Making your own decisions is an important part of the estate planning process. After all, it is your future, and the whole point of estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are carried out regardless of whether you become incapacitated or pass away. But a do-it-yourself will based on an online template poses several risks.
- Leaving out important details – An estate planning attorney will know what questions to ask. Do you need to change your beneficiaries? Have you opened new accounts since you last looked at your will? You don’t want a 20-year-old will to outline wishes that you don’t even agree with anymore.
- Loopholes – When you leave money or other assets to family and friends, you don’t want to leave loopholes mistakenly. This could result in a greedy or vindictive family member dragging out a long probate battle, exhausting much of the funds and tying up what isn’t wasted.
- Taxes pitfalls – You don’t want your beneficiaries getting stuck paying most of your estate out in taxes. An estate planning attorney can help you to pass along the funds the right way and even help you to leave advice for beneficiaries.
Handling Your Affairs the Right Way in Southern California
The San Diego based attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to handle your affairs the right way so that no details are left out, all the loopholes are closed, and tax concerns are handled properly. For peace of mind in the estate planning process, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Estate planning is about being as prepared for the future as you possibly can be. With that in mind, we’re going to tell you about three of the mistakes people commonly make, so you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Not Planning at All
The biggest mistake you can make is deciding estate planning is not for you. People make all sorts of excuses – I’m too young, I’m in good health, I don’t have that much money – but the fact is that it hurts the ones you leave behind if you don’t have a plan in place.
Mistake #2 – Not Keeping the Estate Plan Up to Date
There are certain events that should always trigger a review of your estate plan. These would include life-changing events such as a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, the death of a successor, and the like. It would also include major financial events like suddenly receiving or losing a large asset or sum of money.
Mistake #3 – Not Preparing for Incapacitation
Many people only make plans for death and not for temporary incapacitation during life. Should you be affected by mental illness, become unconscious due to an injury or accident, or even suffer from dementia later in life, you want plans in place for the sake of both your finances and your medical care. That means appointing individuals to implement your wishes for you.
Getting Your Affairs in Order in Southern California
If you live in San Diego or any of the surrounding communities, the Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you plan effectively for your future. Talk to our estate planning attorneys now by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you to avoid the pitfalls of trying to plan for your estate on your own.Read More
Even once you have an estate plan in place, your job isn’t over. You need to regularly maintain and review your estate plan to make sure it accurately conveys your present wishes. We’re going to give you five tips to help you review your plans successfully without making it a burden.
- Scan the Plan Annually – Every year you should at least look over your estate plan to make sure you don’t need to change beneficiaries, power of attorney, or other vital things such as these.
- 3 to 5 Year Review – Every few years, you should do a more thorough review to go over your financials. Make sure you haven’t taken on any new assets that have not found their way into the plan somehow.
- Review Income Changes – If you have a sudden influx of income or suddenly have significantly fewer assets, you will want to review your plans to make sure they still make sense.
- Major Life Changes – Marriage, the birth of a child, the death of a successor or beneficiary, or any other major life event will require changes to your estate plan.
- Change of Mind – Any time you change your mind about anything related to your estate plan (who gets what, funeral arrangements, medical wishes, etc.), you will want to look over your estate plan again.
Help in Making Estate Plan Adjustments in California
If, after careful review, you discover that you need to make adjustments to your estate plan, contact Petrov Law Firm in San Diego. Our estate planning attorneys can provide you the assistance you need to keep your future plans up to date with your current wishes. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
The jury is out on probate court for some since there are occasional circumstances where it can be beneficial. However, in most situations, it’s just an unnecessary drain. Here are three primary reasons you should try to keep your estate from going into probate.
- It Costs a Lot of Money – You want to leave your estate to your family, not the court system. However, a drawn-out probate battle can drain the funds from your estate rapidly. Don’t let your beneficiaries get stuck with a mere fraction of what you worked hard to amass during your lifetime.
- It Can Take a Long Time – Another issue is that your loved ones may have to wait months or years before they see any of the money that you want them to enjoy. Bypassing probate altogether is the best way to get your estate to your heirs quickly and intact.
