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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Johnson’s Answers

3,027 total


  • How does title insurance help this situation?

    My father in law (a widower at the time) signed over a lady bird deed for his house with remainder to his son. (my wife's brother). Few years later they had a fall out and he signed a quit claim deed from himself to him and my wife (his daughter)...

    Carol’s Answer

    This is the problem with quit claim deeds. Most title insurers don't like them because they don't protect or warrant marketability for the subsequent purchaser. Still, if the Lady Bird deed validly reserved all the necessary powers to your father, what occurred after should convey marketable title. Have the LB deed reviewed. If you were able to purchase title insurance, that should be sufficient.

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  • Does anyone know of a trust killing the trustee for not following the instruction of an irrevocable trust.

    Killer trusts

    Carol’s Answer

    As in dueling pistols at dawn??? Hmmm. Well, the trust is a legal fiction, not a person, so it cannot do the job, but a Trustee CAN be removed (so much easier than killing) by the trust beneficiaries if the terms of the trust are being violated by the Trustee through gross negligence or malfeasance. Depends on the trust terms and what sort of discretion the Trustee is given. Have the trust reviewed by a good estate planning attorney to see if litigation is necessary. Sometimes, all it takes is a good, well-drafted "lawyer letter" to get the Trustee back on track.

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  • I would like to know if I can be the sole legal owner of this property and how? And if I sell, can all proceeds go to me?

    My ex-husband is the owner/borrower and I am on title for our Miami property/condo, and on our divorced documents there is no information on how the proceeds would be divided if property is sold. I filled out the documents without a lawyer and w...

    Carol’s Answer

    I have read all the replies and, so far, Attorney Deason is the only one who got it right. Exclusive use of the home is granted in a divorce where there are children involved and it is in their best interests to remain in the family home. It does NOT convey exclusive title. It just means that for so long as you, the wife, wishes, you may remain in the home without interference by the husband. Everything that you paid on behalf of the home was to your advantage as you were the person living in it. It does NOT give you greater claim on the proceeds of the sale than your ex-husband may have. To become the sole legal owner of the property, you will need to have your husband convey his interest in the home to you. You may have to buy him out. Otherwise, when you sell, he will have to sign the contract to sell, and sign the closing docs, too. How you split the proceeds is between the two of you.

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  • Can a landlord give a 5 day notice even if the rent is caught up or over paid?

    My landlord is getting out of the rental business, he offered for us to buy the place ( we can't afford to do that or get financed for it) Thursday my landlord gave us a 5 day notice. I've been paying my rent every two weeks.

    Carol’s Answer

    No, he can't. First, how did he "give you notice?" In SC, notice must be mailed certified or registered or handed to you personally. I am presuming that you don't have a lease of any kind. Even so, the MINIMUM notice for what's called a "month-to-month" lease is 30-days, for a week-to-week tenancy, it is seven days. It is important to keep up the rent and other lease agreements, whether oral or in writing, as the notice period for failure to pay rent is 5-days, after which eviction proceedings may start. However, the landlord MAY NOT just decide that you need to leave and give you 5 days to get out. Your remedy? Have an attorney write a letter to the landlord. Your rights under South Carolina's Landlord Tenant Act are:

    SECTION 27-40-660. Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster or exclusion.

    If a landlord unlawfully removes or excludes the tenant from the premises, or willfully diminishes services to tenant by interrupting or causing interruption of essential services, the tenant may recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover an amount equal to three months' periodic rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return security recoverable under Section 27-40-410.

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  • Real estate agent/ bad tenant

    I hired a real estate agent to place a tenant for me in a property I own. I was told that they do screenings, background checks, eviction history if any.... The agent brought me a tenant that never pays on time, gave me 2 bad checks that are w...

    Carol’s Answer

    Did the agent give you a copy of the background report they received for this new tenant? If not, maybe they never did one. You can go after them for what you paid them to do the check and any fees you incurred for placing the tenant, but not much more, unless you want to sue for civil fraud and damages - which, to this point are not much. If you received a background report and it doesn't note any of the instances of eviction or felony charges (which I certainly feel is relevant to the desirability of a tenant), then your agent may have been had by their screening service. Eviction doesn't take long at all, but needs to be done in accordance with FL law and will require a notice to pay the past due rent and then, if not paid, filing for the eviction. Do NOT merely change the locks - illegal!

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  • Multiple Deeds cloud on the title

    A quit claim deed was drafted by an attorney at my request (the grantor) and recorded without proper legal description, then another deed was recorded with proper legal description but with misspelled grantee's name. Subsequently, a third deed was...

    Carol’s Answer

    Why on earth would you give someone three tries to "get it right"? I lack confidence that the final deed is actually correct if the work on the two prior deeds was so flawed and careless. As Attorney Deason recommends, have another real property attorney review the deeds to make sure they are okay. If so, there should be no cloud issues. And, I NEVER recommend a quit claim deed - most buyers (and title insurers) do not like them.

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  • Can you help me make an addendum to my separate property trust.

    Hello, I need to make a change to my separate property trust due to a divorce. I just need to remove my exwife and replace her with my daughter as executor. I have made one addendum before. Thank you

    Carol’s Answer

    You don't make an "addendum" to a trust - it is an amendment and must be done in accordance with the formalities required by Florida's Trust Code. Chances are good that the earlier "addendum" is invalid, so I would highly suggest that you take this trust to an estate planning attorney in your area to review what you have already done and effect the amends that you require to remove your ex. A simple amendment is not expensive - and a whole heck of a lot cheaper than trust litigation will cost your heirs down the road if it is not done correctly!

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  • What procedures do my father and I have to go about to have the condo placed in my name for when he passes ?

    My parents own a condominium in Margate Florida. My mother has passed and the condo is in my fathers name and hers. My father wants to have the condo appointed to me when he passes . Being there is 7 children in the family we want the least compli...

    Carol’s Answer

    My condolences to you and your father. If the condo was held by both your mother and father as "husband and wife", then they took advantage of Florida's "tenants by the entireties" which means that your father now owns the condo outright. In order to have the condo pass directly to you, there are several ways to accomplish this including a will, trust, lady bird deed, joint ownership, etc. It is best for your father to sit down with a good estate planning attorney who is versed in real estate law and decide which of the many options will best suit his needs. Good luck to you both.

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  • What's the best way to clean title on a FL property?

    In 2007, my wife and I live in CA and purchased a rental property out of state in Lakeland, FL. Sadly my wife recently passed away and I would like to know how to clean the title by removing her name so I can sell or refinance the property. The ti...

    Carol’s Answer

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Does the deed say anywhere on it that you and your wife were taking as "joint tenants with right of survivorship"? If so, then merely giving a copy of the clerk your wife's death certificate will suffice to transfer the property, outside of probate, to you. However, if the property is mentioned in her will as being devised to you, then it will have to go through a probate. If she passed in CA, then you will have to open an "ancillary" probate here in FL to take care of the property.

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  • How do we contest this stranger from being the Personal Rep .of My 21 year old Nephew when it is taking place in Florida

    We all live in Washington St. My Nephew's Mother was hit and killed, a letter came from an attorney who is representing a man who says he is her husband (possible she married in the year she was their) He never got a hold of my nephew so it is obv...

    Carol’s Answer

    Right now - get onto AVVO's Find a Lawyer tab for Brevard county, FL. There are a lot of good attorneys there who can file something with the court to allow more time for reviewing this matter and determining who the "stranger" is. Did your nephew not know if his mom was married? Is the nephew a disabled individual without legal capacity? If so, then the court should know that and they will appoint either a guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem for him.

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