Estate planning is an important part of thinking ahead for the future of your family. What are some things that you need to remember when preparing your estate? Here are three important tips.
- Estate planning laws vary from state to state – That means you have to update your plan any time you move between states. It also means that you need to work with an estate planning attorney from the state you are a resident of when setting up your plan.
- Review your estate plan regularly – You should look over your estate plan each year. However, if you have a major lifechanging event occur, this calls for reviewing the plan immediately. Such events can include adding a family member (marriage, birth, adoption, etc.) or losing a family member (divorce, death, disowning, etc.).
- Don’t forget planning for your health needs – Preparing your medical wishes in advance is a crucial part of estate planning. You also have the opportunity to appoint a healthcare agent who can speak for you and advocate for your wishes should you become incapacitated for a time. Therefore, you don’t want to forget your advance medical directive when preparing your estate.
Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
Petrov Law Firm has southern California’s premier estate planning attorneys. Give us a call at 619.344.0360 to discuss your options. We’re here to help you prepare for the future so that your family and your own needs will be well cared for.Read More
A cookie-cutter last will and testament template from the Internet might be able to help you assign an executor, assuming it is worded properly for the state you live in. However, real estate planning requires the help of a local professional who understands state laws regarding succession. If you want to put your own personal stamp on your estate plan, here are a few things you won’t find in a generic template.
- Recordings – You’ve probably watched a movie or TV show wherein someone leaves a video message behind for loved ones to treasure. Digital storage makes for an even more lasting keepsake. Your video can be played over and over, even to introduce you to generations of your family that are born after you pass on.
- Charitable contributions – What better way to leave a legacy than to support your favorite cause? You can provide assistance for the community and provide your heirs with an object example in being generous at the same time.
- Conditional trusts – Conditional trusts allow you to support the hopes and aspirations of your beneficiaries. You can make the trust conditional on anything like an heir getting married, buying their first home, having a child, going to college, starting a business, going to rehab, or whatever else you want to support them in accomplishing.
Creating a Lasting Legacy for Your Family
Estate planning is so much more than just deciding who gets what. Petrov Law Firm can help you explore the options that are available to you in the state of California, call 619.344.0360 to learn more today.Read More
Estate planning can help you to ensure that your family is well taken care of should something happen to you unexpectedly. Your estate plan can also protect your rights. Here are a few tips if you are not sure where to begin.
- Don’t wait – If an accident were to take your life tomorrow or a sudden illness causes you to become incapacitated, the right time to prepare your documents is today.
- Talk with a professional – Hire an experienced estate planning attorney rather than taking chances with online templates that may not even be specific to the state of California’s laws.
- Make sure you include your health wishes – An advance health care directive is a crucial part of an estate plan. You need to select an agent to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself and make your wishes (especially end of life decisions) clearly known in writing.
- Review your documents every year – Even once you have your estate plan, you should be reviewing it each year to be sure that it reflects your current wishes.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
The Petrov Law Firm is helping families from North County to Chula Vista plan for the future. If you want to prepare a new estate plan or if you want to update an existing estate plan, call 619.344.0360 today. Remember that laws regarding inheritance and advance directives vary from state to state, so if you have moved to California with an existing estate plan, now is the time to update it for local regulations.Read More
People say that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. How can you be sure that after your death, your beneficiaries do not have to pay much of your estate in taxes? Fortunately, a large amount is automatically exempt from taxes. If your estate is even bigger, and you don’t mind parting with some of the funds now, you can also make large gifts that are tax exempt. Here are the current federal limits.
- Estate tax exemption – Currently, the estate tax exemption limit is $11.58 million. For most estates, that means the entire sum will be tax-free for your beneficiaries. But what if you have a larger estate and want to share some of the inheritance while you are still alive?
- Annual gift exclusion – You can gift someone $15,000 with the person not having to pay federal income tax on it. This can allow you to dispense quite a large estate over time without tax implications. For example, if you and your spouse each write a check to your child and their spouse, you can actually give $60,000 per year to a couple. In this way, you can get the estate down under the tax exemption limit while you are still alive.
Smart Ways to Pass on an Inheritance in Southern California
San Diego’s estate planning experts are at Petrov Law Firm. To learn more about how to distribute your estate wisely, call 619.344.0360, and speak with one of our attorneys.Read More
An irrevocable living trust can be a vital part of your estate planning. How can you get the most from this useful tool? Here are a few things to consider.
- The right successor trustee is crucial – When you die, your living trust becomes irrevocable. That means the decisions you have previously made regarding the trust will stand. Who will carry out those wishes? The successor trustee will do so. Therefore, it is essential to appoint someone who can handle the responsibility and who is trustworthy.
- Control your assets while you are still living – The successor trustee won’t play a role in the trust until after you pass away. While you are still alive, you can exert control over the trust and do as you see fit with your assets.
- Avoid probate for beneficiaries – Probate court can cause issues for your beneficiaries. For example, the assets may be tied up for a long time if there are disputes. This can drain your estate of funds that should go to your heirs. Probate is also public record, so anyone can look up what your beneficiaries received from your estate. Setting up a trust avoids these issues.
Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
From North County to Chula Vista, San Diego residents can turn to Petrov Law Firm for all of your estate planning needs. To learn more, give our experienced attorneys a call today at 619.344.0360. We look forward to helping you successfully plan ahead for the future of your family.Read More
You can assign power of attorney (POA) to the person of your choice for a number of reasons. Whether you want someone to be able to make financial, medical, or other decisions for you, there may be a time when designating a POA becomes necessary. Here are a couple of reasons to consider this option.
