If you are presently going through or have recently been through a divorce, there are probably many things on your mind. However, you don’t want to let estate planning changes slip through the cracks. Here are a couple of important changes to make following a divorce.
- Beneficiary changes – There are some accounts that do not go through probate. For example, if your mate was listed as the beneficiary of your retirement account, life insurance policy, or a payable on death (POD) bank account, you need to change the beneficiary if you want someone other than your ex to get the money.
- Factor in children if you remarry – If you end up remarrying in the future, you don’t want any children from the first marriage to get left out. Therefore, you may need to add the children from your first marriage directly to the will or a trust. Otherwise, if you remarry and forget to adjust your estate plan, you may end up leaving everything to your second mate and their children rather than children you had with a previous mate.
Navigating Estate Planning Laws in San Diego, California
To help you get your estate planning just right so that your assets are left to the people you want to give them to, be sure to seek the assistance of the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced California attorneys.Read More
Probate court isn’t always a bad thing, but it can sometimes mean that your heirs will have to wait a while to get their inheritance. It can also be expensive since creditors may get their share and the courts will, of course, take a cut for fees. So how can you use your bank accounts to avoid probate? Here are a couple of ways.
- Payable on Death (POD) Accounts – If you make your bank account payable on death to a specific beneficiary, then you cut out the middleman and get your money directly to the heir. The only negative is that you will need to change the name of the beneficiary right away if you have a change of circumstances or just want someone else to get the money.
- Joint Savings or Checking Accounts – If someone else’s name is on your bank account with you, then they can continue to use the account as usual when you pass. The money is already theirs in the eyes of the bank anyway since the account is shared. This is an easy way to leave funds to someone who you trust not to take anything from you while you are alive.
California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you need help planning for your estate in the state of California, the experienced attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. To schedule a consultation, give our San Diego office a call today at 619-344-0360. We look forward to helping you plan ahead for the future of your family.Read More
When you are planning for your estate, the people who come to mind are likely your relatives, and perhaps a charity that is dear to your heart. However, you may not have any close relatives, or at least not anyone you feel close to. What can you do then? Does California force you to leave your estate to blood relatives?
State Laws in Regard to Naming Beneficiaries
This question comes up because of certain European nations which have laws forcing heirship. In the US, such laws don’t exist on the federal level, and California has not done much to impose its own will on whom you may choose to name as an heir. There is only one primary exception.
When a couple holds an asset as a community property (e.g., you each own 50% of your home), you can only dictate who receives your portion of the asset, not the entire asset.
Can I Make My Beneficiary a Random Person?
Sure. While this is a rather unorthodox way to pass on your estate, you could technically look in the phone book and select names at random to place in your will. The main issue will come when your executor is trying to get in touch with these individuals. They may pass away before you, or they may have moved without you knowing, or they could potentially refuse to speak with the executor thinking the call is some kind of scam.
California Estate Planning Law Experts
Whether you want to pass on your inheritance to your closest blood relative, a charity, or even just a good friend, Petrov Law Firm can help. Contact our estate planning attorneys today at 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation.Read More
At Petrov Law Firm, we see each of our clients as an individual. As a result, we help you to determine what is best of you and your beneficiaries. For some families, leaving a life insurance policy to a trust as a beneficiary is a good idea. Here are a few situations where this method works well:
- Your beneficiaries are minor children – If your kids are under 18, they won’t get your life insurance policy until they come of age anyway. Having the money go directly into a trust can allow a trustee to dispense some money to the children as needed such as for new outfits at the beginning of the school year.
- You want to avoid executor and court fees – If your estate ends up in probate court for any significant amount of time, a good portion of the assets can go toward court fees and executor expenses before your family sees any of it.
- You are concerned about the simultaneous death of yourself and your beneficiary – Let’s say the person you were going to name as your life insurance policy beneficiary is someone who is always traveling with you. What happens if you die together in some sort of travel-related accident? Having the money go into a trust is a good way to ensure it passes on to your other family members.
Personalized Estate Planning in San Diego, California
Let our professional estate planning attorneys help you to determine what methods will meet your family’s needs. Call 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation today.Read More
If you give a gift to a family member or friend that exceeds a specific value, it can be taxed. Because of this, some people decide to leave gifts in the form of a trust. It allows you to leave much more money to a person without a portion of it going to the government. Here are some of the best ways to leave a gift via trust to your loved ones.
- IDGT – The intentionally defective grantor trust is used to leave the family business to another household member, and it protects the beneficiary from the company’s creditors.
- QPRT – A qualified personal residence trust is a great way to transfer a house to your family when you don’t want them to pay the full market value. Your family will receive asset protection as well as tax benefits.
- CRT – A charitable remainder trust is for when you want to leave the gift to a charity rather than an individual. It also provides tax benefits to your estate.
- Gift trust – A gift trust with annual exclusions allows you to give family members the maximum exempt amount per year with the rest going into a trust that will be dispensed later. While the family doesn’t get access to all the funds immediately, they also don’t have to pay half of it in taxes.
Generous Estate Planning Options in Southern California
For more generous estate planning options in southern California, contact the estate planning experts at Petrov Law Firm by calling 619-344-0360. Our experienced attorneys can help you leave assets to your heirs with the minimal tax burden, so your family enjoys your assets rather than the government.Read More
When it comes to couples, you have estate planning options that are unique to your legal relationship. Here are some things that a couple should know about when planning a future together.
