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California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Real estate seller/owner financing, can you add any terms you want?

Can you have unusual terms in a promissory note such as 50-year-length amortization (most common being 30 years)? Are there any legal requirements around the terms of the promissory note or they can be creative as long as both parties agree to it?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Jan 26, 2022

Dear PROMISSORY NOTE drafter: There are no required terms for a lawful promissory note, per se. There are, however, terms that would be advisable to include in EVERY promissory note.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: can commercial landlord file lawsuit for a judgment for money owned? its not considered intimidation and harassment?

business exist for 16 years at the same location. we behind 3 month and continue making payments. Landlord treating to file a law suit for a personal judgment. Personal Credit will be ruined. Specially now / Covid -19, California.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Jan 25, 2022

Dear Commercial Tenant: You asked if a Commercial Landlord can pursue recovery when a Commercial Tenant is "behind three months" on rent. The answer is that irrespective of commercial setting or residential setting, a Landlord may pursue recovery for back rent (including a lawsuit if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Seller wants to back out - Who is right?

We signed a contract to purchase ($700k) home and entered into escrow. The home inspection showed a lot of repairs, so we decided to cancel the contract. My realtor sent “Cancellation of Contract” to the seller.

The seller called us back saying that they are willing to fix the repairs... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Jan 24, 2022

Each side's lawyer (i.e. buyer's lawyer and seller's lawyer) is going to claim that their respective client is "right." Who will win a lawsuit depends on more facts. Did the seller agree to repairs in writing, thereby waiving the buyer's cancellation? Was the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Once the cancelation documents are signed, how much time does the Real Estate Agent have to file for arbitration?

I used the inspection contingency to cancel the purchase of a home, and the buyer decided not to sign my cancelation and create their own to go into arbitration. The buyer's Agent has not responding to my Agent telephone calls and emails since I signed their cancelation on January 12, 2022.... Read more »

David H. Relkin
David H. Relkin answered on Jan 20, 2022

I think you mean that the seller refused to sign and accept your cancellation of the contract.

Arbitration is exclusively a creature of contract. Unless there is a signed agreement in which you agree to arbitrate any dispute, you would not be required to arbitrate. Similarly, the time in...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Is there a way to claim a house from a trust and then transfer the deed of a house without it showing up on taxes?

A family member of mine was bequeathed a house from a living trust. He has not claimed it because he doesn’t work so he can get medi-cal to cover the medical care that he needs. Would he be able to claim it and transfer it to someone else without it affecting his qualifications for medical or his... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Jan 19, 2022

No. Deeds are public records that anyone can see and receive a copy of simply by asking the County Recorder and paying the copying fee. Many counties have their deeds online for easy access. Also, be aware that there is a “look back period” before someone can qualify for some needs-based... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How do my fiancé and I set up our financial plans and estate plans when he has a minor child by his late wife?

My fiancé and I live in California and are about 40 years old. We hope to marry and have children soon. He has one living ten year old son by late wife. I will likely need to reduce or even quit work to care for his child once we marry. My fiancé has significantly more money, including retirement... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Jan 19, 2022

I agree with you that as a new couple, you need a financial plan to be put together with the assistance of a financial planner. I also recommend a pre-nuptial agreement aka "prenup" to address your commingling and financial planning concerns. Prenups are typically handled by family law... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Father has left his trust to 3 sons. Personal and commercial properties in the trust. Estate lawyer changed the prop

Properties in the name of one son, executor. Is the interest of the other brothers protected? He said he did this for tax purposes

Julie King
Julie King answered on Jan 19, 2022

First, please know that no one has an automatic right to another person’s assets. If a parent chooses not to give money to one child or another, the parent has that right — just like you have the right to choose to whom you want to give your assets. There is no law forcing anyone to give their... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: There is a court date of January 24, 2022 in Redding, CA superior court. My sister and I have been misinformed and

We were told that there were no more funds in our family trust. We took their word. Now we find out about a court hearing and we need to know what form or forms to fill out before Jan.20,

2022. I am next in line for co executor. But we really need to know what we need to do to enter... Read more »

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell answered on Jan 18, 2022

I suggest you hire a lawyer with probate experience in the appropriate venue before the next court date.

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 advice about your...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: Any recourse for title co. incorrectly reported legal desc and forcing another delay in closing escrow? Loan was funded.

I'm trying to close escrow on a probate property in LA county, CA. After 2 yrs of court proceedings, the surviving siblings were awarded equal shares of the pending sale by the court. My loan was approved and funded and then title company comes back and say that they messed up and originally... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 11, 2022

It is doubtful that any cause of action exists as title companies do not represent anyone. It is totally different when you hire an attorney, which is what anyone should do if transacting in real property. Sometimes Negligent Misrepresentation is possible, but very doubtful. Consult with a CA... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: I am the trustee on my grandparents living trust. Who are their beneficiaries?

I am listed as the trustee after my mom who is deceased. My grandparents trust only lists their children, my mom (deceased) and my aunt. I can find nothing on the trust that lists a 'beneficiary'. I am assuming that my aunt is a beneficiary and is entitled to half the value of the... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Jan 10, 2022

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's passing. I recommend that you have an attorney review the estate planning documents to help you understand the content. Due to COVID, it may be best to scan the documents so that they can be emailed to an attorney for review. It is also a good idea to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Criminal Law for California on
Q: neighbor hired a fence repairman who cut down my very large 16 year old shrub. What are my options?

