A living trust is an essential component of a modern estate plan that protects your assets for your family or other beneficiaries. However, if you had your living trust drafted years ago, there may be some elements that will do more harm than good. Here are some reasons why you should review and update your trust periodically.
- Are new assets in the trust? – When you first formed the trust, you had to add your assets into it. However, if you have new accounts, properties, and other assets since then, you need to add them.
- Special needs of beneficiaries – Review the wording regarding your beneficiaries. Most people don’t want assets going to an adult child’s ex-spouse (unless they have the grandkids). Be careful with the structure of the trust if your loved one receives a government check (for example, if they are on disability). You don’t want your generous gift to negatively impact their income.
- Changes in your retirement accounts – It could be the accounts attached to the trust, or just the sheer amount of assets if you have done really well in recent years, that impact your estate planning. Remember that laws regarding how much time your beneficiaries have to take the assets from your retirement accounts has changed, and this can have major tax implications.
Get the Help You Need to Update a Living Trust in California
Petrov Law Firm has experienced estate planning attorneys who can help whether you need to set up a new estate plan or modify an existing plan. Call 619.344.0360 to get started today.Read More
You may already have an estate plan in place, which is a good way to show your mate you want to care for their future. However, having children should result in changes to your estate plan. Here are a few of the reasons.
- Preparing for the possible need for a legal guardian – When holding your newborn, you probably aren’t thinking about where they would be if you and your spouse were suddenly gone. However, every parent should prepare for legal guardianship of their child in the event of a tragedy.
- Set up a trust for dispensing inheritance – For everything from college tuition to buying a house for the first time to getting married, you want to set aside funds for the big events in your child’s life. A trust can allow you to set aside assets that your child will be able to use in the future, whether or not you are there to provide support in person.
- Increase your life insurance – When it was just you and your mate, you may not have felt the need to carry a large policy. However, if something happens to you now, you want to be sure to have a large enough life insurance policy to support a single parent. This may mean increasing your life insurance policy, especially if you provide the family’s main income.
California Estate Planning Attorneys
Petrov Law Firm can help you to update your existing estate plan or to develop a new one from scratch. Call our San Diego office at 619.344.0360 today to get started.Read More
A living trust can help maximize the benefits your family gains from your estate planning. Here are some of the advantages of this method of financial planning.
- Affordable – While it is much cheaper simply to have a will than to set up a trust, you still have to factor in things like the time and money that will go to probate court. A trust gets the money to the right heirs faster and with minimal costs.
- Flexible – Some people avoid trusts because they think their estate is too small. However, this is a very flexible form of estate planning. The size of your estate doesn’t really matter – it won’t be too large or too small. Plus, if you have a sudden change in the size of your estate, a trust is equipped to handle it.
- Retain control – A living trust allows you to keep control of all your assets while you are still alive. It is not shared, such as when having a family member’s name on your accounts. The money or assets are not locked into the estate. You can add or remove what is in the trust at your own discretion and buy or sell as you please.
Southern California’s Estate Planning Attorneys
Keep in mind that the laws of succession are different from state to state, so you will want to find a local estate attorney, especially if you have just moved to California from another state. Petrov Law Firm in San Diego can help. Give us a call at 619.344.0360 to start your estate plan or review and update an existing plan.Read More
If you already have an estate plan in place before becoming a first-time parent, you are ahead of many other families. However, adding a family member is a major life change that requires an update to your estate plan. Especially when you become a first-time parent, whether the child is newborn or adopted, you need to think about the following scenarios:
- Planning ahead for legal guardianship – As long as your child is still a minor, you need to have plans in place for legal guardianship should an untimely accident befall you and your mate simultaneously.
- Setting up a trust – If something does happen to both parents of a child, just having a will is not sufficient. You want a trust in place that will protect the estate until your child reaches legal age. Be sure to choose a trustworthy successor trustee who will protect the estate for your child.
- Review life insurance policies – You may decide that you now need to carry more life insurance. This will ensure that your mate and child do not experience hardship if something should happen to you, especially if you are the family’s primary breadwinner.
Updating Your California Estate Plan
Any major change in life circumstances should result in a review of your estate plan. If you are now living in southern California, Petrov Law Firm can help you to update your plan in accord with state regulations. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 to get started with an experienced estate planning attorney.Read More
Long-term care relates to the medical attention you may require in the final years of your life. While this is something we don’t often think about (mostly because we don’t want to), it can be something that seriously affects the estate that you leave to your family. Here are three reasons to be sure that long-term care is factored into your estate planning.
- You may be more likely to need care than you think – In fact, about 40% of Americans end up in a care facility at the end of their life. 1 in 10 people spends three years or more in a nursing home.
- Long-term care is expensive – Depending on the facility you end up in, long-term care can cost anywhere from $40,000 per year up to well into the six-figure range. For most people, that can go through an estate pretty quickly.
