Who should inherit your possessions when you pass on? Most people immediately think of a mate or children. But what if you have no family? A close friend may suffice. But what if you have lived a long, full life and have outlived your close friends? Or what if you are just really eccentric and want to be a little more indiscriminate with your assets?
California state laws, along with federal laws in the US, don’t have any major requirements when it comes to selecting a beneficiary. It is expected that most people will choose family or friends, but it is not required.
The only time you lose the ability to choose who gets your assets is when they are considered community property. For example, if your mate’s name is also on your title or deed, you can only distribute your half of the property. You can’t give away your mate’s half.
Succession in California
If you don’t have a will or any other estate planning in place, California has laws of succession that dictate who will receive your belongings. Depending on who is still living, the line of succession usually starts with a spouse, then children, then any living parents, and finally siblings.
Estate Planning Assistance in California
Of course, you don’t want to leave things to chance, especially when it comes to blended families. Stepchildren are often cut out completely, and if you are remarried, your current spouse may not have to share anything with your children from a previous marriage. To avoid these types of issues, call Petrov Law Firm at 619.344.0360 to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.Read More
While it is not a common practice, there are times when it makes sense to have the beneficiary of your life insurance policy be a trust rather than an individual. Is this the best option for you? Here are a few ways to tell:
- You are concerned that your beneficiary and you may die simultaneously. You want to leave your life insurance to your mate, but what if you are traveling together and die in an accident? Who recovers the policy then?
- You already have a trust set up to avoid probate. Your life insurance policy goes directly to your beneficiary, not into probate. However, if you are already setting up a trust to protect your other assets, then you may want to include your life insurance policy.
- Your beneficiaries are under 18. Minor children won’t be able to collect on your policy until they come of age anyway. A trust can protect the funds and allow for special case dispensations (providing guardians with funds for educational supplies, healthcare, and things of that nature).
San Diego’s Estate Planning Experts
Rather than trying to figure out the best way to arrange your affairs on your own, why not give the professional estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm the opportunity to help you understand your options. This will allow you to take better care of your family’s future. Call 619.344.0360 today to get the assistance you need when it comes to estate planning.Read More
Married couples can enjoy unique estate planning privileges that make it easier to prepare for the future. Here are some types of trusts that can help you protect one another financially.
- Survivor’s Trust – This is a trust that provides a clean transition if you want to leave everything to your mate. It’s very cut and dry but may not be the right option for individuals who get remarried to someone who is not a parent of their children.
- Survivor’s Trust with Qualified Terminable Interest Property – This is the right type of survivor’s trust for blended families (as well as for those with a smaller estate). It does offer nice deductions while you are both living.
- Marital Disclaimer Trust – Be sure to consult an estate planning attorney to see if this is right for you. In this case, the surviving mate has an option for a Bypass Trust. It’s a very specific type of trust for special circumstances.
- A/B Trust – This is a rare trust to provide shelter in the case of an enormous estate that would be subject to an estate tax. If you have such a large estate, be sure to ask your attorney about this type of trust.
California Estate Planning for Married Couples
Petrov Law Firm in San Diego can provide you with the estate planning advice you need. Get in touch with us today by calling 619.344.0360, and let us help you to ensure that your estate is in good orderRead More
If you want to leave a gift to family or friends when you pass on, a trust is a great way to do it. Here are four types of trust you should know about when you do your estate planning.
- Gift Trust – This is a great way to give loved ones a gift now and set more aside for later without a huge tax penalty. Your family can take the maximum allowable gift per year that is not taxable, and the rest rolls over into a trust that will become available when you pass away.
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust – If you want to transfer a property you own to your family, but you don’t want them to have to pay the full market value, a QPRT provides tax benefits as well as asset protection.
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust – An IDGT is the right trust for passing on the family business. However, it provides protection for the family member against creditors.
- Charitable Remainder Trust – What if you want to make your gift to a charity? The CRT is right for you. Plus, your beneficiaries may get tax benefits on the rest of the estate, so everybody wins.
Giving Gifts the Smart Way in Southern California
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to be generous with your gifts while still making sound financial decisions for the future of your family. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360, and you can schedule a consultation at any of our three convenient locations.Read More
In a no-fault state (there are currently 12 in the US), every driver is required to carry insurance that covers his or her own expenses should an accident occur. California is a fault state. What does this mean?
In a fault state, the insurance of the driver who is responsible for the accident pays the expenses. Therefore, if you admit that you ran a red light and hit another car, your insurance will be paying for the other driver’s damages including medical bills, car repair, and even pain and suffering caused by the experience.
When Accident Blame Is Shared in a Fault State
In a fault state, since accidents are paid for by the offending party, what happens if both sides share some blame? The powers that be may decide either on an even split or on another percentage. For example, if the other driver ran a stop sign, but you panicked when you should have been able to get out of the way, they may assign a 70-30 or 80-20 split. In this case, you would recover most of your losses from the other person’s insurance, but your insurance would have to cover the rest.
Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney
In a fault state, proving blame can make a huge difference in the settlement amount with an insurance company. Having a personal injury attorney on your side can help you to maximize your settlement. In southern California, drivers can trust Petrov Law Firm to put our experience to work for you. Call us today at 619.344.0360 to get your case started.Read More
Personal injury settlements can help to cover your medical bills, missed work, and additional pain and suffering that you may experience due to another person or company’s negligence. However, if you have been injured, you need to get your claim prepared as soon as possible. This is because the state of California places a statute of limitations on how much time you have to request compensation.
