Without A Revocable Trust, A Probate Will Be Necessary

By Christopher Combs | September 11, 2022

Question: My wife and I have lived in California our entire lives. My wife recently passed away. Although I want to keep our home in California, I would like to buy a second home in North Phoenix. Should I buy the home in North Phoenix with some type of trust? Answer: Probably. You should contact an attorney who specializes in Trusts and Estates. In general, if an individual owns a home or other real property in two or more states, a revocable living trust should be considered. The reason is that, if your home or other real property in two…


Who Gets the Condo, the Husband or the Son?

By Christopher Combs | August 7, 2022

Question: In the winter months my husband and I live in our Scottsdale condominium. Our deed says “community property with right of survivorship.”  I have a son from my first marriage who is attending Arizona State University, and I want my son to have my interest in the Scottsdale condominium after I die. My will and my revocable living trust say that my son is my only beneficiary. When I die will my son inherit my interest in the Scottsdale condominium? My husband does not like my son so I cannot even discuss this issue with him. Answer:  No. If…


Short-Term Rentals Can Adversely Affect Communities

By Christopher Combs | June 19, 2022

Question: Last week you discussed the comments of a happy owner of a short-term rental home in Peoria that was rented during the six weeks of the baseball spring training season. We are from South Dakota and are not familiar with short-term rentals. Why is there such a controversy about short-term rentals in Arizona? Answer: Prefatory comment: I am reminded of the great WWF wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, dressed in his famous kilt, yelling back at an angry, booing crowd, and saying, “Just when you think you know all the answers, I change the questions!” RIP Roddy. Arizona was the…


Real Estate Agent Experienced With Neighborhood Needed

By Christopher Combs | February 6, 2022

Question: My husband and I want to sell our Flagstaff home, which has appreciated significantly in value. My sister-in-law is a real estate agent in Prescott and has offered to list our Flagstaff home on MLS for a 4% commission, with only a 1% commission to her as the listing agent and a 3% commission to the buyer’s agent. I would like, however,  to hire a good Flagstaff real estate agent. My husband says that the buyer’s agent, not the listing agent, has to do all of the work regarding inspections, financing, etc., and he wants his sister to get…


Recent Power Of Attorney May Not Revoke Earlier One

By Christopher Combs | August 8, 2021

Question: Our mother is in her 80s, and we recently moved her from her Sun City home to an assisted living facility. My younger brother has always been a problem for the family, and for the last three years he has lived with our mother. I have a power of attorney from our mother that she signed in 2016. We are in escrow now to sell her Sun City home under our 2016 power of attorney. At a recent family meeting to agree on what to do with the proceeds of the sale of our mother’s home, my younger brother…


Wife Has Lien On Home Husband Purchased Before Marriage

By Christopher Combs | May 9, 2021

Question: I purchased a home in Casa Grande. My wife and I were married a year later. All of the monthly mortgage payments and repair costs since our marriage have been made from our joint checking account. My wife says that she is unhappy, and that she talked to an attorney who said she has a lien on our home now even though she was never added to the title. Does my wife have a lien on our home now? Answer: Probably. Although the title to the home is in your name only, the monthly mortgage payments and repair costs…


Recourse For Spouse’s Misuse Of Community Funds

By Christopher Combs | April 25, 2021

Question: After seventeen years my husband and I have been having serious marital problems. When I was back in Minnesota visiting my parents recently, my husband signed a contract to purchase a condominium in Mesa in his name only. The $10,000 earnest money was “hard” or nonrefundable after the 10-day inspection period. My husband couldn’t get a mortgage loan in his name only, however, so the purchase contract was canceled. The seller now refuses to refund the $10,000 “hard” earnest money. We are still trying to save our marriage, and my husband has apologized to me. Have we lost the…

Title Insurance

Divorce By Publication May Be Necessary for Title Insurance

By Christopher Combs | March 21, 2021

Question: My three children and I have been living in an apartment in central Phoenix since my husband left us three years ago. My mother died last year and I recently received a cash inheritance of $225,000.00. I have now signed a $225,000 purchase contract for a Chandler home. The escrow company says that my husband has to sign the paperwork to disclaim any interest in this Chandler home. What can I do when I have no idea where my husband has been living the past three years? Answer: If only one spouse is buying a home, the title company…