Aug. 28, 2012
Dear George: If a property owner dies intestate, how long does it take to probate? And how long does it take for the lineal descendants of a small estate to be sold?
Answer: If a person dies intestate, an administrator is appointed to handle the estate. If the small estate is small – under $50,000 – the heirs can file a small-estate affidavit with the court. It usually takes a few weeks to get court approval. If an heir gets greedy, however, it can be a mess.
Dear George: I recently moved into an apartment where I signed a one-year lease. I learned from my neighbors that a man was murdered in my apartment unit during a drug-related shooting a few weeks before I moved in. This information was not disclosed to me before I signed the lease, and I don’t feel safe in my apartment. Are these grounds for terminating my lease?
Answer: There isn’t any law that requires landlords to disclose this kind of information. And while you may break your lease, you may be financially obligated – by law or by the lease – to the landlord for rent and other charges.
E-mail a question to ask George & Chuck or fax it to 713-978-6684. The answers to questions in this column do not contain legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.