- It Is a Matter of Public Record – You don’t want everyone knowing what you had and who you left it to. That could be dangerous for family members who suddenly have a lot of money for the first time and could become the victims of scammers. It could also cause hurt feelings among those who received a smaller portion of the estate. It is no one’s business what you decide to give or to whom you choose to give it.
Assistance to Legally Keep Your Estate Out of Probate
If you are looking for an experienced estate planning attorney in Southern California who can keep your estate assets out of probate court and get it into the hands of your loved ones, contact Petrov Law Firm today at 619-344-0360.Read More
DIY has become a buzzword with fewer and fewer people wanting to pay someone else to do something that they think they can handle themselves. That’s great when it comes to most things. However, planning for your future and for the benefit of your heirs is one of the times that you don’t want to take chances. Here are three reasons to pass on using a DIY will for your estate plan.
- Interpretation Disputes – You may be an eloquent person, but that doesn’t mean your every word will be interpreted correctly or the same way by two different people. If there is a dispute over what something you say in your will means, it can tie your estate up in probate court for years and result in a great deal of your assets going to the court system rather than to your beneficiaries. That isn’t what you’ve worked so hard for all your life.
- Mistakes – Even if you get a little online legal assistance from a site that helps you put together a will, you don’t get the personal attention that you would from a local estate planning lawyer who is specifically experienced with the laws in your state. Mistakes in wording or even in omitting something (like failure to name a healthcare agent) can lead to major issues.
- Peace of Mind – You shouldn’t have to wonder if your will is going to be good enough. Hiring an estate planning attorney can provide you with peace of mind. You will know that all of your bases are covered and that your family’s future is secure.
Hire the Right California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you are planning for the future in the state of California, Petrov Law Firm has the estate planning lawyers you want on your team. Our compassion and experience will make the process as simple as possible and provide you with the peace of mind you want. To get started, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
You want to save for your future, but you also want to plan for the future of your family. How can you get your retirement plan to play nice with your estate plan and ensure that you get to enjoy your golden years and still pass on an inheritance to your loved ones? Here are a few things to consider.
Your Retirement Fund Can’t Be Part of Your Trust
Your trust can’t own the retirement fund. That means you have to select a separate beneficiary for your retirement account. You can leave the retirement money and the trust to the same individual, just not with one nested under the other.
When selecting a beneficiary for a retirement fund, remember that there are tax advantages and other financial benefits to leaving these funds directly to a spouse. For example, regardless of who the beneficiary is, retirement funds don’t go through probate. They pass directly to the named beneficiary. However, only a spouse can defer minimum distribution until he or she hits retirement age.
Making Your Retirement Fund Beneficiary Your Trust
Why not simply leave your retirement fund to your loved one? What if he or she was to make the mistake of taking all of the funds at once and ends up paying half of the inheritance out in taxes the next year? That would be an expensive error. But your trustee could ensure that the retirement fund is stretched and distributions are taken at the proper times to maximize the payout.
Leaving Your Estate and Retirement Funds Behind the Right Way
Petrov Law Firm can help you to negotiate the laws that California has in place regarding estate planning and retirement funds. To get the help you need in planning for a better future, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
No one wants to think about the end of his or her life. However, if you have anything to leave behind to your loved ones, you have probably at least gone through the mental exercise of deciding who gets what. There are other elements of an estate plan, however, that require engaging the emotions. Here are a few things to consider:
- Protecting the emotions of survivors – When you pass away, there will be people who mourn you. Your estate plan can make things easier for But you need to consider now what emotional burdens your family may face so you can plan accordingly. For example, will it save infighting if you detail how you want the funeral to be arranged?
- Keep private matters private – A last will and testament becomes public record when you die. So if you don’t want everyone being able to look into your business, it is better to consider other estate planning options such as leaving assets to your loved ones by means of a trust. This can keep anyone from having hard feelings over knowing who received which parts of your estate.
- Leaving behind a legacy – You may wish to leave private letters or videos for your beneficiaries to provide advice or just to say goodbye and give them a memento. Your estate is a great way to pass on heirlooms, family lore, and other priceless history that may not have monetary value but plenty of sentimental value.
