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Questions Answered by Gerald Barry Dorfman
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Tenants owed rent for almost 2 months. Do I have right to enter the house show property to others after notice expires
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Nov 23, 2019

How much rent, or for how long it is owed, is not connected to a landlord's right to enter the premises to show it. If a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit has expired, an unlawful detainer (eviction) action may be filed. A landlord may enter the property by following the procedures in California... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can a landlord bring future tenants to view property while I still live here?

The tenant sends me a text that they are coming to view the property. However she text me 30min-5hr before. Is she allowed to bring people to view the property and if so is there a certain amount of time she needs to give us before bringing people.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Nov 16, 2019

Yes, she can show the property to prospective tenants while you still live there, but you are entitled to written notice, and 24 hours is presumed a reasonable amount of time. If you want to insist on your right to proper notice, you should carefully read Civil Code section 1954:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for California on
Q: my brother filed a wrongful death suit in calif. and named my siblings and I as nominal defendants what does that mean
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Nov 11, 2019

In a wrongful death suit, all people who are allowed to bring the claim must be made parties to the lawsuit, so the case can take care of all possible claims. If a party who qualifies does not want to be a plaintiff, they must be named as a nominal defendant. If you would rather be a plaintiff,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: is there a way to get a copy of a will from the courts or something?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Oct 17, 2019

Yes, but only if the will was "lodged" with the court, or if a probate case was filed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: My father passed away 10 years ago and had a trust. My sister and I were beneficiaries. I was the successor trustee.

We divided things up equally. Fast forward 10 years and we discovered he had a life insurance policy. They will not accept the trust documents as proof that I am the executor trustee of the estate. They will not discuss if there are any monies to be distributed to the estate. They say I must obtain... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Sep 23, 2019

There are at least a couple of options, although none are free. It appears that the policy was not part of the trust, so it is not surprising that they don't care who is trustee. If there is evidence he meant for it to be included in the trust, it may be possible to petition the probate court to... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: How can you determine if a trust exists if both the creator and his attorney have passed away?

My father passed away about 10 months ago. He was divorced from my mother. Recently, my mother asked me if we (my husband, our three kids, answer I) had received the trusts that he had set up. My father had never mentioned, to me, that he had set up any trusts. My mom has said that she thought he... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Sep 16, 2019

Check how title is held for all real estate you know of that he owned. If it was transferred to a trust, it will be obvious, such as "X, as trustee of the Y trust".

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If i was granted Administrator with full authority to manage the estate, can I sign a Quit claim deed to a house?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Sep 13, 2019

If by quitclaim, you mean sell, then you do not need a special order for the sale to proceed. However, you still have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, and you must follow the mandatory procedures, such as giving proper "Notice of Proposed Action".

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for California on
Q: My MOM pASSED YEsterdaY We founD a paper saying to leave every thing to her grandson paper wasnt signed or notorized

Is it legally his now

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Sep 4, 2019

Sorry for your loss. What you have described is not a valid will. A will must be signed and witnessed, or else written entirely in the person's hand writing and signed.

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Q: Awarded full year of back pay from my job over a year & a half ago and still get no answers or explanation.

if there anything I can do to make them honor my Arbitration award for my back pay? They've done others since I've started my process also, but mines for some reason is in limbo.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 23, 2019

Depending on the particular facts of your case, it may be that you needed to go to court to file a petition to confirm the arbitration award.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Do I need a special order to quitclaim property? My order for probate says I'm Administrator with Full Authority
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 21, 2019

If by quitclaim, you mean sell, then you do not need a special order for the sale to proceed. However, you still have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, and you must follow the mandatory procedures, such as giving proper "Notice of Proposed Action".

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on
Q: What would be a reasonable fee to retain the "limited Scope" attorney if I am fortunate enough to find one?

I am able to write a check for a retainer and/or pay hourly for the legal assistance

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 19, 2019

That depends on the lawyer's hourly rate and the hours needed to undertake the specific project. Even for litigation, limited scope services are often simply "pay as you go". So, the first project may be to start the lawsuit by filing the drafting and filing the Complaint and arranging for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Good evening, I was wondering if you could explain a bit about small claim court.