My situation involves a neighbor who hired a fence repairman to remove the last section of fence separating our properties under the guise of installing a new fence post where there wasn't one prior for the neighbor, instead the worker destroyed and uprooted a large shrub on my side of the... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jan 6, 2022

You may be entitled to up to three times your damages plus attorney fees. Obtain an estimate of the replacement value of the shrub and set up a consultation with a real estate attorney. Your options are to either settle or sue. There are various methods of negotiating settlements. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Business Formation for California on
Q: Can a business owner keep my deposit if we needed more time in order to buy the business but she sell it to someone else

We put in a deposit to buy a business but due to unforseen circumstance at my work, I need more time before I can quit my job and start the business. There was no agreement signed stating that the deposit was non refundable but she refused to refund my money and is planning to sell to someone else.... Read more »

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Jan 3, 2022

it's generally not a good idea to give anyone a deposit without a written contract. at this point you will either need to pay a business attorney for a complete consultation and advice or possibly take your chances in small claims court (if the amount is under $10,000).

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Our dad passed recently his home he owned is occupied by my exboyfriends and not sure what our options are

Is it legal for him to sell or take the home from the biological oldest daughter and keep or sell or rent it out??

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Jan 2, 2022

Your ex boyfriend cannot sell or take the home from the biological oldest daughter, especially without a court order to do so. If your father's property was in a Trust, then the Trust will say what happens to the house now that your father passed. If the property was not in a Trust, then I... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Real Estate Law, Workers' Compensation and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: "The Law is on your side, but (EVERYONE knows) THIS Judge is BIASED,so you WILL LOSE. It's NOT right, but [accept it!]"

So says my lawyer.She says this is the experience she&every lawyer has w/this Cal. Unlawful Detainer Judge.Even though the law is on my side, THIS Judge will IGNORE the Law.THIS Judge will not care that: there is no valid Notice to base Complaint on(the landlord specifically waived the60day... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Dec 29, 2021

Before you abandon all hope, get a second opinion. There are biased judges out there that make the system unfair. Whether the present attorney's assessment of the system is accurate or not cannot be known by anyone here. Only by getting more opinions can you know if your present attorney is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law, Business Law and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Hi, I am being harassed every single day, by a neighbor. The management is not doing anything. What should I do?

Hi, I am being harassed every single day, multiple times a day by a neighbor. She keeps calling and using security as a way to harass me and bully me every single day. (Anytime she hears me on the phone or when she hears something). She just won’t leave me alone. The management knows. I have... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Dec 27, 2021

You can file your own harassment claim against this neighbor. all the necessary forms are available on the Court’s website (https://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm?query=civil%20harassment). See form CH-100-Info on the instructions whether or not you have an appropriate case for civil harassment... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: If a home is left to me would I still have to go through probate if the owner had put me on the deed? Thank you,
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Dec 26, 2021

If you hold title with the owner as "joint tenants", no probate would be required. If title is held as tenants in common, half of the property would have to be probated.

However, adding an individual's name to real property is typically a very bad idea and has adverse...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can a buyer sue a seller for train noise that was disclosed?

We just closed on the sale of our house a month ago. We just got an email from our agent. The buyer's agent says the buyer wants us to compensate them for new windows. They are complaining about train noise which was disclosed. They are also claiming dogs barking which we never had an issue... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Dec 23, 2021

It sounds like you would win the case, just based on what you have written here. That doesn't mean they can't sue you. Review the sale contract to see if mediation is required before bringing suit, whether attorney fees are available to the prevailing party, or any other terms that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Rental termination fee

I need help with a rental termination fee. I used to live in San Francisco. I was unable to pay my rent and came over to Chicago to seek affordable housing and good schools for my kids. My previous landlord sent me an invoice of around 12,000$ because of finishing my rental prematurely. What should... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Dec 16, 2021

You need an attorney to look at your rental agreement in order to properly advise you on the specifics of your case. Generally, a tenant is responsible for the full term of the lease. However, the landlord is required to "mitigate damages", that is, try to re-rent the unit once the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If my mom died and in her will left me the house how do go about legally getting the deed and house

Clearlake not San Lorendro

D. Steven Yahnian
D. Steven Yahnian answered on Dec 15, 2021

Generally, the executor named in the will, will have to file a probate with the Superior Court of the county that your mother lived in when she died. Pursuant to that, there would be a hearing appointing the executor after notice to certain persons. Soon thereafter, the executor would file an... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My living trust includes my rental home. If I create an LLC for that rental, does the LLC need to be added to the trust

My living trust was created in the past, and it already includes my rental property. Next year, I want to create an LLC for my rental property. After the LLC is created, do I have to add the LLC into my trust?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 15, 2021

Yes, you would convey the renal home from your trust to your LLC and that would constitute your capital contribution to your LLC. But do not do anything without the assistance of counsel. A lot of people create LLCs on their own without fully understanding what they are getting into and they end up... Read more »

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