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How Do You Put a Lien on Property? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 8/14/12

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On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last Free Joe? Don’t worry. We’ve got it all right here.

Ronnie: Hey Joe….how do you put a lien on a house/property ?

Joe Escalante: You take a court ordered judgment for the amount of the lien and file it at the County Recorders office, or County Registrar where property records are kept in your county.

Betty: For Joe
I have a living trust. It is under my social security number. I am the trustee of my trust with all of my assets in the trusts name. When I die my friend assumes the role of trustee of “my trust”. Does my trust still file tax returns for any income the trust earned, with my social security number? My friend does not want this income under their ss#. FYI legal zoom did my living trust. I love it.

Joe Escalante: A trust that earns money has to pay taxes on it. You need to speak with your tax pro for details on that. When you die, an executor will file final tax returns for the trust. You will also need an attorney and a tax adviser for that too.

Tim: Hey Joe. A friend of mine was in an atv accident where he broke his collarbone. He was also unconscious. He was arrested for dwi at the same time. The police did not take him to the hospital and he sat in jail all night without medical help. Is there any recourse here? Thanks.

Joe Escalante: It would be nice to put the tax payers on the hook for your fun loving friends’ indiscretions, but it will be an uphill battle unless you can find an attorney experienced in going after police departments willing to take the case. You would
have to pay them quite a bit and you would lose if unless you have clear proof that the police knew they would cause harm to him by denying him medical care.

Then your big reward would be the amount of money damages that would cover the harm to his body suffered from waiting for treatment in the cell. How much is that? Probably only a few hundred to a few thousand dollars at the most. There’s no pay day here. He’ll have to try something else.

Tasha: I been married for 3 years but men and my husband was together for 2 months. How do I file for a divorce if he is in another state.

Joe Escalante: You can file it in the domicile where you guys set up your happy home, and give notice to him, and you’re off an running. If you try to file in a state that has no personal jurisdiction over him, you will have problems. He doesn’t have to s
how up, and nothing will happen. Read this book for a better understanding if you can’t afford an attorney right now. If you guys agree on how to split up assets, and custody of any kids, you can use Legalzoom’s simple service.

Ronnie: Hey Joe…how can you legally/force a person to help provide daily living care to a parent? Is that even possible ?

Joe Escalante: It used to be, before the 13th Amendment. Now you can’t force an adult to do anything, except for to purchase medical insurance for themselves. If the parent is in the care of the adult, and the care is faulty, you could petition the court for guardianship, or report them to the D.A. for abuse of the elderly. That’s about it.

Curtis: How do I write a will thatkeep certain relatives out of my belongings?

Joe Escalante: A part of most wills included a section that affirmatively states that all other relatives are being excluded from inheritance unless expressly mentioned in the document. Legalzoom’s will takes care of this for sure. Click below.

LegalZoom: Here’s the link:

Toney: Can I sign AWAY my parental rights with out some one to adopt him cause my sons mother is only in it for the money and she has also told me recently that he is not my son but I signed the birth certificate and also says because I got u from now on so can u help me please!?

Joe Escalante: You would have to prove that you are not the father, and then put that proof before the Judge. He might not accept it. It’s up to the court. The court feels you have a responsibility and will only relieve you of it to avoid some extreme inj
ustice, but not at the expense of the best interest of the child. You’d have to prove some kind of fraud I would imagine because the state is going to be on hook if you don’t pay for the kid’s upbringing. That’s an uphill battle for you.

Ron: How do I use my mark internationally? What proof do I need when i submit an notice of use form?

Joe Escalante: You can do this through International Registration through the USPTO, via the “Madrid Protocol.” Here’s some details straight from the source.

Judy: My husband had a revocable living trust created in 1982. He would like to revoke it or at least review it, but he is unable to locate his copy. How would he go about getting another copy? He divorced the woman he was married to in 2002 and married me in 2004 and we have written wills in 2005. Thank you for your help. We have used Legal Zoom in the past and were pleased with the results.

Joe Escalante: In general, you would have the name of the trust on the title of the property (or tax returns) if property was transferred into the trust. Then you would have an attorney prepare an affidavit of lost trust. Then you would create a affidavit
revoking the old trust, and hope that you do it according to the instructions in the original trust. (it may require a signature from the ex wife).

Then you hope the Country Recorder accepts all this stuff and puts the title to the property in your name. This is one plan that you could follow, but it’s not the only one, and it’s not one created by a Trust and Will expert. It’s just me sitting here and pontificating. You need an estate planning attorney to make sure you do this right.

Shahram: whats the process for an expungement? and if the case was dismissed do i still need one?

Joe Escalante: For a dismissal, I think you try to get the record sealed so no one can find out you were charged with something. If you were convicted, you’d need an expungement. Either way, you need to talk to a criminal law attorney familiar with the players in the court where the charges were filed.

