Articles by J. Bradley Person

Gifting 101

For years people have tried to transfer wealth before death.  There are many reasons for doing so but often the main motivation was estate tax avoidance.  Now, with changes in tax law and very high exemptions, most people will not pay any estate tax upon death.  A more recent motivation has be... continue reading »

Tips for Zoning Permits

Before you build or even before you purchase the lot, if possible, confirm if any variances, conditional use permits or other zoning approvals are required.  If you fail to do that, you will be stuck applying for an after-the-fact variance or other approvals and it’s always easier to ask for p... continue reading »

Legal Zoom

Years ago, people were stuck with lawyers when drafting a will or other common legal documents as they really had no alternative.  In the internet era, on the other hand, you can find a form for just about anything.  I’ve had many people bring in forms randomly found on the internet or paid f... continue reading »

Buying Land to Develop

I’ve been getting lots of calls lately regarding how to plat or develop land.  That’s a good sign for our economy but the best time to ask questions about development is before you purchase the land.  Here are some things to consider:

Zoning – Your best resource is the local zoning... continue reading »

Hunting Land

As deer season is upon us I thought it would be a good time to review title to your land.  It’s pretty common for several buddies or family members to buy some land together and then share ownership and use to make hunting more affordable.  It’s a lot more fun to hunt when you can enjoy wit... continue reading »

Boundary Issues

Many legal disputes arise from trees, fences, structures, docks, driveways, along your lot lines.  The best advice within this article might be to introduce yourself to your neighbor as soon as you can since getting along with neighbors makes any legal issue easier to solve.  Even if neighbors ... continue reading »

Buying a Home with Your Partner

It seems like a growing trend for people to buy a home prior to marriage or possibly with the intent of never getting married.  Divorce can be an awful experience but at least there is a lot of legal precedent about how to resolve home ownership, possession and debts after the divorce.  If you ... continue reading »

Agreements Related to Real Estate

Many have heard of the Statute of Frauds; the main focus of this statute is that agreements related to land need to be in writing to be enforceable.  Here are some common scenarios that are not often reduced to writing and can lead to problems.

Encroachment Issues: Neighbors often know an... continue reading »

Joint Tenancy

If you title your home or bank account with another person as joint tenants, the law is clear that the surviving owner automatically takes title upon the first owner’s death without probate.  Sounds great and is the right choice is some cases. This way of titling assets often works well with s... continue reading »