If you have kids who are still under 18, you may not even think you are old enough to worry about estate planning. However, you do have to consider unexpected tragedies and how your family could be impacted if you don’t plan ahead. Here are a couple of things that absolutely must be a part of your estate planning if you have children.
- Set up a trust – A trust can be designed to leave an inheritance for your children when they come of legal age (or any age you set). This allows a successor trustee to protect the inheritance while your kids are still kids. You can also include special disbursements such as for school supplies or medical bills to help their legal guardians.
- Select legal guardians – One thing to think about is who will raise your children should you and your spouse pass away at the same time. Whether you pick family members or close friends, you may want to include input from your kids. Be sure to express your wishes to the guardians you designate, but also realize that everyone will have their own parenting style.
If You Are a Parent, Now Is the Time for Estate Planning
Whether you haven’t done any estate planning yet or you haven’t updated the plans to include things that are necessary for the children, now is the time. Call Petrov Law Firm at 619.344.0360 for all of your California estate planning needs.Read More
Estate planning is one of those activities that people often procrastinate over. After all, whether you are young and healthy right now or you are getting older and experiencing health problems, no one wants to think about their mortality. However, this is something really important for your loved ones. Here are the absolute worst mistakes that you can make when it comes to estate planning so that you can avoid them.
- Putting it off – You may think you have more time, and then an unexpected tragedy occurs. Accidents happen all the time, so the best time to be prepared is right now. Plus, you don’t have to die to need an estate plan. It can also allow you to provide medical direction should you ever become incapacitated.
- Not reviewing it – Even if you have an estate plan already in place, you need to look over it annually to make sure nothing has changed. This is particularly important if you move to another state since estate planning laws vary across the country.
- Doing it yourself – DIY is a popular way to save money, but this one of the times to hire a professional. You need to know exactly what you are signing off on and that your documents have been executed in a proper way. Don’t leave the future of your family to chance by using some one-size-fits-all last will and testament off the Internet.
California’s Estate Planning Experts
Petrov Law Firm has the estate planning lawyers that you want helping plan ahead for the needs of your family. Call us today at 619.344.0360 to start on your estate plan or to update your existing documents.Read More
While you can’t think of every possible contingency when developing your estate plan, you want to give consideration to matters that are relevant both in general and for your family in particular. If you travel on a regular basis, that means that there should be a few extra contingencies in your plan. Here are two things that you need to think about.
- Does your estate plan take into account the possibility of dying in a foreign country? – Whether you travel for business or pleasure, if you are spending a great deal of time in other countries, this is a legitimate consideration. You need to think about the expense of repatriating your body or the costs of being buried in the land where you pass away, and how either situation should be handled by your next of kin.
- Does your estate plan account for the possibility of you and your spouse dying together? – While flying is a relatively safe form of travel, accidents and other disasters can happen. If you and your mate regularly travel together, you need to be sure that your estate is prepared. Leaving everything to your mate only works as an estate plan if your spouse survives you. You need other contingencies in place just in case that isn’t how things work out.
Smarter Planning for the Future in Southern California
The estate planning pros at Petrov Law Firm can help you to plan ahead for the contingencies that may affect your family. To learn more, give us a call at 619.344.0360, and schedule a consultation to set up your estate plan or to review an existing one.Read More
Just about every American family knows first-hand what it is like to deal with mental illness. This is because one recent article reported that nearly a third of American’s will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their life, and more than 20% will experience depression or another mood disorder.
You have to account for this when you are leaving an estate for your loved ones. Here are a few ways to make sure your family can enjoy their inheritance even if they are presently living with a chronic health ailment that affects their mental state.
- Carefully select your successor trustee – You need someone who will both respect your wishes regarding dispensation and who will be kind to your loved one who is living with an illness.
- Provide explicit instructions – Don’t leave anything up to chance. Be explicit in your explanation of how to dispense the funds in a trust or other account. This will benefit both your trustee when it comes to making decisions as well as your loved one.
- Cover medical treatment – You can include a clause that allows for early dispensation of funds for voluntary medical treatment. The trust will pay the medical facility directly so that the funds go for the right purpose, and your loved one gets the care that they need.
Protecting Your Loved Ones with Your Estate Planning
The purpose of these extra steps is not to embarrass your loved one but to protect them. You would do the same if they had a different type of health condition. Petrov Law Firm wants to help. Call us today at 619.344.0360 for all of your California estate planning needs.Read More
Making end of life decisions while you still have a lot of time ahead of you isn’t easy, but it is the smart and loving thing to do for your family. How can you ensure that your estate ends up where it belongs? Here are a few tips to help you plan your estate properly:
- Don’t leave it to chance – You may think you understand the laws of succession in your state, but the only way to know who is getting your estate for sure is to have a well-documented estate plan in place. This is especially true when it comes to non-traditional families.
- Review your existing documents – If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your estate plan, then it has been way too long. You need to check the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, retirement accounts, POD bank accounts, and other funds that will pass directly to beneficiaries without going through probate. This is especially true if you have gone through a divorce, have a new family member, or have experienced any other major life change that can affect your estate plan.
San Diego’s Estate Planning Experts
Whether you need to execute a new estate planning document or update an existing plan in the state of California, Petrov Law Firm has the experienced estate planning attorneys for you. Call our San Diego offices today at 619.344.0360 and schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney at one of our three convenient locations.Read More
Nowadays, it is easy to find a last will and testament template online, plug in your name and the date, print it, sign it, and feel like you’ve completed what you need to do in regard to your estate planning. While there are many problems with this approach, including everything from the need for planning medical care to paying attention to variance in state laws, there is also something else missing from the cookie-cutter approach – you.
