We hope that your children get to enjoy your loving care for many years to come. But what if an unforeseen accident should occur in your life? You can use your estate planning to protect your minor children. There is no substitute for you, but there are ways to look after your kids, even if you pass away unexpectedly. Here are a few important tips:
- Appoint a legal guardian – The children need to have somewhere to go if left without parents. A good family friend whom the children like and that is up to the responsibility is important.
- Set up a trust fund – A trust fund can allow you to provide financially for your children. While the bulk of the funds may not become available until the children come of age, you can allow dispensations for certain events such as if your child graduates early and needs money for college before he or she turns 18.
Don’t Leave Your Child’s Future to Chance
Sure, it will be better if your estate planning doesn’t take effect for many years because you live to see your children grow up, get married, and have kids of their own. But you can’t leave things to chance. Planning ahead will protect your child in case you are tragically taken from their life by an accident or illness.
The compassionate estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help walk you through the process of setting up an estate plan in California. To learn more, call our offices today at 619-344-0360.Read More
What is a holographic will? It refers to a last will and testament that is handwritten and signed by the testator ( the person whose will it is). California happens to be one of the states that allow this type of will. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good option. What are some reasons to avoid a handwritten will?
- It is easy to challenge the will – Proving that the handwriting on the will matches other handwriting samples from the testator is only a matter of time, but there are plenty of ways to prevent an inheritance from being tied up for months or perhaps longer, so why make things more difficult for heirs?
- Witnesses to the signing are optional – Because the document being in the testator’s own handwriting is legally binding, the witnesses who would normally attest to a typed document are often skipped. However, having witness signatures on a will is an extra way to prevent confusion as to the legitimacy of the document.
- Handwritten wills are often prepared incorrectly – This can occur with a typed will too if it is not checked by an estate planning attorney. The best way to deal with this situation is to have a professional draft the document to meet your expressed desires. Then you know your wishes will be carried out in a timely manner.
Help in Drafting a Will or Creating a Trust
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm are happy to help our clients develop legal documents that ensure your wishes will be carried out for asset distribution, funeral arrangements, and other necessary matters. To learn more, give us a call at 619-344-0360.Read More
If you are putting off a conversation with your family about estate planning because the topic is tough to deal with, now is the time to get everyone together. The fact is that as difficult as the conversation may be to have, you need to have it while everyone is calm and has their wits about them. During an emergency medical situation or when cognitive problems start to set in are not the right times for serious talk about the future. Here are a few things you should know.
Why You Need to Have an Estate Planning Discussion
Discussing things as a family does not take away your right to determine what will happen to you or your estate. It simply helps you to convey to your family why your estate plan is being set up as it is, and it allows your family members to voice opinions or ideas you may not have thought of. What should the discussion include?
- Distribution of Assets – Discussing who will get what can curb hurt feelings over what your will or trust will later
- End of Life Decisions – If you don’t want your life prolonged on machines, now is the time to break the news to your family and to discuss who can handle the emotional responsibility of making the call if it comes to that.
- Funeral Arrangements – Now is the time to let your family know how you want your remains to be handled.
- Medical Wishes – If you become incapacitated either physically or mentally, now is the time to establish who will be in charge of making decisions for you and what you expect those decisions to be.
Meeting Your Estate Planning Needs in San Diego, California
By having this discussion, you can help absolve your family of any feelings of guilt when having to make tough calls and limit any hurt feelings that may be piled on top of grief at a later time. Petrov Law Firm can then help you to carry out the decisions you have made by sharing our valuable estate planning experience with you. To begin enacting your plans for the future, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
One estate planning method that many couples use to avoid probate is called joint tenancy. This means that the two of you own the property together. As a result, if one spouse dies, the other will automatically own the property outright and thereby avoid having to through the mate’s estate to get ownership. Does the same concept apply to cars?
Joint Tenancy of Cars in California
Joint tenancy should help a car pass to the right person automatically. However, it is vital to register the car properly in both names. This is highlighted by a case involving two friends who co-owned a vehicle. When one of the friends passed away, the other expected to get full ownership of the vehicle since both names were on the title. But the court ruled that the title did not create joint tenancy but merely tenancy in common. As a result, the surviving friend received 50% ownership only, and the other half went to the deceased’s trust.
