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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…

Abusive Husband

Abusive Husband Enables Wife to Cancel Lease

By Christopher Combs | February 18, 2018

Question: My husband and I have leased a home in Scottsdale through next September. Although my husband has physically abused me in the past, this time I had to get a court protective order. I am filing for divorce, and moving back to Colorado to stay with my parents.  Do I still have responsibility for lease payments until September even though I am terrified to be near my husband? Answer: Probably not. A.R.S. § 33–1318 authorizes a victim of domestic violence to terminate a lease within 30 days if certain requirements are met, e.g., delivery to the landlord of a…

Eviction Notice

Boyfriend is Just an Implied Tenant, and Can be Evicted

By Christopher Combs | April 1, 2017

Boyfriend is Just an Implied Tenant, and Can be Evicted  Question: Two years ago our daughter’s boyfriend moved into the Gilbert home our daughter has owned since 2011. Her boyfriend gets drunk all of the time, is a womanizer, and abuses both my daughter and her two young children. The police have been called but do nothing. Our daughter’s boyfriend refuses to move out and says that, because he has lived in the home more than two years, he and our daughter have an equal right to live in the home. Is that correct?   Answer: No. Your daughter is the…


How to Transfer Property Out of Trust for Beneficiary Deed

By Christopher Combs | February 22, 2017

How to Transfer Property Out of Trust for Beneficiary Deed   Question: My mother is the trustee of her revocable living trust (“RLT”), and I am the sole beneficiary. The only asset in the RLT is my mother’s Sun City home. My mother wants to execute a beneficiary deed to me for her home which will not be effective until her death. Can my mother, as the trustee of her RLT, execute a beneficiary deed to me? Or does my mother, as the trustee of her RLT, first have to deed the home to herself individually, and then execute a beneficiary deed to me…


Revocable Living Trusts in Arizona

By Christopher Combs | August 22, 2016

Revocable Living Trusts in Arizona     Question: My parents had an attorney draft a revocable living trust more than 20 years ago. In this revocable living trust my sister and I were the co-trustees and the co-beneficiaries. My parents transferred, by a deed, their Chandler home into this revocable living trust. Since that time my sister has had significant drug problems, and has become estranged from my parents. Three years ago, and with the help of the Internet, my parents drafted a second revocable living trust which named me as the sole trustee and the sole beneficiary. Both of my…


Due on Sale Clause Does not Apply to Transfer to a Spouse

By Christopher Combs | March 15, 2016

 Due on Sale Clause Exemptions   Question: After I was divorced three years ago, I purchased a home in Surprise. The title to the home was in my name only. Last year I married again and added my new wife to the title to the home. The mortgage loan, however, is still in my name. The mortgage payments are current. If the bank discovers that my new wife is on the title to the home, will the bank require immediate full payment of the mortgage loan?   Answer: Most mortgage loans have a “due on sale” clause allowing the mortgage…


The Dangers of Having a Relative Pay Your Mortgage

By Christopher Combs | March 7, 2016

 The Dangers of Having a Relative Pay Your Mortgage   Question: After I was transferred to San Diego two years ago, I let my brother stay in my home in Avondale. Instead of paying rent to me, my brother agreed to make the mortgage payments for the home. Although I knew that my brother was having trouble recently making some of the mortgage payments, my brother promised me that he would keep the mortgage current. My brother called me last week, however, to say that there had been a foreclosure of the home. I am upset with my brother because, if this…


Depreciation Deductions Reduce Tax Basis

By Christopher Combs | March 2, 2016

Depreciation Deductions Reduce Tax Basis   Question: For more than twenty years my father has owned a four-plex apartment building in east Mesa. My father is terminally ill, and his doctor has told him that he only has a few weeks to live. My father is trying to get his affairs in order. I am his only child, and he wants to deed this four-plex apartment building to me now. When I get the deed to me for the four-plex apartment building I intend to sell the building immediately, as I do not want to be a landlord. Is there an advantage…