Re: Clarification on What legal structure is best for a small group? (Ann Zabaldo)
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2018 08:37:02 -0800 (PST)
> On Dec 26, 2018, at 5:11 AM, Copia Webster <copiawebster [at]> 
> wrote:

> 1. We will not be developing a building. We will buy an existing apartment
> building and do light rehab to a couple of the units.
> 2. We will be buying the building as an legal entity, not developing as one.
> 3. Neither condominium, co-op or HoA will meet our needs, because we do not
> want member’s individual creditors to be able to lien the building, nor for
> heirs of deceased members to inherit any part or interest in the building.

This is helpful and necessary information to respond to your question. 
Otherwise the response is a book.

> The first professional we want to hire is an attourney that specializes in
> the kind of legal vehicle we need. Hence our quest to determine what that
> vehicle is.

You need lawyer that specializes in a "common interest" legal entities, ones in 
which everyone has a common interest but is protected from the financial 
liabilities of other members. There are various solutions in different states. 
Diana Leafe Christian discusses options in her two books on community. 

Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional 

Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

She discusses many of the options including the land trust as Jerry mentioned. 
Although only a lawyer can explain what might be available in your state, it 
helps to know the options available elsewhere so you know what questions to 
ask. Sometimes you can talk with a lawyer for hours before both of you 
understand what the other is talking about. 

There were two women writing a book on legal options for common interest 
organizations but I can’t find the reference just now . Maybe someone else 
remembers their names?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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