- It’s not automatic – Some people have the mistaken idea that your mate can automatically make decisions for you regarding finances and health, but this is not the case. For example, if you become incapacitated, bank accounts that do not have your spouse on the account with you would no longer be accessible. Or, if you the sole owner of a vehicle or property, your mate would not be able to sell it without your consent. You have to assign a POA for anyone else to be able to handle these matters on your behalf.
- It offers convenience if you become incapacitated – You can assign a POA to handle day to day expenses, property sale, investments, mortgage payments, hiring of legal counsel, tax payments, and the like. As you get older, you may want a trusted friend or family member helping with these matters, so nothing slips through the cracks. It can be of even greater benefit if you become suddenly incapacitated.
Executing POA in California
If you need help designating a power of attorney, your estate planning lawyer can help. Contact Petrov Law Firm today to get in touch with experienced estate planning attorneys in San Diego. Just call 619.344.0360 to get started.Read More
If you were to die in the state of California with no last will and testament in place, what would happen to your belongings? California, like other states, sets its own line of succession in regard to inheritance. Here is the initial line of succession, depending on family members who survive you.
- Spouse – Remember that this only applies to those who are legally married. If you have been cohabiting with the same person for many years, it may not be something you think about.
- Children – Things can get complicated if you have children with multiple people, so blended families shouldn’t rely on natural succession.
- Parents – If you are survived by your parents but do not have a legal spouse or children, they will be the next of kin.
- Siblings – If there are no closer relatives, your siblings should be contacted next.
Keep in mind that this line of succession depends on a court-appointed individual being able to identify and contact your next of kin. To ensure the line of succession or to change the order, you will have to perform your own estate planning. Also, planning ahead and executing the right documents will speed up the process and result in fewer assets going to the courts or state.
Planning Ahead for Succession in California
To ensure that your family receives what they deserve as soon as possible or to add charitable donations to your estate planning, you want the help of experienced estate planning attorneys. Call 619.344.0360 to contact the professionals at Petrov Law Firm.Read More
A life insurance policy can help your family to financially navigate the difficult time they will experience when you pass away. From covering burial costs to helping the family get by until the rest of the estate becomes available, life insurance can play a vital role in your estate planning. Here are a few tips regarding life insurance policies.
- Keep your beneficiary up to date – Your life insurance policy will pass directly to the named beneficiary without going through probate, so be sure to keep your named beneficiary up to date because this cannot be contested after you die.
- There may be situations where it makes sense to make your trust the beneficiary – This is especially true if you have children under the age of 18. Sending the money directly to the trust will ensure that the funds are accessible and handled properly by your successor trustee.
- Consider whether you and your trustee are at risk of dying at the same time – Since marriage mates usually travel together, this is the most common situation. Again, you may choose to make a trust the beneficiary, or you will want to appoint a secondary beneficiary to the life insurance policy.
Estate Planning Experts in Southern California
If you are planning for the future of your estate in the San Diego area, contact Petrov Law Firm today at 619.344.0360. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you to choose the best way to structure your estate so that it meets the needs of your family.Read More
A divorce is a major life change. It can occupy much of your time and your thoughts, even if you are the one who initiated the change and feel that it is for the best. At a sensitive time like this, you don’t want to make mistakes regarding your finances, which may be heavily affected by the divorce. One thing to review is your estate plan. Here are two reasons:
- Making changes to your beneficiaries – Your ex was probably the primary beneficiary on your life insurance policy, retirement accounts, POD bank accounts, and the like. You need to change those beneficiaries as soon as possible because not everything goes through probate, and your executor won’t be able to stop your ex from getting those funds if you forget to change the name on the accounts.
- Planning for your children – If you are no longer leaving everything to your ex, then you need to make plans to care for any kids you had together. This is especially true if you plan to remarry. Your next spouse may not feel the need to share your assets with kids from your previous marriage, especially if you have children together.
Family Friendly Estate Planning in San Diego
Petrov Law Firm can help walk you through planning for a traditional family, a blended family, or even for leaving behind charitable contributions. To learn more, contact us today at 619.344.0360. Our estate planning attorneys will be happy to get your plans moving forward.Read More
Probate court can drain valuable resources from your estate and cause your loved ones to have to wait to receive their inheritance. How can you fast track some of the funds that your family will need when you pass away? The type of bank accounts that you use can help. Here are two to consider:
- Joint accounts – This is the best option for couples. You can share the bank account. If something happens to one of you, the other will retain access to the account. The only downside to joint accounts is that anyone else on the account has access to the funds at any time, even while you are still alive, which is why this is not a common account for other relationships besides marriage mates.
- Payable on death (POD) accounts – This option is better when you want someone to inherit the money immediately if something happens to you, but you don’t want them accessing your funds while you are still alive. You name a beneficiary who receives the remaining account funds when you pass away. Just remember that you have to change the beneficiary name immediately if you want someone else to get the money. There will be no way for anyone to contest the beneficiary after you die.
Southern California’s Estate Planning Experts
Petrov Law Firm can help you to have things in order well in advance of any emergency situations or end of life decisions. This can give you and your family peace of mind. Call 619.344.0360 to discuss your options with an experienced estate planning attorney.Read More