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
While it is not a common practice, there are times when it makes sense to have the beneficiary of your life insurance policy be a trust rather than an individual. Is this the best option for you? Here are a few ways to tell:
- You are concerned that your beneficiary and you may die simultaneously. You want to leave your life insurance to your mate, but what if you are traveling together and die in an accident? Who recovers the policy then?
- You already have a trust set up to avoid probate. Your life insurance policy goes directly to your beneficiary, not into probate. However, if you are already setting up a trust to protect your other assets, then you may want to include your life insurance policy.
- Your beneficiaries are under 18. Minor children won’t be able to collect on your policy until they come of age anyway. A trust can protect the funds and allow for special case dispensations (providing guardians with funds for educational supplies, healthcare, and things of that nature).
San Diego’s Estate Planning Experts
Rather than trying to figure out the best way to arrange your affairs on your own, why not give the professional estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm the opportunity to help you understand your options. This will allow you to take better care of your family’s future. Call 619.344.0360 today to get the assistance you need when it comes to estate planning.Read More
Married couples can enjoy unique estate planning privileges that make it easier to prepare for the future. Here are some types of trusts that can help you protect one another financially.
- Survivor’s Trust – This is a trust that provides a clean transition if you want to leave everything to your mate. It’s very cut and dry but may not be the right option for individuals who get remarried to someone who is not a parent of their children.
- Survivor’s Trust with Qualified Terminable Interest Property – This is the right type of survivor’s trust for blended families (as well as for those with a smaller estate). It does offer nice deductions while you are both living.
- Marital Disclaimer Trust – Be sure to consult an estate planning attorney to see if this is right for you. In this case, the surviving mate has an option for a Bypass Trust. It’s a very specific type of trust for special circumstances.
- A/B Trust – This is a rare trust to provide shelter in the case of an enormous estate that would be subject to an estate tax. If you have such a large estate, be sure to ask your attorney about this type of trust.
California Estate Planning for Married Couples
Petrov Law Firm in San Diego can provide you with the estate planning advice you need. Get in touch with us today by calling 619.344.0360, and let us help you to ensure that your estate is in good orderRead More
If you want to leave a gift to family or friends when you pass on, a trust is a great way to do it. Here are four types of trust you should know about when you do your estate planning.
- Gift Trust – This is a great way to give loved ones a gift now and set more aside for later without a huge tax penalty. Your family can take the maximum allowable gift per year that is not taxable, and the rest rolls over into a trust that will become available when you pass away.
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust – If you want to transfer a property you own to your family, but you don’t want them to have to pay the full market value, a QPRT provides tax benefits as well as asset protection.
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust – An IDGT is the right trust for passing on the family business. However, it provides protection for the family member against creditors.
- Charitable Remainder Trust – What if you want to make your gift to a charity? The CRT is right for you. Plus, your beneficiaries may get tax benefits on the rest of the estate, so everybody wins.
Giving Gifts the Smart Way in Southern California
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to be generous with your gifts while still making sound financial decisions for the future of your family. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360, and you can schedule a consultation at any of our three convenient locations.Read More
Is it worth it write a Last Will and Testament when you are still in your 20s or 30s? What if you are still single or don’t own your first home yet? The fact is that responsible estate planning isn’t about your age or how much you own. Here are three reasons millennials should have a will.
- You have the energy – If you don’t, imagine how much worse it will be in another 10 or 20 years. Now is the time to take care of things that consume time and energy but are necessities, and that includes estate planning.
- You should be making healthcare decisions in advance – Estate planning isn’t just about deciding who gets your stuff. You also need to make advance medical decisions and appoint someone to carry out your wishes if you are every unconscious or incapacitated.
- Accidents happen – We hope this never happens to you, but if you end up the victim of a tragic accident, you want to make sure your family is taken care of, and that means planning in advance for the worst-case scenario.
Care for Your Loved Ones with Estate Planning
Estate planning shows your love and concern for your family goes beyond just the time that you get to be with them. This is how you show your affection even after you are gone. Call 619.344.0360 today to speak with a professional estate planning attorney at Petrov Law Firm. Let us help you to plan ahead for the future in the state of California.Read More
Estate planning is about more than the end of a person’s life. It is about making decisions that affect your future and the future of your loved ones. Here are a couple of the most common estate planning mistakes, so you can be sure to avoid them.
- Making a plan and never reviewing it – Estate planning isn’t a one and done activity. Circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. If you move to a different state, get married, have a child, go through a divorce, or have any other life-changing experience, you need to review your plans to make sure they are still accurate. Even if nothing major happens, you should still review your plan every three to five years to make sure it is current with the law and with your wishes.