Jennifer: If you purchase an album, can you then have a particular song stripped of vocals to use as a soundtrack for a church service?

Joe Escalante: I give you permission. But technically there copyright issues to deal with. Technically, your church needs a performance rights license from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Technically, you would need a license from the original master recording owner to create a derivative work of the original copyright by stripping the vocals. No one’s going to do any of that, I get it, but that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Houston: How can I file for cs if my x doesnt use his ss#?What can I do to to resolve this?

Joe Escalante: Child Support? You can only get a judgment from the court and run around and try to get it enforced. If he’s totally off the grid, gangsta style, it’s going to be hard to get a penny.

Jennifer: Residing in Pennsylvania, is there a way besides sexual abuse to terminate another parents custody rights?

Joe Escalante: Abandonment? Extreme neglect? Or you can get him to consent, in exchange for a pack of cigarettes, or whatever he’s into. That would be illegal, but you get my point.

Jennifer: May I ask what constitutes abandonment or extreme neglect?

Joe Escalante: It’s going to be up to the court to decide what that means. If you have a good family law attorney, he or she could write a persuasive brief to sway the court. However, the standard will always be the same. “Is it in the best interest of the child to terminate the rights?”
If he only comes by on birthdays to bring a faulty My Little Pony knockoff from the guy who sells inflatable bunnies on the street, that’s sad, but probably not enough neglect to terminate rights, as long as he is keeping up with his support obligations. If he’s not, you can use that against him as part of the argument, but still, the court may believe that no money, and an occasional birthday visit is better than no father at all in the child’s life.

Sherri: What can you do if a neighbor builds a pond which is elevated above your property which could flood your property? What if he also placed the release tube so that it would drain directly into your privately built and maintained “dry branch”. (Without permission or even any notice of intent? ) This is in a rural setting; no one else is affected. The property oweners are very elderly and have live on the land over 30 years.

Joe Escalante: You need a property rights attorney, preferably one with a working knowledge of Roman riparian rights, but that’s not a deal breaker. If the court agrees that your property rights are being affected by their actions, they will order them to make the changes necessary to prevent that, and pay for any harm caused thus far.

Cindy: Joe, I am previously divorced and I have remarried a man that already owned a home. I want to sell my old home. I will probably proffit $20,000 after I pay off the mortgage. Is it a capital gain? and what percentage tax will I pay on that gain?

Joe Escalante: That is a pure tax question that depends on your personal tax situation. Only your tax pro could answer it for you. Good luck.

Sherman: Joe my attorney charges 35.00 to receive a fax from myself or the attorney rep. The other side. 25.00 for a two min call is this unreasonable.
Sherm from GA.

Joe Escalante: How the heck do you expect him to pay his boat payments and country club dues? You are very insensitive. I agree. It’s lame. That’s why I don’t work at one of those big firms. The only thing I can say is to use Legalzoom whenever you can, and maybe sign up for one of their legal plans to see if it works out better for you. It’s a buyer’s market right now so you should be able to get a better deal.
When you choose the next one, ask them to their face if they charge to receive a fax. It would be hard to tell someone to their face that it’s $35.00 to receive a fax. $25.00 for the phone call is not outrageous though. Unless it’s $25.00 to receive a voice mail. Click below:

LegalZoom: Here’s a link to our business legal plan: and one to our personal legal plan:

Brennon: If i am not married to someone who has my child how much money can she take from me by force of law and by what cause/right in oregon? what happens if the individual doesn’t let you sign the birth certificate and lets its not signed. Are you still finical liable?

Joe Escalante: If the kid is yours, you pay for it, or the tax payer does, in most cases. So the court is there to protect the best interests of the child, and the tax payer. This is true in all states. You would have an easier time denying paternity since you didn’t sign the certificate, but if it’s yours, it’s your responsibility regardless of what you signed or didn’t sign. Good luck.

John: My father passed away 5 years ago and I was told from my stepmother I wasn’t left anything in the will. Is there a way to get a copy of this will from the lawyer who drew I up?

Joe Escalante: To be probated, that will must be filed with the County Probate Court. At that point you can go to them and examine the file and see the original copy of the will. Spooky, right? But that’s what the probate process is for. All the creditors
and possible heirs have more rights than stepmothers. Go look at it. If you look at one from a lawyers office, you wont know if it was amended or changed. You have to look at the one filed with the court. However, it would be prudent to look at both. What if she made a fake one? Check it out.

LegalZoom: That’s a wrap for Free Joe! Joe is off on Friday, but he’ll be back next week. Get the full schedule here: and join us next week!

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August 16th, 2012 at 11:09 am

Posted in Free Joe