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John Gus Zgourides
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John Zgourides’s Answers

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  • How long do I have to wait for Land inherited in Puerto Rico? Someone said that my father's widow tried to sell it.

    First she said it was sold,then,she said she needed our signatures to sell it,now she's saying that the Land belongs to her Sister now. There are 36 acres of beach property.

    John’s Answer

    You don't give enough facts to even begin to evaluate your situation or answer your question, Waiting may cost an inestimable amount. Hire a lawyer licensed in Puerto Rico ASAP. 36 acres of beachfront property sounds like it's worth fighting for.

    Look for lawyers with a high Avvo Rating™, and/or a high Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory Peer Review Rating™ (at http://lawyers.com).

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  • Need a Real Estate Attorney ASAP

    My clients, my pets, my office equipment and myself have all been covered with and inhaled ground up A/C filter fibers made of fiberglass and other toxins. I see probable gross neg. spoke with Another tenant and former maint. person advised tha...

    John’s Answer

    A toxic tort case in Texas is tough. Yours would be really tough.

    You should talk to a consumer rights or real estate lawyer about your rights under Texas law (implied warranty of habitability), and the respective rights of the parties (landlord and tenant) under your lease agreement, the Texas Property Code, and Texas case law.

    Look for lawyers with a high Avvo Rating™, and/or a high Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory Peer Review Rating™ (at http://lawyers.com).

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  • I paid my neighbor's taxes and he wants to do a Transfer Upon Death deed. Is this legal?

    My friend and long time neighbor got into some financial trouble and needed $12,000 to pay for his taxes. I gave him the money and now he wants to make his deed a Transfer upon Death deed to me. Or if he should become incapacitated and require a...

    John’s Answer

    To be effective, the deed;

    1. Must be in writing and contain the esssentials of a deed under Texas law
    2. Contain the legal description of the property
    3. Include the Name and Address of the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries
    4. Be signed by the Grantor (the property owner) in the presence of a Notary Public
    5. State that the transfer of the Grantor’s interest to the designated beneficiary will not occur until the Grantor’s death; and,
    6. Be recorded before the Grantor’s death in the deed records in the county clerk’s office of the county where the real property is located.

    A Transfer on Death Deed can be revoked during the life of the Grantor:

    1. By signing a new Transfer on Death Deed that expressly revokes the prior one or specifies that the property should pass to someone else;
    2. By signing a separate document that expressly revokes the prior Transfer on Death Deed. Note, however, a Grantor cannot revoke a Transfer on Death Deed by making a contrary provision in a Will.

    Ideally the man will do this with a probate or real estate lawyer, and without your participation. You don't want to later be accused of having exerted any undue influence over an old man.

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  • When does a living will expiremy mother passed away

    My mother passed away 8 years ago, she left a will, I was told that since it was a lot of years , that the will was no longer valid, is this true?

    John’s Answer

    A "living will" is a document that instructs doctors as to the person's end-of-life wishes. It expires when the person dies.

    A "Last Will and Testament" disposes of the property of a person after death. A LWT should be offered for probate within 4 years of the date of death. There are exceptions. For one, it can still be filed as a muniment of title.

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  • Does the other driver have the right to sue me?

    My sister-in-law was t-boned in a car that is in my name November of last year. She states that the other driver was speeding up the street while she was making a left turn on a controlled green light. The car was deemed totaled, her daughter was ...

    John’s Answer

    Yes. The other driver has the right to sue you.

    Negligent entrustment: when the owner of a car allows an unlicensed, intoxicated, or reckless person to drive it. When owner knows the driver has no license, that is negligence as a matter of law.

    Your auto insurer owes you a defense, Send them the lawsuit and demand that they defend you. You insurer likely also owes a defense to your sister-in-law (but that's her problem).

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  • Will I get a summons to appear in court?

    I fell asleep in my car after a night of drinking in Texas. The city police showed up to do a check on me. Field sobriety test and breathalyzer were conducted. Not sure what I blew but I'm sure it was over. No blood test was done. They parked my c...

    John’s Answer

    Yes, there is a chance, But you may have gotten lucky (in more ways than one).

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  • Is this an option?

    I was involved in a hit and run on foot and the driver and the car was found but the driver had no car insurance and isn't willing to cooperate. I also have no insurance due to not having a car. I was advised to use a parent's UIM under their car ...

    John’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. love it. The definition of household is not as simple as it seems under Texas insurance law. You need a lawyer on your side. Before you open a claim or give a statement to your parents' UM insurer.
    Hire a Texas trial lawyer with a high Avvo Rating™, a lawyer with a high Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory Peer Review Rating™ (http://lawyers.com) and/or a lawyer who is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (http://tbls.org).

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  • How can they change the name on the property deed?

    My parents have been separated for over 20 years. They never got a divorce because of various reasons. Anyway, despite the fact that my dad has not lived on our property for over 20 years, his name is what Fort Bend County has listed as the proper...

    John’s Answer

    The grantees named on the deed are the owners. A common solution is a special warranty deed, but their respective needs are not necessarily aligned. She might ask for a warranty deed. He might only be willing to give a quit claim deed. They would each be well-served to hire their own lawyers.

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  • Will I be entitled to a reimbursement for my wife use of community money to pay mortgage on her separate property?

    My wife bought her house in 2009, and we got married in July 2011. Since then she uses the community fund to pay for the house mortgage. Secondly am I entitled to her 401k and stocks for the duration of the marriage? Many thanks.

    John’s Answer

    Most things acquired during marriage are presumed to be community property (exceptions would be inheritance & gifts). If a spouse owns a home before marriage, it is her separate property. If community funds were poured into it (mortgage payments, repairs, revocations, etc), that would give rise to a claim for reimbursement. If community funds were paid into a 401k or investment account, that would likewise be subject to a reimbursement claim. If individual stocks were bought during the marriage, that would likely be community property.

    You need a family law attorney to handle develop and substantiate your claim for reimbursement. Look for lawyers with a high Avvo Rating™, and/or a high Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory Peer Review Rating™ (at http://lawyers.com).

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  • What kind of lawyer does one need for the monetary disputes/inheritance disputes

    My aunt is probably going into hospice soon. There's nothing else left they can do. The cancer has spread to her lungs. So my aunts sister(who has been caring for her) says that my aunt has specifically requested that the remaining money on an acc...

    John’s Answer

    Hopefully when she had mental capacity, she made a will directing her executor to make this gift upon her death. If not, and if she now lacks mental capacity to make a will, she also lacks mental capacity to change account beneficiaries. So if the account is solely in her name, and if she has no valid power of attorney the bak will recognize, then the bank should not allow anyone else to withdraw the funds. It sounds like a guardianship will be needed, but a guardian cannot make gifts without court permission.

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