Posts

ruth-ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-business-wills-trusts-contracts-lease-review-FAQ-covd

Amid COVID-19, Are Estate Planning Matters Moving Forward?

As COVID-19 unleashed a health crisis on an international scale, an economic crisis has also occurred and has impacted every single Californian/American. While COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are still in place in Southern California, questions concerning legal matters have continued well through March, April, and May, 2020. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Question: Are estate planning matters moving forward?

Answer: Yes, they most certainly are. As people always say, the one thing we all have for certain is that at some point we all die. For some it is certainly not a fun topic to think about. For others, having their affairs in order is certainly exciting. Count me in the second group. As COVID-19 started, plenty of inquiries were handled asking for either self-help options or assistance in preparing documents. Here are a few issues and matters that have come across our desks the last few months:

  • I’d like to create a simple Will
  • My financial advisor tells me I need to create a Trust. How does that work?
  • COVID-19 has made me think about establishing plans for myself, my spouse, and my children. My children have their own children now. Is this something I can plan?
  • I have a few retirement accounts that need attention. How does your office help with that? Does it?
  • What plans can I make now so that my minor child is cared for should anything happen to me?
  • Mom passed away and we cannot find her Will. What can we do?
  • I live out-of-state and a family member died in San Diego County. Can you help with Probate there?
  • We know dad had a parcel of land out-of-state. He passed and we want to know what happens to that land.
  • I’m currently hospitalized with only a few months to live. Can you help prepare my last wishes for me?
  • My soon-to-be ex-spouse and I own a property together and have a child together. I’ll be initiating a divorce and want to know what happens to our Trust, our property, and our child.
  • I’d like to leave behind a DNR (do not resuscitate). Can you help with that?
  • I’m out of the country and wish for my son to complete the sale of one of my properties there. Can you help?
  • Probate matters in San Diego Court are temporarily on hold, but we need to start a Probate. Can that still happen?
  • My parents left behind a Trust where I was nominated a Successor Trustee (future administrator). Can I start without making a court appearance? Can I start with all the limitations of COVID-19?
  • Under the terms of my parents’ trust they instructed to sell the house and divvy the proceeds between myself and siblings. Can I still sell in spite of COVID-19? Is now the best time to sell or should I wait?
  • My parents are older. They’re safe now and following social distancing measures, but they’d like to discuss updating their Wills. They speak Spanish. Can you help?
  • A few years ago I used a self-help site to create my own Will. Can you review that and confirm everything looks good?

Clearly these are paraphrased but this is a brief, incomplete list of the legal inquiries that have come through this law firm amid COVID-19. For some persons and couples, they may have already had their affairs in order. For others, brand new issues developed during COVID-19 requiring immediate attention.  If you need help with estate planning matters, probate matters, or trust administration matters, call in and let’s determine how this office can help.

 

 

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-business-attorney-dispute-mechanics-lien

Mechanic’s Liens and How Business Owners Can Avoid Them

What is a Mechanic’s Lien

A mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property.

A University Heights Story

A restaurant owner and client in the University Heights area of San Diego called me one evening concerned because he had just received a Notice of a Mechanic’s Lien. He thought this meant he was being sued in Superior Court. I alleviated his concerns right away by letting him know that this document is not a lawsuit but it essentially states that there is a problem with a potential upcoming legal dispute.

A mechanic’s lien is used mainly by contractors who are not paid for work performed in a property. The language on the notice looks intimidating. If you receive one, read it carefully and read it twice for comprehension.

A mechanic’s notice reads as follows, “Upon the recording of the enclosed MECHANICS LIEN with the county recorder’s office of the county where the property is located, your property is subject to the filing of a legal action seeking a court-ordered foreclosure sale of the real property on which the lien has been recorded. That legal action must be filed with the court no later than 90 days after the date the mechanics lien is recorded. The party identified in the enclosed mechanics lien may have provided labor or materials for improvements to your property and may not have been paid for these items. You are receiving this notice because it is a required step in filing a mechanics lien foreclosure action against your property. The foreclosure action will seek a sale of your property in order to pay for unpaid labor, materials, or improvements provided to your property. This may affect your ability to borrow against, refinance, or sell the property until the mechanics lien is released. BECAUSE THE LIEN AFFECTS YOUR PROPERTY, YOU MAY WISH TO SPEAK WITH YOUR CONTRACTOR IMMEDIATELY, OR CONTACT AN ATTORNEY, OR FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MECHANICS LIENS GO TO THE CONTRACTORS STATE LICENSE BOARD WEB SITE AT www.cslb.ca.gov.”

Procedural Requirements

Understand that as with other court actions, a mechanic’s liens has certain procedural requirements before a party such as a contractor can seek a lien against your property. Check out the Contractor’s State License Board to learn a bit more about the procedural requirements and changes made effective as of 2012.

Call to discuss a notice of mechanic’s lien as soon as you receive one as there are important deadlines involved in the process.  Resolution to your disputes may come quickly if immediate action is taken.