Welcome to the Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson

The Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson is a boutique law firm which focuses on California real estate transactions, business transactions and probate law. As a boutique office, we are able to offer the highest quality of legal services without charging the big firm legal fees. Our office is dedicated to providing clients with a more intimate experience in understanding the law, and guiding clients through major life transitions.

Ashley Peterson, ESQ

Ashley M. Peterson is a fourth generation California attorney. Ms. Peterson founded the Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson in 2015, and specializes in real estate transactions including commercial and residential property purchases and sales, 1031 exchanges, commercial and residential leasing, landlord and tenant matters, short term vacation rental regulations, title and due diligence review, easements, and homeowner association issues. In addition, Ms. Peterson’s practice includes advising small businesses, forming new business entities, business purchases and sales, general business contracts, and trust and probate administration.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated
and the answers are simple.”
Dr. Seuss

Our Legal Specialties

Real Estate Law

Property law is constantly changing in California. As a landlord, tenant, property owner, or buyer, it is important that you know what your legal rights and obligations are. Our office will ensure you know the current applicable laws, and we can guide you through whatever difficult situation you may face with your residential or commercial property.

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Business Law

Whether you want to form a new business, maintain an existing business, buy or sell a business, or enter into business contracts, our office will ensure that the terms of the documents are fully explained to you, and that you understand your legal obligations in starting a new business venture.

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Probate Law

When a loved one passes away without a trust, and that person owned assets totaling $150,000 or more, a probate will likely need to be initiated in order to transfer the assets to the heirs of the decedent or the proper beneficiaries. Our office can help you determine whether a probate is necessary in your particular situation, and whether alternatives to probate are available.

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When you own real property, that asset will generally appreciate in value over time, particularly if you own property in San Diego. When you sell that asset, capital gains tax will be due on the sale based on the appreciated value. A 1031 exchange is the method by which a person can sell an existing investment property (“relinquished property”) and defer all of the tax that would be due on the sale by purchasing a new investment property (“replacement property”). This is called a “like kind” exchange. It is extremely important for clients to have a qualified team of individuals to ensure the 1031 exchange is handled correctly. At a minimum this team should include a real estate attorney, a well-respected qualified intermediary company, escrow, and a tax advisor. Failure to complete the transaction properly and in accordance with IRS regulations and timelines could result in serious tax ramifications, penalties and interest on the transaction. If you are thinking about conducting a 1031 exchange, please contact our offices and we would be happy to assist you through this process.
If you are considering selling your home without using a Real Estate Agent or Broker in order to save on commissions, there are three important things you need to know. First and foremost, you absolutely need the assistance of a real estate attorney to ensure the sale is done in compliance with all California laws. Real estate agents cannot give you legal advice, so if you have questions about the sale agreement, or are not using a Realtor, you will need to contact an attorney. There are many intricacies of a real property transaction that cannot be waived or overlooked under California law, such as statutory disclosures by the seller, payment of existing loans and encumbrances, and ensuring the proper parties are transferring the property. Having an attorney involved in the process will give you the peace of mind that the sale is being handled properly, and that your interests are protected.
When a loved one passes away without a trust and owned assets totaling $150,000 or more, a probate will likely need to be initiated in order to transfer the assets to the heirs of the decedent or the proper beneficiaries. In a probate case, if there is a will, the named executor will collect the assets and administer the estate, or if there is no will, then an administrator will be appointed to do so. Occasionally there are disputes between family members as to the validity of a will, if the decedent created a will (or multiple wills) during their lifetime, and a probate case will need to be initiated to determine the validity of the controlling will. Probate can be a confusing and burdensome process for those who are unfamiliar with the law, and there are many factors to consider in determining whether a probate is necessary or whether assets can be distributed through more simplified documenting procedures. Our office is experienced in assessing and handling probate administration and we can assist you in navigating the difficult Probate Court process, so please give us a call today.
Please note this post does not constitute or convey legal advice. For questions related to your specific situation, please contact the Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson, and we would be happy to answer any legal questions you may have.
The short answer is, it depends on the facts of your particular situation and what your business goals might be. LLCs and corporations greatly differ in their organizational structure. A corporation has a hierarchical structure involving shareholders, directors, and officers. Owners of a corporation, or shareholders, will be issued stock certificates which reflect their ownership in the entity. Officers and directors control the management and operation of the corporation’s ordinary business activities. Bylaws are usually adopted as the governing document of the entity. Corporations are generally considered to be a more formal business entity due to the requirement under the Corporations Code to hold annual meetings of directors and shareholders. An LLC in comparison, is comprised of a manager (or managers) and members. Management and control can be vested in either the manager(s) or members depending on the way the LLC is structured. The operating agreement is the controlling document for the entity’s governance and ordinary business transactions. An LLC is generally considered to be a more flexible entity in that it does not require annual meetings. Both an LLC and a corporation provide members, managers, owners, directors and officers with liability protection resulting from activities of the entity. In most cases, liability is limited to the value of the person’s investment in the business enterprise. Both corporations and LLCs are required to pay an annual $800 franchise tax for doing business in the State of California. However, LLCs are required to pay an additional annual gross receipts fee for any year in which the total income of the LLC derived from California is $250,000 or more. Depending on the type of corporation formed, the entity may be subject to double taxation. This is just intended to be a brief overview of the differences between a California LLC and a California corporation. For a more in depth discussion of these entity variations as applicable to your situation, please contact our office.
Please note this post does not constitute or convey legal advice. For questions related to your specific situation, please contact the Law Office of Ashley M. Peterson, and we would be happy to answer any legal questions you may have.

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