Legal Ideas & Information - FJGG Newsletter - February 2015.


Legal Ideas & Information - February 2015
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Oliver E. Frascona  
(1947 - 2014)

Thank you for being with us during this difficult time and for all the shared memories of Oliver. Your thoughts, prayers and words of sympathy will always be remembered. All of us at the law firm are committed to honoring Oliver’s legacy by continuing to serve the community with excellence as we have done for the past 40 years.
Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein, P.C.

What is a Professional Will, and why would I need one?
By Julie Jacobs
Picture of Julie A. Jacobs, Esq.Most people don't like to think about the possibility of becoming incapacitated or about their inevitable deaths. Despite this reluctance, many people understand and value the importance of having a Last Will and Testament as a way to clarify their wishes and make it easier for those wishes to be carried out upon death. And while becoming incapacitated is not a situation addressed by a personal will, people often have established powers of attorney for individuals to represent them in the event that they do become incapacitated. While people seem willing to accept the importance of drafting a personal will, few people fully consider the impact of death or incapacity on their professional lives - what would happen to their clients, to their business, if they were no longer around?


Can I Negotiate a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure for a Reverse Mortgage?
By Julie Jacobs

Question: My parents took out a reverse mortgage on their home years ago. My father has since passed away and my mother is about to permanently move into an assisted living facility. No one is living in the home and the amount owed on the reverse mortgage is more than the property is currently worth. The real estate market in the area is weak and we have been unable to find any interested buyers for the home. We don't feel comfortable just "walking away" from the property and letting it go into a long foreclosure process. Can we work with the reverse mortgage company to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure instead of just turning our backs and walking away?

Answer: Yes - reverse mortgage companies will often work with borrowers and their representatives to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure. This article will discuss reverse mortgages generally and the options available to borrowers who are unable to fulfill their obligations under the reverse mortgage -including negotiating a deed in lieu of foreclosure.


Why Do I Need a Will?
By Michael Smeenk

Picture of Mike Smeenk

Many people understand that a will acts as the roadmap for distributing someone's assets upon death. However, not everyone realizes that a will does much more than specifying who receives what. Some of the other important functions that a will can serve include the following:

  1. Nominate a Personal Representative. The PR collects the assets of the deceased, pays debts and expenses, creates an accounting, and ultimately distributes estate assets. We encourage clients to nominate primary and backup PR's in case the initial choice cannot serve.
  2. Designate a Guardian for Minor Children. Otherwise CO law dictates priority for appointment.
  3. Establish Trusts for Minor Children. Leaving assets outright to minors can create a variety of legal complications. Using a trust can eliminate contested court cases over who manages money left for children and how it is used.
  4. Planning for Blended or Non-Traditional Families. The default asset transfer laws may be radically different than someone expects when parties re-marry, have children from other marriages, or treat each other as married but are not legally recognized as married by the state.
  5. Make Donations and Gifts. Wills can direct donations to educational, charitable or religious organizations before the remainder of the estate is distributed.
  6. Minimize Estate Taxes. Well-drafted wills can minimize estate tax obligations by maximizing state and federal tax exemptions.


What is a Professional Will, and why would I need one?

Can I Negotiate a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure for a Reverse Mortgage?

Why Do I Need a Will?

Construction Defects and Housing

Meet The Attorneys

Construction Defects and Housing
By Cindy Manzano

Picture of Cindy Manzano, Esq.Over the past several years the people of Colorado have debated how to protect homeowners from defects in the construction of their newly purchased homes, while still giving the economy a boost and encouraging builders to continue to build and provide new and affordable multi-family housing in Colorado. Efforts last year to revise the existing laws on construction defects failed and new bills are again being introduced and debated in the Colorado Legislature.

There is a debate over whether construction defect reform is even necessary. There is an effort to cut down the existing statute of limitations or repose, or deadline, to bring a construction defect action against a construction professional to fewer years to protect builders. Yet, shortening the length of time within which a homeowner can bring a lawsuit could be a problem for the homeowner who does not learn of certain defects until some time has passed, such as after repeated rain or snow storms. There is an ongoing debate about whether such a proposed measure would only provide immunity to a builder who did not construct properly but the condition was not immediately obvious. Those who propose changes to the laws argue that the existing laws have caused condominium construction to decrease making housing out of reach for many. Opponents to reform argue that the right to sue builders and file lawsuits under the currently existing statutes have protected them from absorbing the large amount of unexpected costs to repair their homes after purchase when the builder did not voluntarily agree to remedy the situation.

The existing laws allow a homeowner to send a notice of claim letter to a construction professional such as a builder, identifying the claimed defects and their location, and provide the builder with the opportunity to inspect the property and make a monetary offer or offer to repair. If the matter is not amicably resolved between the parties, then the homeowners or homeowner association board can proceed with a lawsuit after the time limits and procedures have been followed. A proposed reform would allow a builder the right to repair whether the homeowners agreed with the proposed repair or not. Those behind such reform argue that this would knock out unnecessary lawsuits that impact the builder's insurance and finances. Those opposed to such change argue that this would eliminate a property owner's right to determine what can or can't be done with his or her own property and investment and could lead to band-aid repairs that do not address the root of the problem, leaving the owners without a voice or rights in court.


Meet The Attorneys

Picture of Julie Jacobs, Esq.

Julie Jacobs

Ms. Jacobs received her Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado in 2014. Her practice emphasizes Mental Health Law and Real Estate.

Julie's Profile

Picture of Michael Kugler, Esq.

Michael Kugler

Mr. Kugler received his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2014. His practice emphasizes Real Estate, Contract disputes, Civil Litigation, Construction Defects, Association Law (HOA's) and Title Issues.

Mike's Profile

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