Knowledgeable Estate Planning Advice in San Diego
Knowing how to properly register your vehicle as joint tenancy is important if you want the car to avoid probate and pass immediately to the co-owner, whether that be your mate, another family member, or a close friend. The estate planning lawyers at Petrov Law Firm can help you to make sure you have taken care of all the details that will ensure a smooth transition. To get started on your estate plan and get the accompanying advice that you need, just call 619-344-0360.Read More
Some people take the extra time and effort to plan their own funeral and make it a part of estate planning. However, if you do not take this advanced step to outline the way you want your funeral to take place (and many people don’t), it raises the question: Who will plan the funeral?
Can Someone You Disinherit Plan Your Funeral?
You may be surprised to find that answer is yes. Let’s say you pass away and decide not to leave any money or assets to your children. It all goes to your favorite nephew. Out of the $100,000 you leave him, he decides to spend $15,000 of funeral arrangements at a nearby funeral home.
However, the disinherited children step in and decide to plan a $50,000 funeral at a location more convenient for them. Legally they can do that in California as closer relatives. Now half of our favorite nephew’s inheritance goes toward a funeral you didn’t want, that was planned by kids you had a falling out with.
Suddenly it becomes clear why planning a funeral ahead of time is so important, especially if you have close relatives you don’t want to have involved in the planning.
Planning Your Funeral in California
California residents can take control of funeral arrangements by making it part of the estate planning process. This can help a grieving spouse or children by making decisions for them in advance. It can also protect the assets left to another relative by overriding decisions that would otherwise have fallen on a closer relative according to state law.
If you have not yet made arrangements for your future funeral, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can be of assistance to you. Call 619-344-0360 and make an appointment to discuss your estate planning needs.Read More
If you own your own business, one question you may have is what will happen to your business after you pass away. For some, a company serves as a real legacy, even if it is a small family owned business, so you want to be certain that succession will occur in accord with your wishes, especially if something were to befall you suddenly. Here are a few things to know based on the type of business you run.
If You Are a Sole Proprietor
If a person owns a business alone and has not incorporated, there is no legal entity that exists apart from the owner. That means that when the owner passes away, the business goes too. It may be possible for assets of the business to be sold and the profits to be distributed to heirs. However, if you want to leave the company to a successor, you will have to draft paperwork in advance.
The Importance of a Partnership Agreement
If you own a business as a part of a partnership, the original partnership agreement should outline what happens if one partner dies. Thus, this may already be taken care of. However, a partnership agreement is legally required, so a person may not have entered into one, especially if the partner is a relative. Drafting an agreement and deciding what happens if one partner passes before the other is a smart idea.
What If the Business Is an LLC or a Corporation
LLCs and corporations have other laws that dictate what will happen if one shareholder or member dies. Therefore, it is important to consult with an estate planning lawyer to determine what happens with your portion of the business.
Estate Planning Attorneys to Help Protect Your Legacy
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you protect your legacy for future generations. Just call 619-344-0360 today to get started.Read More
Most people will answer that question by saying, “My spouse.” That makes sense. In a marriage, if one mate dies, the bulk of the estate goes to the surviving mate. However, complications arise when both mates die at the same time or within a short period of time. How can changing your beneficiary correct these issues and provide other heirs, especially your children, with the benefits of some additional precaution?
The Primary Beneficiary – Your Revocable Trust
One way to get around these issues is for both spouses to change their primary beneficiary to a revocable trust. In case one mate dies, the other will have fast access to the trust, so changing the beneficiary doesn’t affect how soon the money is available. In the case of both mates passing at the same time, kids (especially minor children) don’t have to worry about things like not getting anything until they turn 18 or seeing the money go through probate and having to pay court fees. This also means that if only one parent passes away and the other doesn’t transfer the money to a trust right away (these things can be tough to deal with at the moment), and then the second parent passes away not long after, none of the aforementioned issues arise. All of this can be avoided by changing the primary beneficiary on the policies.