There's a roommate I had that refused to pay the last bill of a utility, well his portion anyway. Long story short, its not a big amount but he turned out to be really rude to alot of people so I wanted to know if i could sue him in small claim court so he doesn't get away with not paying just... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 16, 2019

Yes. There is no lower limit amount you can sue for in small claims court. Before you can sue, you must make a demand for payment to the person. If you do not know how to use the court, see if your county has a free small claims adviser. You can consult with, but not be represented by, a lawyer... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: If you are the legal trustee to an estate in a will must the inheritance first go through probate?

My grandmother recently passed, and my sister and I are the named trustees in her will for her estate (we were also her only living relatives). We are currently in the process of selling her home, and we can't seem to find a clear answer as to whether or not our inheritance of her estate will need... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 5, 2019

The first step is to examine the title to the home. It is possible it is held in such a way as to avoid probate. If it is solely in your grandmother's name, then, real estate values being what they are in California, it will have to go through probate. Being named trustee is not the same as... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: I was in a minor accident 7/14/19 by someone insured by Alliance United, they have 745 reviews on Yelp with 1 star.

I've been without a car for 3 weeks, I work doing DoorDash so my car is my work. The last time I spoke to the adjuster at Alliance United 7/26/19 she told me she finally got in contact with the insured last week and not sure how to handle the claim because the insured doesn't know what happened as... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 29, 2019

You do not have to have a broken bone to have a perfectly valid personal injury case. You are much more likely to resolve your case faster and for more money if you have an attorney. Almost all personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations. Start calling now, because the longer you wait,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: How can I get guests out of my home that I own that refuse to leave?

This property where I live was gifted to me by a woman with whom I lived here with for many years. The deed was put in my name by her in 2007. She passed away in 2010. A little less than two years ago her daughter and son-inlaw showed up here from out of state. They have been trying to stake a... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 29, 2019

Talk to a landlord tenant attorney about an eviction action.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Do I have to return a portion of the last month deposit if the tenant moves out mid-month?

My subtenant gave her 30 day notice on July 15, 2019 for her month to month Sublease and plans to move out by August 14, 2019. Since she paid last month deposit, am I obligated to refund her a portion of the last month deposit since she is moving out mid-month?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 26, 2019

Yes. Tenants can give 30 days notice at any time, assuming the lease/rental agreement does not provide otherwise.

2 Answers | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Insurance Defense for California on
Q: Hello I am looking for an attorney that will help me with a denied claim with my auto insurance company....

After a year long investigation in which we gave them everything they asked for.... They denied the claim.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 23, 2019

If the claim was for personal injuries (like uninsured motorist), many attorneys will take such a case on contingency. That means they get paid a percentage of what you get from the insurance company. If the claim is for property, it is more likely you will have to hire an attorney on an hourly... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: California Our mother died and we don't know what claim we have to the house we lived in.

My grandmother had my mother and our family live in her paid off home since I was little. After Grandma died years ago, we continued to live there. My parents never married but my father pays/paid the property taxes every year. My mother suddenly died earlier this month and now an Uncle is trying... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 18, 2019

In order to understand your rights and your potential claim to the property (all or part), an attorney will need to know how title to the property is held, whether there are any wills or trusts, and whether any probate or other court proceedings have taken place. You need to consult with a... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: Can a car insurance company deny liability because the person driving the car is not listed on the insurance?

I was in a accident 7/14/19 and a 15 year old was driving the SUV with 2 older women when she made a u-turn in front of me and we collided. None of the women was on the insurance and it was the girl older brother car. The owner of the vehicle is taking his time to contact his insurance and a police... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 17, 2019

Even without the insurance coverage issue, you should get your own attorney because you were injured. Do not speak with the insurance adjuster; certainly do not give a written or recorded statement. Most personal injury attorneys will give you a case evaluation at no charge.

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