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At what point do we need a lawyer?

San Diego, CA |

My mother and her brother own the home their mom left them. My uncle has gotten verbally abusive to her, to me, and threatened to kill my brother and my cat. He owns guns, and is very unpredictable. My mother wants to buy him out of his half of the house and is now getting the information from the bank about appraisal of the house and then a loan for half of that amount. I am concerned for her needing some sort of mediating party that can document properly the things he says and agrees to because up until this point every agreement they ever have is verbal and he is drunk a lot of the time and doesn't remember what he agrees to and goes back on his word often. We don't have a lot of money and this is going to be a strain financially already so we need a lawyer just when?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Well, when dealing with people like that it is really never too early to get a lawyer. Your mom is about to spend a lot of cash on the home and, although it might be a strain in the short term, finding a lawyer to help you now could end up saving a lot of time and money in the future.

Hope that helped.

Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org This posting is provided for "informational purposes" only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principals discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different States.

Asker

Posted

Thank you! I figured and it goes with what I have been telling her.

Michael Ryan Juarez

Michael Ryan Juarez

Posted

Agreed.

Posted

Has the uncle agreed to sell his portion of the property. He can't be forced into selling his half. Does anyone live in the home? How is their ownership held (e.g. joint tenants/tenants in common)? Although I sympathize with your situation, the facts that you have provided are two very different issues. One issue is the abuse, which you can attempt to remedy by contacting authorities, possibly a restraining order, or other similar methods (that is outside my practice area). The other is the property sale which is, in its essence, just like any other property sale. You can't walk into someone's house, give them the value of the property, and say "Now it's mine" (unless you're the government. Similarly, your mother can't force her brother to sell to her. There are too many open issues to properly give advice in this forum.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mrs. Cook is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in San Diego County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your response! He has agreed to sell his half to my mother, he was drunk on both occasions he said that though. They both live in the house, although he leaves and camps And vacations for about half of the year. So I'm getting that a lawyer would be better sooner just to get him to commit to what he has agreed to and that in the mean time we report all abuse and seek a restraining order if it continues?

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your response! He has agreed to sell his half to my mother, he was drunk on both occasions he said that though. They both live in the house, although he leaves and camps And vacations for about half of the year. So I'm getting that a lawyer would be better sooner just to get him to commit to what he has agreed to and that in the mean time we report all abuse and seek a restraining order if it continues?

Posted

A lawyer absolutely is needed to draft a contract setting forth the sale agreement between mom and uncle but not until they reach an agreement on the material terms that need to be set forth in a contract. On the other hand, it makes a lot of sense to get a lawyer to advise on what mom should seek in negotiating the agreement.

Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

Posted

If the brother refuses to sell, I am afraid your mother would have to resort to petitioning the Court in a "Partition of Real Property". This would mean that the Court would require one party to buy out the other, or have the property sold. It is better to try to negotiate a buyout with your uncle. I agree that getting a real estate attorney involved now would be a good idea.

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