Smart Estate Planning Advice to Protect Your Heirs
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to effectively settle your affairs in a way that will bring benefits to those who stand to inherit your assets. To schedule a consultation, call 619-344-0360.Read More
We live in a do-it-yourself age where people want to feel the accomplishment of completing a task without the help of a trained professional. When it comes to putting together your own Ikea furniture, that’s a great attitude to have. However, estate planning is not the place to miss out on professional advice for the sake of saving a little money. Here are 2 reasons to avoid simply downloading a pdf form will and filling it out yourself.
#1: A Form Document May Not Address Your Specific Needs
What if the document you download has a place for assigning who will inherit property when you pass away, but doesn’t mention anything about future properties you might acquire after you complete the document but before you leave the inheritance to your heirs? A form document can’t take into consideration the specific circumstances of each person who will download and fill it out, so you can’t be sure you are getting what you need.
#2: You Miss Out on Valuable Legal Advice
These sites don’t provide you with a live person to give you advice on how to fill out the documents. At best, you get some simple instructions. The legal system is very complicated, and trying to do your own estate planning from a form is like trying to stitch a would yourself after reading a how-to article online without the help of a medical professional. You might end up doing it right the first time, but there are some things that are too important to read about on the Internet and then try yourself with no practical experience.
Meeting Estate Planning Needs and Providing Sensible Legal Advice
At Petrov Law Firm, we help our clients determine what their estate planning needs are, and then we provide the necessary legal advice to ensure your wishes are met. Don’t try to go it alone only for your family to receive a rude awakening later. Give our experienced estate planning attorneys a call at 619-344-0360.Read More
No one wants to think about their own mortality or even the idea that at some point in life we may no longer be mentally fit to make our own decisions anymore. However, the aging process is a fact of life, and these matters need to be considered. How can you help an aging parent before a situation arises where he or she can no longer make sound medical or financial decisions?
Executing the Right Documents to Protect an Aging Parent
The best thing to do is to take time now with your parent to discuss these decisions. Then execute estate planning documents that allow you to carry out your parent’s wishes should he or she become mentally incapacitated.
A Trust can be vital even in the case of temporary incapacitation so that you can make the needed decisions and carry out your parent’s wishes as outlined in the estate planning documents and through your previous verbal communication.
Documents such as an Advance Health Care Directive let you know what your parent’s medical wishes are. If your parent doesn’t want to be kept alive on machines for years if death is a medical certainty, stating so in such a document can relieve you of the guilt of giving the order to turn off the machines. HIPAA Authorization is also important. It will be difficult to make medical decisions if your parent’s healthcare provider cannot legally share relevant information with you.
Assistance in Executing Estate Planning Documents that Benefit Families
Families are important to us at Petrov Law Firm. Helping families to understand how estate planning works and helping people to execute documents properly is just one of the things we do for our clients. Contact us today at 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
Estate sale companies come into a house and manage the sale (or removal) of the house’s contents. A good estate company will guarantee an empty house, and many companies will offer to clean the interior so it’s ready to be sold on the real estate market.
If you are making general, long-term plan for your estate, you can simply say that you want the home’s contents to be sold off through an estate company. However, if you live sparsely, the sale of your used items might not even be enough to cover the fees of a reputable estate company. Make sure you leave sufficient operating funds in an account to include the estate sale fee as part of your final expenses.
If you have a terminal illness, you can actively coordinate the estate sale before you pass. Cleaning out the house of a recently passed loved one is very painful. Your family will appreciate your forethought in hiring an estate sale company to take over once you are gone.
By pre-arranging the estate sale, you will ensure the home’s transition from a residence to a piece of real estate is quick and painless. In addition, you can work with your family members to ensure special items go to the right relatives.
Review the fee schedule of several estate sale companies, keeping in mind you get what you pay for. An inexpensive estate sale company might not guarantee an empty, clean house. Select the best company to ensure your home and its contents do not become a troubling aspect of your passing.Read More