Are you in need of an estate plan? What would happen to your assets if something were to happen to you suddenly? While some put off estate planning, the reasons are often based on myths about what estate planning is. We’re going to address 3 common misconceptions.
Myth #1: Only the Elderly Need Estate Planning
Unfortunately, unforeseeable events can affect anyone. Even if you are in your 20s or 30s, you should be planning ahead to make sure that your affairs are in order for the sake of your loved ones.
Myth #2: Only Wealthy People Need Estate Planning
First of all, regardless of the amount of money or assets you possess, you want them to go to the right people. Second, estate planning is about more than just money. It also includes things like child custody, or the appointment of someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you are incapacitated.
Myth 3: My Wife and Kids Will Automatically Get Everything
Maybe they will. Is that really something that should be left up to chance? Plus, how do you know the courts will apportion things the way you would want. And what if you have a charity you want money to go to, a favorite nephew, or a loved one who isn’t a blood relative? Getting your wishes down in writing is a must.
Affordable Estate Planning in San Diego, CA
If you are in need of an affordable estate planning attorney, contact the lawyers at Petrov Law Firm today. We can help you ensure that your wishes are carried out when you are no longer able to do so on your own. Call 619-344-0360 to schedule your consultation today.Read More
Just one of the many differences between a will and a trust is that wills are a matter of public record and trusts are confidential documents. As a result, if you choose to divide your estate by means of a will instead of a trust, you may be opening yourself or your heirs up to scams.
What Someone Can Learn from Your Will
If a scam artist is looking for a big score, all he has do is look through public records to find wills that divide up large estates. Now he can either go after that money through trying to run a scam on you personally, or if you don’t fall for it, he can add your heirs to a list and wait patiently for them to inherit the money.
How Much Do Scams Cost Seniors?
In just the first 3 months of 2016, more than 1.7 million dollars were stolen from seniors in the US using phone scams alone. That is hard earned money that should have gone to loved ones rather than a conniving stranger. Here’s one way to take the target off your back.
Safe Estate Planning Techniques
Implement safer estate planning methods by calling Petrov Law Firm. Our estate planning attorneys can help you set up a confidential living trust. No one should know how much money you have, and only your family should get it. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule a consultation with the San Diego estate planning lawyers you can trust.Read More
Pets are beloved members of households. For some seniors, pets act as regular companions who helps improve quality of life in later years. There are people who spend a small fortune on pet care from specialty foods to long-term veterinary care. One thing that often gets neglected, however, is thinking about what will happen to our pets if we die. Here are a few simple ways to remember your pets when developing your estate plan.
- A Will – In your will, you can include instructions on how your pets are to be cared for along with outlining a monetary gift to be used for the pet’s care. It is important to note, though, that money cannot be left directly to your pet, nor can it be required for the money to be used for the pet, only requested.
- A Trust – California law allows for a trust to be set up specifically for the care of a surviving pet. In this case, you can designate the person who will care for your pet, set aside specific funds for that use only, and leave more specific instructions regarding the care you desire your pet to receive. You can also outline what is to happen to remaining funds in the trust should the pet die before the funds are used up.
- Pet Care Organizations – If you do not have a person in mind who will be able to care for your pet as you desire, you may want to find an organization that cares for pets. Leaving sufficient funds for the organization will ensure your pet is properly cared for since these organizations may sometimes lack adequate funding.
Comprehensive Estate Planning Assistance
At the Petrov Law Firm, we want to help you plan for every aspect of your family’s future. From your mate and children to a beloved pet, you should be confident that your estate will be left to those you love the most. Call 619-344-0360 to start on your estate planning today.Read More
Your estate planning documents ensure that your wishes are carried out when you are no longer here to express your wishes yourself. This makes it vital to work with the right estate planning attorney to prepare documents properly. Here are a few things to watch out for.
- You Should Understand Everything – Before signing a document, be sure your estate planning attorney can explain it to you.
