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Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel

Christopher Vaughn-Martel’s Answers

2,758 total


  • Family property, only me on mortgage from upgrade, siblings feel I must pay full remainder alone out of my share when we sell.

    My 3 brothers and I are on a deed to a family property that began as my parents'. My father died years ago, my mother died last year. At the time of her death she had been off the deed about a year, so no will or estate involved. There is a mor...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Thank you for your question.

    Unfortunately, you can only sell the property if all of the owners agree to cooperate or are ordered to do so by a court by way of partition.

    Assuming that you do agree to sell the property, but disagree only about the allocation of debt and/or proceeds following a sale, you might consider agreeing to work together and placing the proceeds into escrow with an attorney while you work out your disagreement. This will only work if there are sufficient proceeds to pay any claims alleged. The benefit of this approach is that you can take advantage of the competitive Spring market to obtain top dollar, instead of fighting among yourselves, scaring off buyers, and missing the seasonal market.

    I recommend sitting down with an attorney who regularly practices in the area of real estate disputes and partition actions. If this cannot be worked out, any one of the owners has the right to file a partition action in the probate court or in the land court.

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  • How should money be set up? Trust?Gift?Will? Etc How to avoid tax? and their house protection

    This is about my 86 year old mom lives in her house with my 94 yr old dad. She wants to give me her savings now..I'm the beneficiary and she wants to remove her name. She Wants to protect her assets in anyway in case of assistant living, nursing e...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You really don't want to do anything without speaking to an estate planning/elder attorney. Any careless transfers of money or ownership of an asset could cause major problems in the event that either of them were to need to rely on medicaid. There is a 5 year look back period so the consequences of a mistake may be huge. It may not be too late, but you must get professional help.

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  • Will my verbal agreement hold up in small claims court over ex girlfriend?

    I lent my ex girlfriend $5000 to cover a portion of her breast augmentation under the pretense that she would pay me back once she had the funds and she agreed. It will be two years ago on the 30th of April that she got the augmentation. She left ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Since you didn't make any effort to establish the nature of this money transfer at the time, it might appear likely to a magistrate that you are only looking to get your money back because she is your ex. Don't say any more on this public forum and speak to an attorney. If it was intended as a loan at the time, or there was a subsequent valid agreement or promise to pay it back, make a note of any conversation, witnesses, e-mails, text messages, or other evidence. Depending on what evidence you can muster, of course you have a chance!

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  • What is the least expensive way to fire a divorce attorney?

    Hired a divorce attorney six months ago. She filed a Complaint for Divorce and we have a docket number. She and my husband's attorney are not cooperating in writing the divorce agreement. My husband and I agree on all the terms, the lawyers ca...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The cheapest and easiest way is for you to find a new attorney to replace your current attorney. The court should allow you to substitute your new attorney for your current attorney, assuming all parties agree. $2,000 is a lot of money to file and appear on a motion to withdraw. Find a lawyer to take your case, get the paperwork submitted, and you are on your way!

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  • What can I do about evictions how do I get a few free lawyer

    I would like to know about evictions

    Christopher’s Answer

    Many attorneys will schedule a free or very inexpensive consultation and spend time explaining the law and exploring options with you.

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  • How to go about the explained situation

    Having Indian nationality planning to invest in real estate. My brother is in US and working. So what i want to inquire is that should i form a company to invest in real estate or i can do it personally. Thanks & Regards

    Christopher’s Answer

    There is nothing prevent you from purchasing and owning real estate here in the United States. There may be additional hurdles and/or tax consequences when and if you sell the property. You have the option of purchasing the property in your names or forming a company to invest in the real estate. Whatever you do next, you will need real estate counsel.

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  • What kind of precautions can I take and do I have to let him see her?

    My ex husband was a very violent person when I was with him. When we divorced I got full custody of my daughter with supervised visitation. The supervision was supposed to be by his parents and it happened a couple times. About 3 years ago ( the l...

    Christopher’s Answer

    I agree that you should obey your current order and immediately file a modification to adequately address your current situation.

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  • Is the statue of limitations for debt in Massachusetts 6 years after the last payment or after debt is sent to collection?

    Have been contacted by an individual who has not identified their employer regarding a debt I allegedly owe. Individual would not provide date of debt origination when asked.

    Christopher’s Answer

    There are so many scams out there, do not pay anything until you have properly verified that you are speaking with the actual holder of the debt in question. The statute of limitations on the collection of a debt generally begins to accrue after the last payment is made. You may want to retain counsel to assist you. It could save you a substantial amount of money.

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  • Security Deposits in Mass.

    If a tenant signs a " Month to Month" lease which ask's for First month and Security with a 30 notice and the Landlord fails to provide tenant receipt and name of bank in which the security money is would the tenant be able to leave without gi...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The nature of the tenancy as month to month versus a tenancy for a term does not affect your rights under the security deposit law. In the event that a landlord mishandles the security deposit, you are entitled to its immediate return. You should make an appropriate demand for the return of your security deposit and, if it is not returned, you may be entitled to three times your security deposit plus attorney fees. You may want to speak with a tenant-landlord attorney before taking any action.

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  • Do I need to file a special motion w/the court (in order to prevent/deny their motion to "vacate dismissal" from being allowed)?

    Hello, and thanks in advance ... I live in the state of MA, and as a defendant, I had a minor civil court case which was dismissed due to the plaintiff's lawyer not showing up to court on the pre-trial date. The judge dismissed the case due to ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    While the Plaintiff must sufficiently explain the error and meet the minimal grounds for removal of default, courts generally like to adjudicate cases on their merits and not on the basis of a technicality. You are well advised to file a written opposition, if possible, and absolutely attend the motion on Plaintiff's hearing to contest removal of default. If the case is of any importance or monetary consequence, hire an attorney and put yourself in the best position possible.

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