How can you add a personal touch to your estate plan? Here are a few things that may not get unless you seek out the personal attention of an estate planning attorney to help you complete your documents.
- Pass on family heirlooms – Whether you have something that has been passed to you from previous generations or you want to turn one of your possessions into a family heirloom, your estate planning is the time to do it. Explain why the item means so much to your family and share it with someone who will cherish it and save it for the next generation.
- Charitable donations – Donating a portion of your estate to charity can show what is important to you and encourage others to give back in return. Choose a charity that has deep meaning to you or your family and create a legacy.
Personalized Estate Planning in San Diego
If one size fits all doesn’t work for you, then the expert estate planners at Petrov Law Firm can help you to put your personal stamp on your estate plan. Call us today at 619.344.0360 to schedule an appointment now.Read More
Estate planning is different from state to state, and there are federal laws as well, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a hassle to pass on your belongings to the next generation and to make medical decisions in advance. Here are a few reminders to simplify the process for you.
- Start today – Estate planning is easy to leave for another day when you have more time. However, if your time were to suddenly run out, perhaps in a tragic accident, where would your family be if you don’t take care of these matters in advance?
- Events that require a review – If you experience a life-altering event, then it is time to reconsider your estate plan. Some positive events may include an interstate move, a new family member (birth, adoption, marriage, etc.), or a sudden increase in assets (i.e., you win the lotto). Negative events such as a divorce or the death of a beneficiary also call for a review.
- Plan for future health needs – If you ever become incapacitated, you want to have someone in place to make medical decisions for you. Be sure to outline as many of those decisions as possible in advance so that your surrogate doesn’t have to guess what your wishes are.
California’s Premier Estate Planning Attorneys
At Petrov Law Firm, we love to help people plan for the future of their family and other loved ones. Whether your estate is worth thousands or millions, we can provide assistance to make sure you maximize the benefits now and in the future. Call 619.344.0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
Your estate can do so much more than just distribute your material assets and make plans for your future healthcare. You can also plan wisely to create a lasting legacy for your family. Here are a few things to consider:
- Leaving a conditional trust – Want to encourage your grandkids to start their own company? Leave a conditional trust that can only be dispensed as business capital for a new startup. You can also leave conditional trusts for when a family member gets married, buys their first home, or has their first child. It allows you to have a hand in the future of your family, even if you are not there to enjoy the special moments with them.
- Letters and pictures – While we are in the age of emails and digital images, you can make an impact by providing special photos and letters for family members to cherish personally or proudly display.
- Recorded messages or videos – Since we do live in the digital age, it also gives you the unique opportunity to leave audiovisual messages for family members. This can introduce you to future generations and provide a cherished keepsake for your loved ones that allows them to benefit from your wisdom for years to come.
Create Something More Than an Estate Plan
Petrov Law Firm wants to help you leave behind a legacy for your family. Contact us today to speak with an estate planning lawyer who can help you to navigate the California legal system. Just call 619.344.0360 and schedule an appointment to begin.Read More
It seems like every year, the amount of an estate that is exempt from taxes increases. While the largest increase in recent history occurred between 2017 and 2018, this is the second year in a row with a more moderate increase. How much of your estate is now exempt from taxation? Have there been any changes to the gift tax exclusions?
2020 Estate Tax Exemption Limit
For 2020, the estate tax exemption has increased from $11.4 million to $11.58 million. That’s an increase of $180,000 that won’t be taxed if you are passing a massive estate on to the next generation. But what if you have more than that to give, or what if you want to be generous and see your family enjoy part of their inheritance while you are still alive?
Annual Gift Exclusion Laws
The annual gift exclusion amount is holding steady at $15,000 this year. However, if you get creative you can still give a lot more without affecting your overall estate tax exemption of $11.58 million. For example, you and your spouse can each give $15,000 per year to the same person. You can also each give $15,000 tax-free to that person’s spouse. So if you to dispense $60,000 to a couple, as a couple, all you have to do is divide it up into four $15,000 checks with the right names on them, and all of it will be tax-exempt!
Pass on Your Inheritance to Family, Not the Government
Petrov Law Firm can help you understand how to pass on your estate without it being subject to heavy taxation. Call 619.344.0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
It’s easy to make a mistake when you are new to estate planning. That’s why you should always get the help of a professional when planning ahead for your future. Here are three of the big mistakes that people make regarding their estate plans.
- Not thinking about health care – You need to plan for your long-term care in case you are not capable of making your own decisions later in life. This gives you the opportunity to declare your wishes and appoint someone to carry them out for you.
- Not reviewing documents annually – You want to give your documents a once-over every year to make sure they still accurately reflect your wishes. If you have a major life change like a wedding, divorce, birth, adoption, or out of state move, then you should review everything again immediately. Remember that every state has its own laws on estate planning, which is why moving to a new state makes the list of otherwise much more significant events.
- Not doing it right away – The time for estate planning is now, before something unexpected happens. This will ensure that your family is well cared for, even if a tragedy occurs.
San Diego Estate Planning Attorneys
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to plan ahead successfully for your family’s future. Contact us today at 619.344.0360 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in North County, San Diego, and Chula Vista.Read More