- Documents Should Be Checked – One vital part of estate documents is ensuring that every name is spelled correctly, so there is no mistake. A simple typo could cause a huge headache for your heirs.
- An Advance Health Care Directive – Your medical wishes should be documented in case you are not conscious when certain decisions need to be made. Your health care agents should be given the right to access your private health information so that HIPAA doesn’t interfere with your agent’s ability to oversee your care.
- Trusts, Schedule A, and Pour-Over Wills – These documents help to ensure that your wishes are properly outlined, your assets are accurately documented, and newly acquired assets that may not be listed are still passed on to the right inheritors.
The Right Estate Planning Attorney for You
This is just a short list of things to consider when going over estate plan documents with your attorney. The key to having all of your paperwork in order is to partner up with an experienced attorney who wants to help you implement your wishes. The estate planning attorneys at the Petrov Law Firm will be happy to provide these services for you. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More
This is a commonly asked question when it comes to estate planning. The short answer, if you have executed a will, is yes. In the state of California, the person assigned to handle your affairs when you die is your executor.
What Is the Job of the Executor?
If you die with only a will, then your estate will go through probate. At that time, your executor will be in charge of accounting for all of your assets and distributing them to your heirs as declared in the will. The will gets filed with the probate court. The executor is also in charge of paying off debts or creditors, so these individuals need to be informed of the death. The executor is also in charge of paying the taxes due on the estate and will appear in court on behalf of the estate as necessary.
Avoiding Probate with a Living Trust
A living trust or revocable trust is a great way to avoid probate and the need for an executor. This is a common practice in California, but it can still be confusing to know which option is best for you and how to execute it properly. That’s what the Petrov Law Firm is here for.
Our estate planning attorneys know how to maximize the benefits for your heirs when you are no longer here to take care of them yourself. Call 619-344-0360 to set up a consultation with one of our estate planners today.Read More
Does your estate planning reflect how the law has changed for 2017? The primary thing that changed as the hundreds of millions of people across America rang in the new year this week was the estate tax. Why is this the case? What changed? How does this affect your estate plans? Read on to learn more.
How 2017 Affects the Estate Tax
Over the past several years, the IRS has been in the habit of announcing changes to the estate tax threshold just a few months before the end of the calendar year, and this past Autumn was no exception. This increase is due to inflation. Thus, as inflation occurs, the IRS places a higher limit on how much of an estate is tax exempt when it passes on to a person’s heirs.
In 2016, the figure stood at $5.45 million. However, as has been the custom, that figure was increased for the start of the new year. In fact, this year’s increase was double that of last year. An additional $40,000 means that the estate tax threshold is now at $5.49 million.
How Does the Change in the Estate Tax Threshold Affect You?
If you are wondering how this change in the estate tax threshold affects you, or if this change results in the desire to alter your current estate planning, come and see the estate tax experts at Petrov Law Firm. We can help you maximize tax benefits, thereby ensuring that your estate goes to your loved ones rather than the IRS. Call 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
You probably plan for a lot of things, even if you don’t want them to happen. You wear a seatbelt and carry car insurance to plan ahead in case of an accident, even though you hope one never happens. You purchase a 100,000-mile warranty on a car, even though you hope the transmission lasts much longer than that. What are we getting at?
While no one wants to think about how quickly life can end, having an estate plan is a vital part of being prepared so that your loved ones are well taken care of if something happens to you in 2017. Here are a few basic things about estate planning that you may want to be aware of.
- How do I set up a trust? – It is as simple as a little paperwork, and you won’t have to worry about your beneficiary dealing with probate.
- Who keeps the documents? – The originals go with you, so be sure to keep them in a safe place.
- What is involved in estate planning? – An estate plan includes everything from living trusts to an advanced healthcare directive.
- What is the estate tax? – Estate tax affects estates that are over $5.49 million in value. However, we may be able to help you minimize taxes on amounts that exceed the tax threshold.
