Complex and Creative Transactions


If the property is part of a trust, estate or probate, we can analyze the situation and sort of the details of who should sign, what authorizations are needed and how title should be held.  If court approval is needed as with a probate, we can advise on all procedures and paperwork needed to make the sale go through.


If a partnership or corporation or limited liability company is buying or selling there may be specialized requirements and documentation needed to get the sale or purchase to work for all concerned.  There may be things that need to be sorted out among the various partners or owners to avoid future disputes over money OR to avoid future property and income tax problems.  It may be that the buyer or seller to accomplish their objective, he/she needs to form a legal entity such as a corporation, partnership, trust or limited liability company.   Our firm can advise on all aspects involving partnerships, trusts and companies.


When selling a property, you may be able to save capital gains taxes by doing a tax deferred exchange.  Specialized forms and deadlines are involved when doing this as well as coordinating multiple escrows and loans.  We have advised on many of these and have done some ourselves.


Sometimes property sellers have pending disputes which involve litigation over the ownership or sales proceeds.  Sometimes people file a notice of pendency of action (lis pendens) which can stop a sale dead in its tracks unless it is carefully and aggressively handled.  We have advised and handled many of these types of situations and come up with solutions to allow sales to close.


There are various ways to have the legal title read on the deed when the property is purchased.  Should title be in joint tenancy or tenants in common, or in community property, or in the name of an entity such as a trustee of a trust, a corporation or an LLC?  Proper legal title to fit the buyer’s circumstances is the foundation for future tax and legal consequences.  We can guide the buyer through all of these questions so that unintended consequences can be avoided.


When there is more than one owner there can be disputes on the buying and on the selling end.  Proper documentation including written agreements among owners avoids problems about money division, expense sharing, sharing of tax benefits and how to decide to sell, etc.  Unintended property and income tax consequences can result from inadequate documentation.  We can advise and prepare all necessary forms and documents.


Real estate buying and selling typically involve very large tax dollars.  The property taxes can vastly increase unless an exemption is available.  There can be large capital gains/income taxes to the seller if the property has increased in value so tax strategies such as tax deferred exchanges should be considered.  Federal estate and gift taxes should be considered as well depending upon the personal situation of the buyer or the seller.  We can advise on all likely tax aspects of your transaction.


Buyers sometimes have issues of obtaining enough down payment money to accomplish their acquisition.  This is actually a potential problem for the seller as well as the buyer.  We can advise on various possible scenarios and solutions to get your sale to close.  We can assist with working with mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers and other sources to find out and figure out what can be done.


Buyers should be concerned about having legal ownership of property in their own name for a number of reasons including liability for accidents, liability from creditors including taxes, and ownership disputes among family members if an owner passes away.  Generally, if a property is not owned in a living trust or some sort of legal entity, a probate court proceeding will be needed to sell or transfer the ownership after an owner dies.  Probate is time consuming and expensive as there are legally mandated attorneys fees.  Particularly for substantial properties, there are some basic asset protection and trust strategies that can be considered right when a property is being purchased.

Sellers on the other hand have various choices as to where they deposit the money they receive from the sale.  Sellers may want to consider if they should be selling as an individual or if they should fist transfer the property into some kind of legal entity.

We can discuss all of these subjects and possibilities with our clients.

(Note, any legal services or advice would be provided through our affiliated law firm, Crockett Law Corporation,

Complex and Creative Transactions