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girlfriend can rely on promise

Girlfriend Can Rely on Boyfriend’s Promise to Deed the Home

By Christopher Combs | October 20, 2019

Question: In a recent column you discussed what happens to a jointly-owned Scottsdale home after the boyfriend tells the girlfriend that he is moving out, and that he will deed the home to her. You told the girlfriend to immediately get something in writing, even an email from the boyfriend. Is an email from the boyfriend enforceable if he later changes his mind? Answer: The email itself would not be enforceable as an email doesn’t meet the requirements of a deed, e.g., notarization of grantor’s signature. Under the doctrine of promissory estoppel, if the girlfriend relied on the boyfriend’s promise…

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Owner liable for dog bite

Owner of dog in Arizona has strict liability for dog bites

By Christopher Combs | October 6, 2019

Question: We wanted to sell our Glendale home, so we contacted a local real estate agent who “farmed” our neighborhood. This real estate agent came to meet us at our home to sign the listing papers. Our son had left the back gate open, and our dog severely bit the real estate agent’s foot in our front yard. We then drove the real estate agent to the emergency room.  We understand that she had minor plastic surgery the next day. The agent was very upset with us for not warning her about our dog, and even returned the flowers we…

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My Boyfriend Is Moving Out of Our Townhome

By Christopher Combs | July 30, 2019

Question: My boyfriend and I own a townhome in Scottsdale. He has a new girlfriend and is moving out next month into a new apartment with his girlfriend. Although my boyfriend paid the $12,000 down payment, we have been splitting the mortgage payments, and the costs of repairs and maintenance of the townhome. I think my boyfriend feels guilty because he said that, if I can make the mortgage payments, I can keep our townhome without paying him anything. What do I need to do, and when should I do it? Answer: First, get an email, text, or something in…

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Advantages to Beneficiary Deeds in Arizona

By Christopher Combs | July 22, 2019

Question: In a recent article you had the opportunity to notify readers of the availability and advantages of a beneficiary deed, but you blew it by only adding it as an afterthought. You were addressing property in California and Montana also, which may not have the beneficiary deed option. I urge you to submit a follow-up article on the advantages and costs of a beneficiary deed for owners of real property in Arizona. Answer: Thank you for your comments. First, the advantages of a beneficiary deed are that real property can be transferred after death without probate, and a beneficiary deed can…

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Ex-spouses May Need to go Back to Court

By Christopher Combs | June 24, 2019

Question:  Under our divorce decree I was awarded our Peoria home, but my ex-wife was allowed to live in the home and she would get one-half of the proceeds when the home was sold. I want to sell the home, but my ex-wife has refused to sign a listing agreement with a real estate broker. I then offered to buy out her one-half interest in the home but she refused. I want at least to be able to refinance the mortgage on the home, but mortgage companies refuse to even accept my loan application without my ex-wife’s signature. I have…

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Revocable Living Trust Preferred over Transfer Deeds, Will

By Christopher Combs | March 19, 2019

Question:  At the time my husband died five years ago we jointly owned our home in Arizona, plus a rental home in California and 160 acres of land in Montana.  I then became the sole owner of these three properties. I am not in good health now, and I have drafted deeds to these properties to be delivered to my two sons.  My sister says that I should not sign and give these deeds to my two sons, but that I should transfer the three properties to my two sons in a will.  Do you have any suggestions? Answer:  If you deed…

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It’s Best to Exchange Deed, Money at Same Time

By Christopher Combs | March 13, 2019

Question:  Ten years ago, I bought a home with my boyfriend in Sunnyslope.  We broke up three years later, and he moved to Colorado to be a ski instructor.  At that time I paid him $15,000 for his interest in the home, and he promised that he would give me a deed to the home.  Just like all of his other promises, I never got a deed.  Last week his mother said that he died in a car accident.  Although I do not want to sell the home now, will I have a problem selling the home in the future?…

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For Rent

Partition Lawsuit by Sisters and Attorney’s Fees

By Christopher Combs | July 29, 2018

Question: My sister and I inherited our mother’s North Phoenix home after our mother died. My sister needs money and wants to sell the home immediately. I would like to make some improvements to the home and rent the home for rental income for both of us. My sister, however, says that she will not sign a lease to any renter of the home. If she won’t sign a lease to rent the home, can I sign the lease by myself? Can my sister require the sale of the home? If so, who pays for legal fees? Answer:  First, in…

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