- Leaving out advance healthcare instructions – If you are unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, your estate plan can help you still receive the medical care you want by allowing you to make advance decisions and to appoint an advocate to speak for you. Otherwise, you may be at the mercy of whatever physician happens to be caring for you in an emergency situation.
Estate Planning Help from Experienced Attorneys in Southern California
To get help in planning for your estate the right way, contact Petrov Law Firm today by calling 619.344.0360. Our experienced estate planning attorneys are ready to help you plan ahead for the future of your household. Schedule a consultation now to get your estate plan started.Read More
If you have been named the executor of someone’s last will and testament in the state of California, then you have a weighty responsibility to carry out. Here are three tips to help you succeed.
- Communicate well – You are going to have to spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating the estate’s taxes, debts, and creditors. You also need to stay in constant communication with the court and with the beneficiaries.
- Stay organized – There is a lot to do as an executor, so being organized is a necessity. Be sure to keep track for the decedent’s wishes as well as important documents while you are working out the details for the heirs.
- Get help from an estate attorney – Estate planning attorneys have experience both helping people plan for their estate as well as helping executors to carry out the task that has been placed upon them. While you may worry about spending some of the estate on legal counsel, it’s far better than making a mistake that could cost the beneficiaries a large sum or tie up the money for months or even years.
Estate Planning Lawyers in San Diego
For the best estate planning lawyers in San Diego, North County, and Chula Vista, residents turn to Petrov Law Firm. We’re here to help you whether you are planning for your own future or carrying out the wishes that you have been entrusted with. Contact us today by calling 619-344-0360 and schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations.Read More
Estate planning is crucial, so we want to commend you if you have already taken this important step toward providing for your family in the future. However, it is important to remember that you need to review your plan from time to time to make sure it still outlines your wishes. Here are a few times to go over your estate to make sure everything is still the way you want it.
- It’s been a long time – Never let more than five years go by without looking at your estate plan. Every three years is even better. Sometimes your wishes may change, or you may need to make some adjustments due to changes in state or federal laws.
- You’ve experienced a major life event – A few examples would include a new member of the family, a divorce, death of a beneficiary or successor trustee, and anything like these. You need to make sure your estate plan accounts for the people that are moving in or out of your life.
- Your financial situation has dramatically changed – Whether you have a lot more money all of a sudden or significantly less, it is time to go over your estate plan to make sure you are distributing your assets in the best way possible.
San Diego’s Source for Updated Estate Plans
Another major reason to check your estate plan is when you move to a new state. Petrov Law Firm has the California estate planning attorneys you can trust to help you update your future planning documents. Call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Most people don’t think about how long they may spend in assisted living or a nursing home before they pass away. However, if you are planning on leaving an estate to your heirs, you need to think about these things. Here are three reasons that you need to think about long-term care when you plan for the future of your family.
- It’s really expensive – Most assisted living or rest home facilities are going to cost your estate upwards of $40,000 per year, and some may be in the six figures range depending on the services you want access to.
- Your insurance won’t cover it – Things like Medicare don’t cover long-term care. Even most private insurance doesn’t cover this type of care. There are lifecare plans, but they are also expensive, so you need to be sure you don’t go through your savings paying in advance for long-term care you may not even need.
- You may be surprised by how many people require care – 40% of people are going to end up in some sort of care facility, even if it is not for very long. A mere year or two can be costly. If you are in the 10% who spend upwards of three years in a nursing home, that can eliminate the life savings of many people.
Planning Ahead for Long-Term Care in San Diego
Let Petrov Law Firm help you to plan your estate so that it goes to your family and not a long-term care facility. Call us today at 619.344.0360 to learn how we can help.Read More
Probate court definitely has its place, especially when a person passes away with no last will and testament or when there are conflicts among a person’s heirs. However, if you are planning to leave your estate to your loved ones, there are a few reasons to try and keep your assets out of probate court.
- It’s public record – Do you really want just anyone to be able to look up what your family received? It could potentially make them a target for scams, so it is better to keep these matters private.
- It can drain funds – You intend your savings to go to your family, but if probate court becomes drawn out, much of the inheritance could end up paying legal fees.
- It delays your beneficiaries from receiving their inheritance – Until the court works out what needs to go for taxes and other liabilities against the estate and who should receive the rest, the assets are effectively tied up and unusable. While probate court usually handles matters within a few months, there have been cases that drag on for a year or even several years while heirs have no access to the dwindling funds.
California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you want your loved ones to get as much of your estate as possible as quickly as possible after you pass on, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. Call 619.344.0360 today and schedule a consultation at one of our three convenient locations in southern California to learn more.Read More