A: If your rent-to-own contract is in writing then the contract should be binding on the owner's estate, although there may be some practical challenges in enforcing it. If your contract is not in writing you will have several practical proof problems to overcome, and you may have trouble overcoming the executor's challenges to the contract. As a tenant in possession you may have additional rights to recover investments in the house, or maintain your current amount of rent. As with the purchase option, your rights may depend on the language of your written agreement.
A: You have the right idea to put the partnership in writing. Your attorney will be able to help you think through several issues: investment into the business, operating the business, the potential to add more partners or investors, and an exit strategy for each partner or both partners. The document to start with is a business partnership agreement that outlines the ground rules for your partnership based on the Tennessee law. It can be a very straightforward document, or more complex depending on your needs. For instance, you may also want to create a statement of partnership authority which designates which partners have the authority to enter into agreements on behalf of the partnership, or it may limit the authority of certain partners.
This is the kind of business agreement I help small business owners with regularly, and I invite you to request a bid for my services on your project through ContractsCounsel.
A: A power of attorney allows you to make decisions and dispose of property, it does sound like one might be helpful in your situation. When an attorney writes up the power of attorney, you have a range of permissions to cover all the needs of your individual situation. You’ll want to be sure that you have the ability to write checks, etc. Additionally, the power of attorney will be useful if other family members challenge your decisions or actions.
Drafting the document is a fairly straightforward process, and most attorneys will bill 1-2 hours depending on whether you need additional documents for healthcare and estate decisions.