A part of your estate plan may involve setting up a trustworthy family member with power of attorney. What is power of attorney? Does your spouse automatically play this role? Let’s explain this legal process.
Power of Attorney Defined
When you give someone power of attorney, it means that you have signed a legal document giving them the ability to make certain decisions or the authority to sign particular documents for you. You can give one person complete power of attorney, which would let them do everything from signing your checks to selling your property. You can also give someonf power of attorney to carry out a particular task or for a predetermined period of time.
Can’t Your Spouse Do This for You Anyway?
Actually, no. While you are alive, your spouse doesn’t have control over your finances. If you share a bank account, of course, you can both make deposits or withdrawals and sign checks. But if you have a separate bank account, your mate would not have access. The same is true with property that is in your name alone and that you do not share ownership of. No one has power of attorney for you unless you legally grant it.
Assistance in Executing Power of Attorney
If you need to give someone power of attorney, even if it is just for a limited time or specific event – such as having a person sell a piece of property on your behalf while you are out of the county – the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. Call 619.344.0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
If you are planning ahead for the future of your estate, one of the things you need to know about is the irrevocable living trust. There are many benefits that come with this estate planning provision. Here are a few tips.
- Use the trust to skip probate – When you set your estate up in trust for your beneficiaries, they don’t have to wait for probate court to distribute your assets. This is because you get to designate a successor trustee to care for the estate when you pass.
- Use your irrevocable trust to control your own assets – The nice thing about this form of trust is that you can be the trustee until you die. That means you have full access to the assets, and you determine what is included in the trust.
- Choose the right successor trustee – The trust becomes irrevocable when you pass. Your successor trustee’s job is to distribute the assets as you have determined beforehand. Make sure you select someone who is financially capable of carrying out this important task so that your beneficiaries receive the funds in the right way and at the appropriate time.
San Diego’s Estate Planning Attorneys
From Chula Vista to North County, residents in the San Diego area can rely on the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. Call us today at 619.344.0360 to schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations. We look forward to helping you secure the future of your family.Read More
The way you structure your bank accounts may help your heirs to receive their inheritance faster. We’re going to look at two simple ways to adjust your bank accounts so that they pass directly to your beneficiaries without the delays and expense of probate court.
- Joint Accounts – If both names are on the account, then your beneficiary can use the funds at any time. Of course, this includes while you are still alive, so this option is usually only used by spouses who are okay sharing their finances.
- POD Accounts – POD stands for Payable on Death. This type of bank account allows you to set a beneficiary who receives the contents of the account when you pass away. It is the perfect way to maintain control over the funds while you are alive but to pass them on directly when you are gone. Just remember to let the beneficiary know about the account so they can collect when the time comes. Also, remember that if you want to change who will receive the funds, you need to change your beneficiary on the account with your bank.
Estate Planning Attorneys in Southern California
For more assistance in planning for the future of your family, please contact the professional estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm by calling 619.344.0360. We can help you to get your affairs in order so that no matter where you are in life, you are prepared for the unexpected.Read More
It can be easy to forget about the details when your mind is focused on a huge life change like a divorce. However, forgetting to update your estate plan can affect the future of your family, so when you go through any sort of big life change – good or bad – this is something you need to give consideration to. Here are two big estate plan changes you need to think about after a divorce.
- Changing the beneficiary named on your accounts – Life insurance policies, POD bank accounts, and many other assets transfer directly to the person who is the named beneficiary. An executor won’t be able to stop it. So if your ex’s name is listed for any of these types of accounts, you need to change it right away.
- Plan ahead for kids you had with your ex – If you get remarried in the future, the natural line of succession will leave out children from previous marriages because everything will go to your new mate. That means you need to plan your estate specifically to leave what you want to children from a previous mate.
San Diego Estate Planning Attorneys to Help You Think About Your Family’s Future
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm are ready and willing to help you prepare for the future of your family no matter what life-changing experiences you may go through. Contact us today by calling 619.344.0360 to start your estate plan or to review an existing plan.Read More
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
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