Making end of life decisions while you still have a lot of time ahead of you isn’t easy, but it is the smart and loving thing to do for your family. How can you ensure that your estate ends up where it belongs? Here are a few tips to help you plan your estate properly:
- Don’t leave it to chance – You may think you understand the laws of succession in your state, but the only way to know who is getting your estate for sure is to have a well-documented estate plan in place. This is especially true when it comes to non-traditional families.
- Review your existing documents – If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your estate plan, then it has been way too long. You need to check the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, POD bank accounts, and other funds that will pass directly to beneficiaries without going through probate. This is especially true if you have gone through a divorce, have a new family member, or have experienced any other major life change that can affect your estate plan.
San Diego’s Estate Planning Experts
Whether you need to execute a new estate planning document or update an existing plan in the state of California, Petrov Law Firm has the experienced estate planning attorneys for you. Call our San Diego offices today at 619.344.0360 and schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney at one of our three convenient locations.Read More
Nowadays, it is easy to find a last will and testament template online, plug in your name and the date, print it, sign it, and feel like you’ve completed what you need to do in regard to your estate planning. While there are many problems with this approach, including everything from the need for planning medical care to paying attention to variance in state laws, there is also something else missing from the cookie-cutter approach – you.
How can you add a personal touch to your estate plan? Here are a few things that may not get unless you seek out the personal attention of an estate planning attorney to help you complete your documents.
- Pass on family heirlooms – Whether you have something that has been passed to you from previous generations or you want to turn one of your possessions into a family heirloom, your estate planning is the time to do it. Explain why the item means so much to your family and share it with someone who will cherish it and save it for the next generation.
- Charitable donations – Donating a portion of your estate to charity can show what is important to you and encourage others to give back in return. Choose a charity that has deep meaning to you or your family and create a legacy.
Personalized Estate Planning in San Diego
If one size fits all doesn’t work for you, then the expert estate planners at Petrov Law Firm can help you to put your personal stamp on your estate plan. Call us today at 619.344.0360 to schedule an appointment now.Read More
Estate planning is different from state to state, and there are federal laws as well, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a hassle to pass on your belongings to the next generation and to make medical decisions in advance. Here are a few reminders to simplify the process for you.
- Start today – Estate planning is easy to leave for another day when you have more time. However, if your time were to suddenly run out, perhaps in a tragic accident, where would your family be if you don’t take care of these matters in advance?
- Events that require a review – If you experience a life-altering event, then it is time to reconsider your estate plan. Some positive events may include an interstate move, a new family member (birth, adoption, marriage, etc.), or a sudden increase in assets (i.e., you win the lotto). Negative events such as a divorce or the death of a beneficiary also call for a review.
- Plan for future health needs – If you ever become incapacitated, you want to have someone in place to make medical decisions for you. Be sure to outline as many of those decisions as possible in advance so that your surrogate doesn’t have to guess what your wishes are.
California’s Premier Estate Planning Attorneys
At Petrov Law Firm, we love to help people plan for the future of their family and other loved ones. Whether your estate is worth thousands or millions, we can provide assistance to make sure you maximize the benefits now and in the future. Call 619.344.0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
Your estate can do so much more than just distribute your material assets and make plans for your future healthcare. You can also plan wisely to create a lasting legacy for your family. Here are a few things to consider:
- Leaving a conditional trust – Want to encourage your grandkids to start their own company? Leave a conditional trust that can only be dispensed as business capital for a new startup. You can also leave conditional trusts for when a family member gets married, buys their first home, or has their first child. It allows you to have a hand in the future of your family, even if you are not there to enjoy the special moments with them.
- Letters and pictures – While we are in the age of emails and digital images, you can make an impact by providing special photos and letters for family members to cherish personally or proudly display.
- Recorded messages or videos – Since we do live in the digital age, it also gives you the unique opportunity to leave audiovisual messages for family members. This can introduce you to future generations and provide a cherished keepsake for your loved ones that allows them to benefit from your wisdom for years to come.
Create Something More Than an Estate Plan
Petrov Law Firm wants to help you leave behind a legacy for your family. Contact us today to speak with an estate planning lawyer who can help you to navigate the California legal system. Just call 619.344.0360 and schedule an appointment to begin.Read More
It’s easy to make a mistake when you are new to estate planning. That’s why you should always get the help of a professional when planning ahead for your future. Here are three of the big mistakes that people make regarding their estate plans.
- Not thinking about health care – You need to plan for your long-term care in case you are not capable of making your own decisions later in life. This gives you the opportunity to declare your wishes and appoint someone to carry them out for you.
- Not reviewing documents annually – You want to give your documents a once-over every year to make sure they still accurately reflect your wishes. If you have a major life change like a wedding, divorce, birth, adoption, or out of state move, then you should review everything again immediately. Remember that every state has its own laws on estate planning, which is why moving to a new state makes the list of otherwise much more significant events.
- Not doing it right away – The time for estate planning is now, before something unexpected happens. This will ensure that your family is well cared for, even if a tragedy occurs.
San Diego Estate Planning Attorneys
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to plan ahead successfully for your family’s future. Contact us today at 619.344.0360 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in North County, San Diego, and Chula Vista.Read More
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