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Norwalk Partition Lawyer

The City of Norwalk was first home to the Shoshonean Native American tribe and then later settled by the Spanish in the late 1760s. In its early days, Norwalk became known as a dairy center. Norwalk was incorporated on August 26, 1957, and is now home to over 100,000 residents. Today, Norwalk is one of the most fastest developing and growing cities in the United States. The city's growing population with over 65% of housing units being owner-occupied suggests that many homes are jointly owned. As a result, residents of Norwalk may face disputes with co-owners. Generally, a partition action is the best remedy for disputing co-owners in four broad categories:

  • Split real estate dispute;
  • Brother-Sister real estate dispute;
  • Investor-Investor real estate dispute; and
  • Significant other real estate dispute

Generally, a probate homestead may not be the subject matter of a partition action. This is to ensure that the property rights of a surviving widow are protected during her lifetime. A probate court has the discretion to set a homestead apart from the decedent's estate in order to protect the family unit from a creditor's claim or heirs' and legatees' rights. Recently, the California Court of Appeal addressed the rights of a surviving spouse to petition the setting apart of a probate homestead in a case decided by the Sixth District Court of Appeal known as Estate of Sanchez (2022) WL 16548875.

In that case, after the decedent left his interest in the community property residence owned with his wife to his daughter and two other children, his daughter petitioned to probate his will and his wife subsequently requested to set the Property apart as a probate homestead for her lifetime. The wife stated that she was a retired older woman with poor health issues who had lived in the residence since her purchase in 1984, had limited income, and could not financially afford to purchase a replacement home. The probate court granted the wife's petition and prohibited her from accessing the home's equity or reversing the mortgage without a court order. The daughter appealed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding that "it is clear from the relevant statutes that the Legislature recognized that the probate homestead might affect the inheritance rights of others for a period as determined by the probate court." The Court of Appeal stated that "in selecting and setting apart the probate homestead, the court shall consider the needs of the surviving spouse …, the liens and encumbrances on the property, the claims and creditors, the needs of the heirs or devisees of the decedent, and the intent of the decedent with respect to the property in the estate and the estate plan of the decedent as expressed in inter vivos and testamentary transfers or by other means." (CCP § 6523(a).) The Appellate Court determined that the probate court did indeed consider these needs, and disregarded the daughter's unsupported factual contentions and legal arguments.

How Underwood Law Firm Can Help

In order to start resolving these situations, you should contact an experienced Norwalk Partition Lawyer as soon as you are ready to start the next chapter of your life.

Client Reviews
“We were in need of a real estate attorney. Eli Underwood provided excellent legal advice and services. He explained everything well and followed through with all important issues that needed attention. We found him to be reliable, courteous, patient and extremely professional. We highly recommend Mr. Underwood without any reservations.” I.S.
"I own a real estate investment company that operates across multiple states (California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and more), whenever I run into an issue that needs legal attention, Eli is my first call. I've been working with him for years. He is an amazing attorney and I highly recommend him." Thank you for your help Sir!" T.W.
"Mr. Underwood is a fantastic Lawyer with extraordinary ethics. He responds quickly, which is rare these days, and he is very knowledgeable in his craft. It was a pleasure working with him and we will definitely use his services in the future if needed. Thank you for your help Sir!" M.O.
"Eli took our case and controlled every hurdle put before us. I one time commented to him that he must love his job because it seemed that he was always available. When talking about my case to anyone I always bring up where, I believe, the other parties Lawyer tried to take advantage of my wife and me. Eli stopped him in his tracks. On top of it being easy to work with Eli, it was a pleasure to have had him represent us. We were in good hands." E.T
"We were in need of an attorney with considerable knowledge of real estate law and the legal issues related to property ownership. Eli Underwood went above and beyond our expectations. In keeping us abreast of our suit, his communication skills were outstanding. This talent was especially demonstrated when dealing with the apposing counsel. We feel this gave us a tremendous advantage over the opposing party that resulted in us reaching a successful outcome. I would highly recommend Eli Underwood as we found him to be an exceptional attorney." P.B.
"In our need for legal services we found Eli to be well informed and on top of our case and our needs. Our's was not an ordinary case as it was a case with many facets. It was a very convoluted case. There were multiple owners involved in a property dispute where one of the owners sued the rest of the owners with a Partition Suit. Needless to say Eli was instrumental in helping us resolve our differences and gained us a profitable sale all with good end results for all. If you hire Eli Underwood you will not be disappointed!" M.A.