A living trust is an essential component of a modern estate plan that protects your assets for your family or other beneficiaries. However, if you had your living trust drafted years ago, there may be some elements that will do more harm than good. Here are some reasons why you should review and update your trust periodically.
- Are new assets in the trust? – When you first formed the trust, you had to add your assets into it. However, if you have new accounts, properties, and other assets since then, you need to add them.
- Special needs of beneficiaries – Review the wording regarding your beneficiaries. Most people don’t want assets going to an adult child’s ex-spouse (unless they have the grandkids). Be careful with the structure of the trust if your loved one receives a government check (for example, if they are on disability). You don’t want your generous gift to negatively impact their income.
- Changes in your retirement accounts – It could be the accounts attached to the trust, or just the sheer amount of assets if you have done really well in recent years, that impact your estate planning. Remember that laws regarding how much time your beneficiaries have to take the assets from your retirement accounts has changed, and this can have major tax implications.
Get the Help You Need to Update a Living Trust in California
Petrov Law Firm has experienced estate planning attorneys who can help whether you need to set up a new estate plan or modify an existing plan. Call 619.344.0360 to get started today.Read More
You may already have an estate plan in place, which is a good way to show your mate you want to care for their future. However, having children should result in changes to your estate plan. Here are a few of the reasons.
- Preparing for the possible need for a legal guardian – When holding your newborn, you probably aren’t thinking about where they would be if you and your spouse were suddenly gone. However, every parent should prepare for legal guardianship of their child in the event of a tragedy.
- Set up a trust for dispensing inheritance – For everything from college tuition to buying a house for the first time to getting married, you want to set aside funds for the big events in your child’s life. A trust can allow you to set aside assets that your child will be able to use in the future, whether or not you are there to provide support in person.
- Increase your life insurance – When it was just you and your mate, you may not have felt the need to carry a large policy. However, if something happens to you now, you want to be sure to have a large enough life insurance policy to support a single parent. This may mean increasing your life insurance policy, especially if you provide the family’s main income.
California Estate Planning Attorneys
Petrov Law Firm can help you to update your existing estate plan or to develop a new one from scratch. Call our San Diego office at 619.344.0360 today to get started.Read More
A living trust can help maximize the benefits your family gains from your estate planning. Here are some of the advantages of this method of financial planning.
- Affordable – While it is much cheaper simply to have a will than to set up a trust, you still have to factor in things like the time and money that will go to probate court. A trust gets the money to the right heirs faster and with minimal costs.
- Flexible – Some people avoid trusts because they think their estate is too small. However, this is a very flexible form of estate planning. The size of your estate doesn’t really matter – it won’t be too large or too small. Plus, if you have a sudden change in the size of your estate, a trust is equipped to handle it.
- Retain control – A living trust allows you to keep control of all your assets while you are still alive. It is not shared, such as when having a family member’s name on your accounts. The money or assets are not locked into the estate. You can add or remove what is in the trust at your own discretion and buy or sell as you please.
Southern California’s Estate Planning Attorneys
Keep in mind that the laws of succession are different from state to state, so you will want to find a local estate attorney, especially if you have just moved to California from another state. Petrov Law Firm in San Diego can help. Give us a call at 619.344.0360 to start your estate plan or review and update an existing plan.Read More
If you already have an estate plan in place before becoming a first-time parent, you are ahead of many other families. However, adding a family member is a major life change that requires an update to your estate plan. Especially when you become a first-time parent, whether the child is newborn or adopted, you need to think about the following scenarios:
- Planning ahead for legal guardianship – As long as your child is still a minor, you need to have plans in place for legal guardianship should an untimely accident befall you and your mate simultaneously.
- Setting up a trust – If something does happen to both parents of a child, just having a will is not sufficient. You want a trust in place that will protect the estate until your child reaches legal age. Be sure to choose a trustworthy successor trustee who will protect the estate for your child.
- Review life insurance policies – You may decide that you now need to carry more life insurance. This will ensure that your mate and child do not experience hardship if something should happen to you, especially if you are the family’s primary breadwinner.
Updating Your California Estate Plan
Any major change in life circumstances should result in a review of your estate plan. If you are now living in southern California, Petrov Law Firm can help you to update your plan in accord with state regulations. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 to get started with an experienced estate planning attorney.Read More
One thing you will come across when researching estate planning is the ability to use a living trust to control your assets while you are alive and then leave them to your family later. Is this really a beneficial method of estate planning? Yes! However, there are some misconceptions that cause people to shy away. Let’s debunk a few.
- Myth: It’s too expensive – While it is true that an attorney will charge more to draft a living trust than a standard will, the savings will come for your family. Rapid transfer of assets without the costs of probate court makes an initial fee more than worth it.
- Myth: My estate isn’t large enough – If your estate isn’t huge, that is all the more reason to leave it all to your family and not to the court system. Probate court will absorb a larger percentage of a smaller estate, and it will waste valuable time.
- Myth: I will lose control of my assets – Not with a living or revocable trust. You are free to do whatever you want with your things while you are still alive. An irrevocable trust is a different story, but the tax advantages are beneficial if you do have an extremely large estate.
Preparing an Effective Estate Plan in Southern California
Petrov Law Firm has the estate planning attorneys to help you prepare for the future of your loved ones. Let us assist you in finding the most efficient way to leave behind an estate of any size. Call 619.344.0360 to get started today.Read More
Procrastination is common, especially when what we have to accomplish seems like a giant we need to slay. That can happen when it comes to estate planning. It may seem like a monumental task that is best left for another day. Or you may simply not want to think about your own mortality. However, you don’t want to make one of the three classic blunders regarding this crucial task. Here are three things to avoid:
- Waiting until it is too late – From car accidents to illnesses, there are so many things that could result in a healthy person being tragically taken or incapacitated. You need to have your estate plan in place now, just in case.
- Failing to review your plan after life changes – From a wedding or birth to a divorce or death, you need to review your plan every time you experience a major change in life circumstances. Moving to a new state also counts since your plan with have to reflect state legislation.
- Using a DIY will off the Internet – When you are planning for the future of your family, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. A professional can help ensure that your estate goes to your heirs instead of the government.
Estate Planning Professionals in Southern California
Don’t delay. Get help with your estate plan now. The pros at Petrov Law Firm can help you develop an estate plan from scratch or review and amend an existing plan. Call 619.344.0360 to get started today!Read More
Having a child is a momentous occasion in the life of a family. Whether this is your first or you have several little ones running around the family home, you have reasons for joy. You also have reasons to revisit your estate plan. Here are some things you may need to change now that you have children in the household.
- Legal guardian planning – No parent wants to think about their child having to go through the loss of a parent at a young age. However, accidents can happen, and the loving thing to do is to be prepared. That means assigning guardianship of your minor children should anything cause you and your spouse both to pass away at the same time.
- Putting a trust in place for each child – A trust is a great way to ensure that your child will be well taken care of, even if you die before they reach legal age. The money will be protected in the trust, and a loyal successor trustee can ensure that the funds are used to care for your child until he or she is old enough to accept the assets themselves.
Don’t Wait to Begin Estate Planning if You Have Children
Now is the time to get your estate planning squared away, and don’t forget to review your plan every time you add a new member to the family. Petrov Law Firm is here to help. Just call 619.344.0360 to ensure your family is protected.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
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