March 18, 2017

I’m sure many of you have run into this situation and how uncomfortable it can be:  It is the day of closing, you show up at the attorney’s office, and the seller is asked “Are you married?” 

The answer is yes, and the seller is informed that their spouse will need to sign the deed. 

More often than not the seller’s response is, “It’s my property! Why does my spouse need to sign the Deed?” 

Knowing the reasons behind this requirement may help to ease this uncomfortable situation or prevent it all together. 

Oftentimes, the seller acquired their property before marriage, by gift or the property was inherited. 

The reasons that the seller may not want th...

March 18, 2017

Opinion rules that a lawyer may make disbursements from his or her trust account in reliance upon the deposit of funds provisionally credited to the account if the funds are deposited in the form of cash, wired funds, or by specified instruments which, although they are not irrevocably credited to the account upon deposit, are generally regarded as reliable.

Revised January 24, 1997

Editor's Note: RPC 191 originally became a formal opinion of the State Bar on October 20, 1995. The opinion sets forth the duty of a closing lawyer to disburse from the trust account only in reliance upon the deposit of specified negotiable instruments which have a low risk o...

March 18, 2017

Most articles about real estate fraud have focused on the same scenario: hackers breaking into professionals’ email accounts to learn about upcoming transactions, then emailing the buyer to wire money to the hacker’s account. In reality, there are many other ways hackers insert themselves into communications, such as tricking the real estate professional into installing malicious software on their computer or phone, or changing escrow instructions (or other disbursements) at the office of the real estate professional via email. Hacking can also be done by less sophisticated methods, including phone, fax or inter-office memo. The latest evolution of the...

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