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
You can have a generic will drafted and insert the names of your beneficiaries. At least you are planning ahead and not leaving things up to chance for your family. But what if you really want to put your own stamp on your estate plan and make it personal? Here are a few ideas:
- Name heirs to receive particular heirlooms – You may not think that your family has any heirlooms because nothing sentimental was left to you. However, you can start an heirloom that gets passed on for generations to come. Leave your favorite piece of jewelry or other type of valuable to a specific family member who will cherish it.
- Donate to charity – You can make your favorite charitable organization a beneficiary of some of your estate. This can allow you to make a reputable name for your family and do good for the community.
- Share your experience – From photos and handwritten letters to digital pictures, videos, and audio files, you can leave a wealth of knowledge and experience to the next generation. Share how you were able to become such a success, and maybe future generations will follow.
Develop a Personal Estate Plan in Southern California
The experienced attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to develop an estate plan that you are proud of and that will provide joy to your family during their time of loss. To schedule a consultation, give us a call today at 619-344-0360. We’re the estate planning attorneys that San Diego residents trust.Read More
Most people think about two things when it comes to estate planning: (1) Leaving your assets to the next generation, and (2) Making sure that you have your medical wishes in order regarding end of life decisions and things of that nature. However, there is another important element to estate planning, and that is leaving a legacy behind. Here are a few tips:
- Photos and Letters – Leaving behind old family photos and handwritten or typed letters can allow you to pass on some of the family’s history to the next generation.
- Audiovisual media – By leaving recorded messages and videos for your family to watch, you ensure that future generations will not only remember you but will continue to benefit from your wealth of wisdom.
- Conditional trusts – Rather than just leaving funds directly to heirs, you can set up conditional trusts. Your successor trustee will then distribute funds when the conditions you require are met. For example, you can set funds aside for the grandchildren that will only be released for college tuition and other educational costs. Or you can encourage young entrepreneurs in your family by leaving funds to be distributed when they finally open that business they’ve been talking about for years.
Create a Family Legacy, Not Just an Estate Plan
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you in your endeavor. If you live in the state of California, give us a call at 619-344-0360 to get your estate plan started today.Read More
When you are planning for your estate, the people who come to mind are likely your relatives, and perhaps a charity that is dear to your heart. However, you may not have any close relatives, or at least not anyone you feel close to. What can you do then? Does California force you to leave your estate to blood relatives?
State Laws in Regard to Naming Beneficiaries
This question comes up because of certain European nations which have laws forcing heirship. In the US, such laws don’t exist on the federal level, and California has not done much to impose its own will on whom you may choose to name as an heir. There is only one primary exception.
When a couple holds an asset as a community property (e.g., you each own 50% of your home), you can only dictate who receives your portion of the asset, not the entire asset.
Can I Make My Beneficiary a Random Person?
Sure. While this is a rather unorthodox way to pass on your estate, you could technically look in the phone book and select names at random to place in your will. The main issue will come when your executor is trying to get in touch with these individuals. They may pass away before you, or they may have moved without you knowing, or they could potentially refuse to speak with the executor thinking the call is some kind of scam.
California Estate Planning Law Experts
Whether you want to pass on your inheritance to your closest blood relative, a charity, or even just a good friend, Petrov Law Firm can help. Contact our estate planning attorneys today at 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation.Read More
Mental illness is increasingly common in the world today. If a relative has an illness, it doesn’t make you love them any less or want to take care of them any less. Therefore, your estate plan needs to be able to help you provide the support you want your loved one to have while compensating for the fact that he or she may not be able to manage the money alone. Here are a few tips to help guide you.
- A loyal and compassionate trustee. By appointing the right trustee over any trust that you leave to your loved one, you can ensure that the funds will be used for your loved one at the right times and in the proper amount.
- Controlling what funds can be dispensed for. Perhaps your loved one doesn’t need someone to care for him or her, but is still concerned about things like impulse spending or squandering the inheritance in other ways? Structuring the inheritance so that funds are only released for certain types of expenses is a good way to protect your loved one.