- Insurance doesn’t cover long-term care – Medicare doesn’t cover an expense like this. If you do have coverage for long-term care, you may be paying out just as much in premiums as you eventually would have in care. In order to leave something for your family, you have to find a better way to plan ahead.
Long-Term Care as a Part of Your Estate Planning
If you live in the San Diego area, contact the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm by calling 619.344.0360 today. We can help you to develop an estate plan that leaves your assets to your family rather than to a long-term care facility.Read More
Estate planning is a necessity, but it can also be something we have a tendency to put off. Whether it is a lack of interest in thinking about mortality or you just don’t know where to begin, procrastination can set in. However, you don’t want your family to suffer due to a lack of planning, so here are a few tips for estate planning the right way.
- Hire an estate planning attorney – If you don’t have a huge estate, you may think of this as a waste of money. However, hiring an attorney can help you to maximize the benefits for your family. That’s worth a small fee because your family may lose out on even more of their inheritance in probate court without the right documents in order.
- Don’t just think about material assets – What happens if you get sick and become incapacitated? Have you made plans for your future medical wishes and care? If you have minor children, you need to think about what will happen to them if you and your spouse were to pass away simultaneously.
- Start today – Don’t put it off any longer. If you don’t know where to begin, make calling a trustworthy attorney your first step.
San Diego’s Estate Planning Attorneys
Petrov Law Firm can help you to plan ahead without the hassle. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 and schedule a consultation so we can learn about your unique circumstances and help you to plan your estate in a way that meets your personal needs.Read More
If you are a successor trustee, you may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You need to carry out the assignment you have been entrusted with in a conscientious way. How can ensure that the beneficiaries of the trust receive what they deserve and are treated fairly? Here are a few tips.
- Hire an accountant – The trustor wouldn’t have chosen you for this job if you weren’t honest. However, if you are not an accountant, you could still make a mistake that costs the family money. Therefore, the smart thing to do is to use a small portion of the trust fund to hire someone to help out on the financial side.
- Just do your job – As a successor trustee, you really just have one job – carry out the wishes of the trustor. Stick to the instructions you have been provided. When in doubt, think about what the person who trusted you with this assignment would have wanted. This isn’t the time to go rogue.
- Be happy for the beneficiaries – Hopefully, the trustor left you something in compensation for your role. If not, or if the task becomes arduous and drawn out, don’t give in to envy. This can result in bad decisions.
Estate Planning Help in San Diego
Petrov Law Firm has the expert attorneys that you want on your side when estate planning. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 to get started on your plan or to update an existing one.Read More
There are many ways to save for your own future as well as to put money aside for your family. If you want to incorporate your retirement planning into your estate, then there are a number of ways to do so. One way is to make your trust the beneficiary of your estate plans. Why is this a smart idea? Here are a couple of reasons:
- You never have to change your beneficiary – Your trust is static, so there is no need ever to change your retirement fund beneficiary. However, if you chose your mate as the beneficiary of your retirement fund, then you have to remember to change the beneficiary if your mate passes away before you or if you get divorced. It just simplifies the process.
- You protect your loved ones from financial mistakes – Removing funds from a retirement account too soon or in large increments can cause major taxation issues. To protect your loved ones from making such a mistake during the grieving process, you can appoint a successor trustee to help them make better financial decisions. Of course, the retirement fund has to go into the trust when you pass away in order for the successor trustee to be able to provide this kind of advice and assistance.
California Estate Planning to Meet the Needs of Your Family
Petrov Law Firm wants to help you plan ahead so that your family has a secure future without your own retirement fund being affected. Call 619.344.0360 to get started on your California estate plan today.Read More
California probate court will come into play for your beneficiaries regardless of whether you leave behind a will or not. So does that mean there is no point in preparing your estate while you are still alive? Hardly! Here are a few things you need to know about probate court in California so that you can plan accordingly.
- Your executor is named in your will – If you don’t have a will, the court will appoint someone to handle matters. Isn’t it better to make this choice for yourself and your family?
- Probate ensures taxes get paid – If you use estate planning to avoid probate, an accountant will have to help your family determine if any of the inheritance is taxable. Probate court will take care of this beforehand.
- Probate is on the record. That means anyone can go to the public records office and find out what you left for your family. It could potentially make them a target for a con artist or a thief.
- Probate may drag on – When this happens, not only do court fees pile up, but the stress on your family increases as well. It is better to have a well-defined estate plan so that there is no in-fighting regarding your assets.
Southern California’s Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys
Before you say it isn’t worth it to pay for legal help while estate planning, think about how much it may cost your family if you don’t. Then call Petrov Law Firm at 619.344.0360 for affordable estate planning in southern California.Read More
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