Real Estate and Wealth
Real estate traditionally has been an important part of creating wealth. Legal protection in real estate transactions is particularly important in a volatile market. Real estate transactions typically represent the largest transactions in most people’s lives. Real estate brokers and agents play an important role in marketing property; however, one usually should not rely solely upon them for drafting or reviewing contracts, escrow instructions or loan documents. We find that, most of the time, our review of even a smaller transaction saves the client more money than their legal fee.
Real Estate Services
Real estate services include conditional use permits; development agreements; environmental review (legal aspects); property exchanges; foreclosure issues; landlord lease representation; land use; leasing property; (land) planning law; purchasing property; representation before city and county boards; selling property; tax planning; tenant lease representation; low level toxic waste issues; use permits; liquor licenses; and zoning. Services are for commercial and residential real estate.
Form of Title for Holding Real Estate
The form in which you hold title to real estate can have very serious impact on your income, property, gift and estate taxes. Even more importantly, the form of title might unnecessarily expose your property to your co-owner’s liabilities. It can also affect eligibility for Medi-Cal and other benefits. There are two important rules of thumb for purchasers of real property in California:
- 1. Husbands and wives generally should not hold title to property as joint tenants.
2. Parents and children generally should not hold title to property as joint tenants.
Too often it is too difficult to consult with an attorney about this issue because the consultation might require only 10 — 30 minutes, which is below most attorney’s minimum fee. We have a special “form of title” consultation in which we will accept your questions and make a recommendation via email or over the phone and allow you to charge it to your credit card. For more information see our companion web site at www.formoftitle.com. When your real estate agent or escrow officer asks you, “How do you want to take title to your property?” please feel free to call and we will be happy to assist you over the phone in a short period of time. We can be reached at 949-597-9596 or toll free outside of southern Orange County, California at 1-800-FORM OF TITLE or 1-800-367-6638. (This service is currently limited to California residents or purchasers of California real estate.)
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