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Do I need a real estate attorney?

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.

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?) OR Do we have to go through some sort of judicial process to terminate the trust...

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

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!

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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 are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. 

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Posted

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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