Using Buy-Sell Agreements to Protect Family-Owned Businesses

Family-owned or controlled businesses make up roughly 90 percent of all American businesses. Unfortunately, only a third of family-owned businesses survive the transition from the first generation of owners to the second. A buy-sell agreement can ensure a successful transition by controlling how an interest in the business can be sold. Continue reading

Creating a Financial Power of Attorney

Sadly, preparing for your client’s potential incapacity is an integral part of estate planning. In doing so, one particularly useful tool is the financial power of attorney, which provides a trusted agent authority to transact business for your client. Here are a few basic requirements for creating this key document. Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Filing a Lis Pendens

If you want to put later buyers on notice of a legal claim involving real property, you can record a lis pendens (also known as a notice of pendency of action) with the recorder in each county where the property is located. CCP §§405-405.61. Recording a lis pendens, however, isn’t without its own set of risks.  Continue reading

7 Tips for Recording a Real Property Interest

Regardless of the type of interest, it’s absolutely crucial to record your client’s newly acquired real property interest. By recording the transfer, grantees, buyers, and lenders are protected against both future purchasers for value and unknown prior interests in the same property. Additionally, title insurance companies generally will only insure an interest if it’s recorded. These benefits may not attach, however, if the recordation—or the recorded instrument itself—was defective. Continue reading

When Can You Discover Private Information?

Even when a litigant can’t assert a statutory privilege, private matters may nonetheless be protected from discovery under the constitutional right of privacy. Balancing the privacy interest at stake against the need for discovery has always been a difficult task. But a recent California Supreme Court  case, Williams v Superior Court (2017) 3 C5th 531, has clarified the proper analysis to use.

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Choosing the Appropriate Elder Abuse Civil Protective Order

GettyImages-940320528 (1)Unfortunately, elder abuse is a much more rampant problem than we’d like to admit. In fact, studies show that approximately 10 percent of Americans aged 60 or over have experienced some form of elder abuse.

For attorneys with older or at-risk clients, it’s important to keep in mind the different protective orders available and to select the most appropriate order to ensure your client’s ongoing safety and welfare.

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Have a Habitability Problem? Take These 3 Initial Steps

home so flooded it's uninhabitableWhether it’s ignoring a reported bug infestation or leaving electrical wiring dangerously exposed, a landlord’s failure to make necessary repairs may render the premises uninhabitable. Although there are many legal remedies available for a breach of the warranty of habitability, your initial duties as a tenant’s attorney is to simultaneously safeguard the tenant’s well-being and preserve any relevant claims. Continue reading

5 Estate Planning Options for Out-of-State Real Property

As any seasoned estate planner knows, it’s crucial to learn of all your client’s assets before developing a comprehensive plan. This is particularly important when it comes to out-of-state real property, which may be subject to that state’s potential inheritance or estate tax if left unaccounted. Add the costs and headaches of an ancillary probate, and your client’s loved ones will be left wishing for a better way. Lucky for you (and them), there is!ThinkstockPhotos-456864991.jpg Continue reading

Caution! Sever a Joint Tenancy Before Conveying the Interest to a Third Party

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As a graduation present, your client purchases her son a home. Although the plan was for the son to live there alone, the client and her son take title as joint tenants. Years later, your client remarries and asks you to convey her interest in the house to her new husband’s children on her death. What do you do? Whatever instrument you choose, be sure to sever the joint tenancy! Continue reading

Negotiating an Office Lease? Avoid These 4 Deal-Breaking Positions

With the large dollar amounts, aggressive parties, and difficult time constraints involved, thinkstockphotos-507721014office leases are some of the toughest contracts to negotiate. Chances for a successful negotiation are best if the attorneys maintain consistent, well-reasoned positions that readily balance their clients’ goals and the need for compromise. On the other hand, a successful agreement is unlikely if the attorneys adopt stubborn or disingenuous stances.

Here are four deal-breaking positions to avoid when negotiating an office lease:

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