The amount of time that you have to make your claim depends on the type of damages or the guilty party. Here are a few examples:
- If a government agency was responsible – If you are injured due to the negligence of a government agency, you need to submit your claim as soon as possible. The statute of limitations on a claim involving a government agency is only six months.
- If you have been injured – You have two years to make your claim in a general personal injury case, but you should start right away. The closer you get to the statute of limitations, the more an insurance company can try and drag things out or force you into a smaller settlement than you deserve.
- If your property has been damaged – You have up to three years to make a claim on property damages. Again, don’t let the length of time stop you from working on the case right away. The closer you get to the deadline, the less likely you are to receive what you really deserve.
San Diego’s Personal Injury Attorneys
The personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to get your case settled within the statute of limitations so that you can maximize your compensation. Contact us today at 619.344.0360 to get started.Read More
When you are riding your bicycle around San Diego, safety must be of paramount importance. Cyclists rarely fare well when involved in an accident with a moving vehicle. That makes visibility critical for your well-being. What will make you the most visible to drivers?
Lights: The Most Important Safety Feature on Your Bicycle
The state of California actually has a few laws regarding lighting on your bike to make it more visible. Therefore, your bicycle should already have the following:
- A headlight for use when riding after dark
- A red rear reflector
However, you can increase your visibility and make riding even safer by adding additional lighting features beyond those required by law. For example:
- Use your headlight day and night to increase visibility during the day
- Get taillights instead of just a reflector to increase the likelihood of a driver seeing you from behind
- Acquire signal lights for drivers who don’t pay attention to hand signals or who have forgotten what they mean since taking their driving test
Bicycle Accident Attorneys in San Diego
If you have been injured in an accident while biking in southern California, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. Since California is a fault state, the driver’s insurance company may try to place some of the blame on you to reduce the settlement. Before you sign any sort of agreement, be sure to call 619.344.0360, so you can get an experienced lawyer on your side.Read More
Whether you have been injured by another driver in a car accident or due to any other sort of personal injury involving intent or negligence, you can seek compensation. What losses can you recover in a suit? Here are four types:
- Medical bills – If you amass medical bills due to the injury, the person who is at fault is responsible for the medical bills.
- Lost wages – If you are no longer able to work or even if you just missed a few days of work due to your injuries, you can receive compensation for the wages that you lost or will lose in the future.
- Property damage – If any of your personal property was damaged in the incident (e.g. your vehicle), you can receive compensation for repairs or replacement.
- Pain and suffering – Sometimes you can’t quantify all of the damages in the realm of things that you lost. There may also be emotional trauma or serious inconvenience that resulted from the accident that did not cost you a specific amount of money. While it can be difficult to put a number on the pain and suffering caused by an injury, this will normally be the largest part of a settlement.
Personal Injury Lawyers to Help Your Receive Due Compensation in California
The personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm have experience in helping people recover their losses in the wake of an intentional or accidental injury. To see if your case is actionable, call 619.344.0360 today to schedule a consultation.Read More
Is it worth it write a Last Will and Testament when you are still in your 20s or 30s? What if you are still single or don’t own your first home yet? The fact is that responsible estate planning isn’t about your age or how much you own. Here are three reasons millennials should have a will.
- You have the energy – If you don’t, imagine how much worse it will be in another 10 or 20 years. Now is the time to take care of things that consume time and energy but are necessities, and that includes estate planning.
- You should be making healthcare decisions in advance – Estate planning isn’t just about deciding who gets your stuff. You also need to make advance medical decisions and appoint someone to carry out your wishes if you are every unconscious or incapacitated.
- Accidents happen – We hope this never happens to you, but if you end up the victim of a tragic accident, you want to make sure your family is taken care of, and that means planning in advance for the worst-case scenario.
Care for Your Loved Ones with Estate Planning
Estate planning shows your love and concern for your family goes beyond just the time that you get to be with them. This is how you show your affection even after you are gone. Call 619.344.0360 today to speak with a professional estate planning attorney at Petrov Law Firm. Let us help you to plan ahead for the future in the state of California.Read More
Estate planning is about more than the end of a person’s life. It is about making decisions that affect your future and the future of your loved ones. Here are a couple of the most common estate planning mistakes, so you can be sure to avoid them.
- Making a plan and never reviewing it – Estate planning isn’t a one and done activity. Circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. If you move to a different state, get married, have a child, go through a divorce, or have any other life-changing experience, you need to review your plans to make sure they are still accurate. Even if nothing major happens, you should still review your plan every three to five years to make sure it is current with the law and with your wishes.
- Leaving out advance healthcare instructions – If you are unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, your estate plan can help you still receive the medical care you want by allowing you to make advance decisions and to appoint an advocate to speak for you. Otherwise, you may be at the mercy of whatever physician happens to be caring for you in an emergency situation.
Estate Planning Help from Experienced Attorneys in Southern California
To get help in planning for your estate the right way, contact Petrov Law Firm today by calling 619.344.0360. Our experienced estate planning attorneys are ready to help you plan ahead for the future of your household. Schedule a consultation now to get your estate plan started.Read More