California’s Compassionate Estate Planning Attorneys
If you want estate planning attorneys on your side who can help you to navigate both the logical and emotional side of planning for the future, you want the compassionate lawyers at Petrov Law Firm in your corner. Contact us today at 619-344-0360 to start planning how to leave your loved ones something truly special.Read More
You are to be commended if you already have an estate plan in place. It shows that you care about your beneficiaries and you want things to go as smoothly as possible for them once you are no longer here or even if you become incapacitated for a time.
However, things come up in life that require changes to an existing estate plan. If you come across any of these life experiences, it is time to change your estate plan as soon as possible.
- Marriage – Whether you have a previous marriage or not, you want to be sure that there is nothing in your estate plan that would keep your new mate from inheriting his or her fair share of your assets.
- Birth or Adoption – This would include your children or any grandchildren. Don’t forget that if you divided everything evenly between several kids and grandkids that you will have to add in the latest child or grandchild so no one gets left out.
- Divorce – It is unlikely you want a former mate to receive anything, or at least not the same share he or she would have received while you were married. Don’t forget to change the name of your beneficiary on your retirement funds or life insurance policies.
- Death of an Heir – There are times when sadly we outlive our successors. It is especially important to select a new executor or successor trustee quickly should one of them pass away.
- You Move Out of State – Different states and countries have varying laws. So if you have moved to a new state or country, you need to review your estate plan. If you have moved to California, give Petrov Law Firm a call.
San Diego’s Estate Planning Attorneys
Petrov Law Firm has the estate planning attorneys you need to help you enact or update an estate plan. Call us today at 619-344-0360 to get started!Read More
We’re going to take a look at three often unforeseen events that can threaten to ruin a person’s estate plans. How can you develop a plan that is protected against these potential dangers?
#1 Family Conflict
Sometimes an inheritance can come between even the closest of family members. With that in mind, it is important to be specific about who gets what in your estate planning. You may choose to have an executor or trustee be an unbiased non-family member if you anticipate any possible issues.
#2 Simultaneous Death of Both Mates
If you plan on leaving everything to your surviving mate, you need an alternate plan in place should you both pass away together. This may occur in an accident if the two of you spend a lot of travel time together, so it is best to plan ahead just in case, so tragedy isn’t compounded by confusion over what happens to your estate.
#3 Death in a Foreign Country
If you don’t live in the country where your estate plan was formed, or you intend to travel to another country, it is important to see if anything in your estate plan conflicts with the laws of the other country you will be in. This will help things to go smoothly should you pass away while overseas.
Planning for Your Future With an Estate Planning Lawyer in California
Petrov Law Firm is here to help you include all of the contingencies you may require from your estate planning documents. To learn more, contact our San Diego or Chula Vista offices today by calling 619-344-0360.Read More
When it comes to estate planning, the most dangerous attitude to have is that if you simply choose to do nothing your mate and children will automatically inherit everything anyway. First of all, there are a lot of exceptions to the rule when it comes to automatic inheritance. Second, estate planning is about so much more than who gets what.
Will the Right Loved Ones Receive Your Estate?
One of the biggest factors that people fail to think about when it comes to succession is that nearly a fifth of Americans are not in what was once considered a typical family structure. For example, many are on a second marriage (or perhaps more than that). There are adoptions, stepfamilies, and blended families. Grandparents may be raising grandchildren. In these and many other situations, you can’t rely on the state to pass along your assets to the people you want them to go to and in the amounts you view as fair.
What Else Estate Planning Prepares For
Even if your family is the most traditional of households, your estate planning will still benefit your loved ones. It can help them to avoid a lengthy and expensive probate process. It can also provide instructions for your healthcare should you become seriously incapacitated during your final months or years. It also allows you to dictate how you want funeral arrangements to be cared for, so there is no disagreement between grieving family members. Taking care of these matters in advance is both loving and kind.
Helping You Prepare Estate Documents in California
Petrov Law Firm is proud to help California residents prepare in advance for these and many other situations. If you live in the San Diego or Chula Vista areas, contact our estate planning attorneys today by calling 619-344-0360.Read More