A New Year, A New Estate Plan
If you do not year have an estate plan, or if you need to make changes to your present plan, contact Petrov Law Firm. Our estate planning attorneys are ready to help you plan ahead for the benefit of your family. Call 619-344-0360 to begin today.Read More
This holiday season, save your loved ones from paying estate tax by providing a tax-free gift while you are still here to see the smiles and gratitude on their faces. How does the gift tax work, and just how much can you gift without your heirs having to pay a large sum in taxes?
Gift Tax Limits
As of 2016, the limit that you can gift to a person during a calendar year and have it be tax-free is $14,000 (not a bad stocking stuffer). Plus, a gift that is to be shared by a couple can be up to $28,000 because the tax law applies per person.
Gifts that exceed $14,000 per person per year will have to be reported by the recipient using IRS Form 709 – a Gift Tax Return form.
There is also an end around that will let you gift above the $14,000 amount. This is done by making payments directly to an educational or medical provider. In other words, you can pay things like college tuition or an unpaid hospital bill as a gift without being confined to the gift limit, and the amount will still not be considered taxable income for your loved one.
Important Reminders About Gifts and Estate Planning
Currently, estate tax does not apply if an estate is valued at less than $5.45 million. However, any time you provide gifts to an individual that exceed $14,000 in a single calendar year (except if you are sending the money directly to an educational or medical facility) that gift gets subtracted from the $5.45 million. For example, if you give $2 million in gifts to your loved ones in excess of the annual gift amounts, then when you pass away, only $3.45 million will be tax-free under estate tax law.
To learn more about how the estate tax and the gift tax work, contact the Petrov Law Firm at 619-344-0360. We can help you make sure that your money goes to your loved ones, and that your heirs won’t have to share your gift with the IRS.Read More
If you need help with estate planning like wills and trusts, an experienced lawyer is vital. You want your heirs to benefit fully from their inheritance without fighting a lengthy legal battle that drains much of the funds that were meant to be passed on. How can you choose the right estate planning lawyer? Here are a few things to consider.
You don’t want your funds being tied up for years, but you also don’t want them lining the pockets of lawyers instead of your family. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go with the cheapest option either. You want someone who knows the law well and won’t be here today but gone tomorrow if a problem arises. Just be sure that you understand all of the fees involved ahead of time so that there are no surprises.
Can I Make Changes?
Be sure to work with someone who is willing to keep up with your present wishes. That means you will want to be able to review your documents periodically and make any adjustments that are necessary based on who your beneficiaries are or what your present estate entails.
Love for Estate Law
If your lawyer doesn’t feel a deep attachment to this type of law, then you are missing out on the benefits of someone who will be passionate for ensuring that your final wishes are met. For example, at the Petrov Law Firm, Daniel Petrov interned with an estate planning firm while still in law school. This instilled in him a deep appreciation for the importance of estate law, and it is part of why this is one of the specialties at Petrov Law Firm. To learn more about our estate planning services, contact us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
When preparing your estate for future heirs, one concern you may have is taxes that may apply and reduce the benefits to your family. As of now, your estate would have to exceed $5 million in order to be subject to taxes. Republicans strongly oppose the estate tax altogether, so it is possible that recent elections may lead to the elimination of the estate tax. However, rather than relying on that to occur, it’s a good idea to prepare your estate properly for your loved ones.
Disclaimer Trusts Help Avoid Estate Tax
One way around being taxed if an estate is over the $5.45 million mark is a disclaimer trust. Everything beyond the $5.45 million tax-free amount can be disclaimed as a gift and put directly into another trust. Therefore, the direct heir (usually a surviving spouse) receives $5.45 million in assets without paying taxes, and the rest goes into a further trust for future heirs to enjoy without taxes being removed. It provides a healthy sum for a surviving mate and ensures that additional funds that will go to children who can receive regular payouts from the disclaimer trust if this provision is made in advance.
Get Help to Learn How Estate Taxes Work
The Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help you develop an estate plan that ensures your money and assets are left to the people you love rather than being picked apart for government use. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More