Do I need a real estate attorney?

Asked about 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

My client needs to refinance and cash-out his free and clear home in order to cure back property taxes. One of the title holders (of 3) has a special needs trust for her. The trustee cannot be located. There is no alternate. We must refinance the home to pay back taxes or the home will be foreclosed on by the county. An attorney could be paid once the proceeds are received from the refinance loan. Are there any attorneys who would work with us in that way? Client is very low income.

Additional information

Update: There is a section of the trust entitled: Property In Trust Until Age 21 which states: "When the beneficiary shall attain the age of twenty-one (21) years, all property shall be distributed to such beneficiary.." The beneficiary is now 23 years old,

Here's my revised question:
Is the trust considered terminated upon presentation of the beneficiary's birth certificate to the title officer. Shouldn't it be considered terminated by it's own "provisions" ( not sure what the word would be?)
Do we have to go through some sort of judicial process to terminate the trust...

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Justin Albert Shiau

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . A real estate attorney may be helpful, but an estate planning attorney with special needs trust experience is probably more qualified to assist you.

    That attorney can review the trust documents to see if there are provisions for replacing a non-performing trustee.

  2. Edward Zaryl Kotkin


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Although a real estate attorney will be helpful, you probably ought to retain someone with a good background in guardianship as well. Conservatorship over the person with the special needs trust may be the best vehicle through which you gain "control" over the property for purposes of refinancing. I leave that for my real estate colleagues with expertise in guardianship to say. I have added "guardianship law" to your question in e hope that someone with that background may respond.

    I don't work on contingency or I'd offer to help myself. Good luck!

    When I respond to a question posted on Avvo, I provide information for a general purpose. In reviewing my answer,... more
  3. Eric Jerome Gold


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . You should consult a real estate attorney with experience in estate planning, including special needs trusts, for advice in this matter. There are several issues which may arise based on the underlying details not explained in your question.

    When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response. In reviewing my response, you... more
  4. Robert Pecco Baker

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I do not think you need a real estate attorney. The refi part of this might not require counsel--at least I hope not. the problem you face is getting the clients in a position to be able to accept refinancing. For that you need a Trusts/guardianship atty. I do not know any who work on a contingency. Sorry.

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