8, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Sorry for your loss. If your son had no will or trust, no spouse and no children, then his estate should pass to his parents. You do not need a lot of money to start a probate with an attorney, although you may have to speak with a few because of the monkey business with the relatives. You will probably want to be appointed administrator, so you and your attorney can investigate what happened and recover any money or property which belongs to the estate. Although it is understandably...

Q: My work 401k is registered to a parent corporation and not the direct corporation I work for is that legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Employment Law for California on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
You may be able to file a Qui Tam action. Depending on the ultimate amounts recovered, some of these can be quite valuable. Look for attorneys who are familiar with the requirements for these types of cases, and have one or more consultations to learn more.

Q: My brother just died & I'm his only family his never been married & no kids we thought . He has no will.ill continue Q

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Probate for California on
Answered on Feb 7, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Sorry for your loss. If she really is his only child, she would inherit everything in his estate. If you or someone else are named as beneficiary on the accounts or 401K, those go to the named beneficiary.

Q: Does my husband need a will in California naming me to get the house if he dies?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Answered on Feb 4, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
A lot depends on the source of the money used for the purchase, and what other possible heirs there are besides yourself. Even if everything points to you being the sole heir, it would be beneficial to have the entire estate covered by a living trust or a will. Alternatively, there are ways a deed can be set up to make transfer on death simple. If you are going to remain in the home, you will be able to "assume" (take over) the mortgage.

Q: I have been appointed administrator of my late husbands estate and I was wondering is that the only paperwork I need

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jan 30, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
No, that is not all that is needed. Your question indicates that you have filed a probate action (which is the way an administrator of an estate is appointed). Depending on the value of the estate, the potential heirs, and how title to the various forms of property is held, filing a probate action may or may not have been necessary. Assuming it was necessary, you must still administer the estate, and file the necessary paperwork associated with that. That will include notifying creditors,...

Q: hi my name is tanya i take care of an 88 year old women. her daughter pays all her bills. i suspect fraud with sister

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Elder Law for California on
Answered on Jan 27, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
You do not need a lawyer in order to report suspected elder abuse. For Alameda County, see the webpage at: https://www.alamedasocialservices.org/public/services/elders_and_disabled_adults/protective_services.cfm or else just call 510-577-3500

Q: What rights does an uninsured driver have if they were severely injured in a car accident at no fault of their own?

4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Gerald Barry Dorfman's answer
Assuming no exceptions apply, such as the defendant driver being drunk at the time, California law does not allow an uninsured driver to collect for "general damages". Those types of damages are generally referred to as "pain and suffering", although there is more to it than that. However, an uninsured driver can still be compensated for economic damages, such as loss of income. Such damages would also include rehabilitation costs and assistive devices and alterations. The full range of...

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