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In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” The need to get good legal advice certainly applies to someone involved in complex estate litigation who is alleged to have financially mistreated both his father and his sister – after getting out of prison.

California normally requires a home or other real estate to be reappraised for property tax purposes when it is sold or its ownership is otherwise transferred. There’s an important exception to this rule: reassessment can be avoided when a property passes from a parent to a child.

What happens if you sign an agreement, later decide it’s unfair and you want to back out, and a judge says you can?

When a tenant violates the terms of their lease, it’s hardly surprising that their landlord will start eviction proceedings. But what happens if the property is sold in the midst of those proceedings?

A clever attorney may try to paper over a dubious act with layers of legitimate-looking transactions. But if the court decides the real motivation was to commit fraud, the whole arrangement can topple like a house of cards.

A number of new laws became effective on New Year’s Day, including a major change in the homeowner’s exemption for personal residences. If you or a family member owns a home – or you may need to collect a debt from a California homeowner – the new rules could be important.