- Covering voluntary treatment costs. You can structure the trust so that your loved one receives a dispensation when he or she seeks medical care relating to the condition. This may move your loved one to see the high value of proper treatment and may provide the funds necessary to get the right care without the guilt of how expensive medical treatment can be in the US.
Discretionary Trusts and Other Estate Planning Methods in California
At Petrov Law Firm in San Diego, our estate planning attorneys will be happy to help you plan for the future needs of your loved ones. To see what types of estate planning are best for your family, contact us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Usually, people are encouraged not to waste their time worrying about things that may never happen, but when you are working on an estate plan, you do have to think about certain scenarios that may be unlikely but that would seriously affect your plans. Here are three “what ifs” that your estate plan should account for.
- What if there is a family conflict after I die? A big inheritance can bring out the worst, even in families that are very close-knit. The best way to protect your loved ones is to be very explicit about who gets what. You may even choose a non-family member as your executor.
- What if my mate and I die together? If a tragedy should occur such as an accident or a disaster, this is a possible scenario. Plan ahead by outlining succession in your estate plan and be certain to include plans for the care of minor children should they lose both parents at once.
- What if I die in another country? If you regularly travel or live in another country for part of the year, be sure that dying in another country will not affect your estate plan. You may need the assistance of a lawyer from the country you spend a lot of time in along with your local estate planning attorney.
Crossing the T’s and Dotting the I’s in California
For California estate planning, contact the attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers can help you to plan ahead for all of the “what ifs” so that you can have the peace of mind you deserve. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More
You cannot just assume that the right people will benefit from your assets when you pass on. Estate planning is required in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of thinking they can do nothing and that their mate and children will automatically get everything. Here’s the issue with that mentality:
The traditional family structure is becoming less common in the US.
If you and your mate have only ever been married to each other and all of your kids are naturally born to the two of you, you may actually be correct in thinking that your loved ones will inherit everything. But how many families are like that?
If you are raising grandkids, have children from multiple spouses, have adopted children, or have been married more than once, you may have no idea what the line of succession will be for your family. On top of that, family members may have different ideas as to how to care for you medically if you become incapacitated later in life. There can also be fights over funeral arrangements.
Lovingly Caring for the Future of Your Family
The loving way to care for the future of your family is to have an estate plan in place. Petrov Law Firm is your source for estate planning attorneys in southern California. Get in touch with our San Diego and Chula Vista lawyers today by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you plan for your future.Read More
Estate planning is about more than leaving money to your heirs. This is an opportunity to create or pass on a real family legacy. Here are a few ways to ensure that your name will live on long after you are gone.
- Trusts – You can create trusts that are dispensed when certain conditions are met. For example, you can create an education trust so that your grand kids can attend the university of their choice. You can even create trusts that provide incentives to reach goals, such as a trust that becomes available to your niece when she opens the new business she has been talking about venturing into. Knowing that the capital is there to get the business off the ground may be just what she needs to decide to give it a try.
- Letters and Old Photographs – While many modern personal documents and photos all exist in the cloud and are easy to pass on, your family may still have a treasure trove of old letters and printed photos. From pictures of your parents and grandparents to love letters that passed between relatives back in the 19th century, you can leave a wealth of family history to the next generation.
- Video and Audio Files – Your knowledge and experience can prove beneficial to future generations. But what if you are worried that the modern generation won’t care about your handwritten or typed letters? Why not try creating digital recordings of your advice or, better yet, video recordings. These can be preserved for years to come, allowing generations of the family to benefit and to see your face and hear your voice even if they never got to meet you in person.
Let Us Help You Establish Your Family Legacy
At Petrov Law Firm, we specialize in estate planning and can help you to leave behind a legacy for future generations. To learn more, contact us today at 619-344-0360. We look forward to helping you ensure that your future is well taken care of.Read More