- A/B Trusts – While rare, this is a type of tax shelter that you may want to take advantage of if you have a huge estate. Most estates will not need something of this nature due to the current estate tax laws.
- Marital Disclaimer Trust – This is for couples who want to give the surviving mate a Bypass Trust option. Don’t try to set up this kind of trust on your own. You will want the help of an estate planning attorney to ensure this is the best option for you financially.
- Survivor’s Trust – This is a simple way to leave your mate everything that you own. Just remember that if the survivor remarries, it may affect whether your kids get anything in the future when the survivor eventually passes away.
- Survivor’s Trust w/ QTIP – Qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) can be of benefit if you are dealing with a smaller estate or have a blended family. The surviving spouse receives the maximum asset distribution, but you also get the best deductions while you are both alive.
Estate Planning for Couples in San Diego, CA
If you live in San Diego or the surrounding areas, Petrov Law Firm is your source for Southern California’s top estate planning attorneys. To get your estate plan started, give us a call today at 619-344-0360 and schedule a consultation.Read More
It is important to make advance decisions regarding your estate and your beneficiaries. However, it is advisable to have the assistance of an estate planning attorney. What are some of the risks of trying to write a will on your own?
- Estate taxes – While current estate tax laws allow for quite a large estate to pass on to heirs tax-free, you want to be sure that you keep up to date with current estate tax legislation so that most of your money doesn’t end up going to the government instead of your family.
- Missed details – It doesn’t matter how many times you double check your work if there is something you are unaware of that should be written in advance. Boilerplate wills that are available online don’t fit every situation, so you may be omitting important information.
- Legal loopholes – Every state is different when it comes to succession, so you want to be sure that you are working with an attorney who knows the legal language to use for the state that you presently live in.
California’s Premier Estate Planning Attorneys
If you live in the San Diego area, contact the Petrov Law Firm today to get the best legal help in planning your will, executing advance medical directives, setting up trusts, and more. Our assistance can allow you to have peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be carried out. To get started on your estate plan, or to update an existing plan, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Millennials are currently in your 20s and 30s, so estate planning may be the last thing you are thinking about. You are busy raising your kids, taking care of aging parents, and trying to make ends meet in a difficult job market. However, being busy is no excuse for failing to plan for the future. Here are three reasons that Millennials need to execute a will.
- You’re not invincible – It may feel like it right now, but there will come a time when you will wish that you had taken care of your estate planning earlier when you had more energy.
- You need to make advance medical decisions – If you become incapacitated or unable to speak for yourself, advanced medical decisions that are made as a part of your estate plan will allow you to have a voice and to appoint someone who can make decisions for you.
- An accident can happen to anyone – If an accident does occur and something happens to you prematurely, some still has to take care of your spouse, kids, parents, etc. Estate planning is how you provide ongoing care even if you pass away tragically.
Estate Planning Is a Sign of Love
Take care of your family, even if something happens to you. Estate planning helps carry out your wishes and can help your family to cope with the trauma of losing you. The Petrov Law Firm can help you to plan ahead for the future. Call 619-344-036 today to learn more about how we help California families.Read More
You may have always thought of it in terms of end of life decisions, but estate planning is really all about planning for the future. Many of your advance plans may still be enacted while you are alive. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when you plan for the future.
- Not making advance medical decisions – Are you willing to be revived or to have your life prolonged by machines? Are there certain treatments that are unwilling to accept for ethical or religious reasons? Making these decisions in advance and appointing someone to speak for you medically if you are unconscious are important when it comes to having your medical wishes carried out.
- Failing to update your existing estate plans – Maybe you created an estate plan several years ago but have not checked it since. Have you had any major changes in your assets since then? Did you get married, divorced, have a child, or change your family in some other way? Looking over your estate plan every few years and after any major life event is important to ensure that your current wishes are reflected.
Plan for Your Future with Help from an Estate Planning Attorney
Petrov Law Firm has southern California’s estate planning attorney experts. If you need to develop an estate plan, set up an advanced health directive, or even update an existing estate plan, we’re here to help. And don’t forget that every state has their own laws regarding succession, so if you set up your estate plan before you moved to California, you need to make sure it will still carry out your wishes here. Call 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation today!Read More
If you already have an estate plan in place, you are ahead of the curve, but that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels and assume everything will work out in the future. An estate plan must be revisited regularly to ensure everything still matches your wishes. Here are a few ways to know it is time to review your estate plan.
- You just experienced a life-changing event – Any time you get married, divorced, have a child, adopt a child, etc., it is time to review your estate plan to make sure the right people are included.
- You’ve changed your mind – Whether something has changed about what you want to do with your funds or how you feel about a particular beneficiary, it is time to review your plans.
- You have a sudden change in income – Whether you suddenly have a lot more or a lot less money, you need to make sure that your estate plan is still the best option for distributing your assets.
- You can’t remember the last time you reviewed it – You should be at least scanning your plan annually and giving it a closer look every 3 to 5 years. If you can’t remember the last time you checked your estate plan, then it is definitely time.
Updating Your Estate Plan in California
If you need to update your estate plan in California, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help. Whether you are new to the state, need to update your existing plan, or want to get started with your first estate plan, call our San Diego office at 619-344-0360 today!Read More