Being a successor trustee is a huge responsibility, and depending on the amount of funds left to you to help you carry out the assignment, there may not be a very big payoff. How can you be loyal to the trustor and carry out your duty in a fine manner? Here are a few tips:
- Get help with bookkeeping – You may have been selected because you are trustworthy, not for your math skills. In that case, it may especially be important to hire an accountant to help out. If it is a sizable trust, the beneficiary should be happy you have the extra help rather than being concerned that the accountant’s fee will mean there is slightly less in the trust for him or her.
- Avoid envy – This may not be as difficult if the trustor also left you a nice sum, but if you are doing all the work and the beneficiary is wasteful with money, it can be easy to give in to envy and think you deserve the money rather than him or her.
- Don’t go beyond your role – Your job is to carry out the wishes of the trustor. He or she believed you would put those wishes ahead of your own personal gain. That’s how you became the trustee in the first place. Stick to the instructions you’ve been provided.
California Estate Plan Assistance
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An irrevocable living trust is just one of the many ways that you can choose to leave assets to your heirs. This is a popular option for a number of reasons. Here are three things you should know about irrevocable living trusts.
- They can help you avoid probate – Trusts are cared for by a successor trustee who is designated to take care of the trust and make sure your beneficiaries get the money faster and without court fees.
- You can be the trustee while alive – This means that you can make changes to the trust on an ongoing basis (unless you choose to declare it irrevocable while still alive). This makes a living trust a popular option for people who want to be able to control what goes into the trust and who the beneficiaries are.
- The trust becomes irrevocable at death – While a trustee has a little more leeway with a regular trust, an irrevocable trust is set once you die. The successor trustee will carry out your instructions for distributing the trust in the amounts and to the individuals set forth by you.
Planning Your Estate in Chula Vista and North County
Petrov Law Firm has the experienced estate planning attorneys that Chula Vista and North County residents can trust. Start planning for the future of your family now, or have our attorneys look over your existing trust to see if it can be structured in a better manner. Call 619-344-0360 to get started and see the benefits that come from having seasoned estate planning lawyers in your corner.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
Being a successor trustee is a weighty responsibility. You want to be sure that person you select will do what is best for the trust and ensure a good financial future for your beneficiaries. However, there are some common pitfalls that a successor trustee could fall into. Here are a few ways to provide help that may prevent the most common pitfalls.
- Bookkeeping errors – Is your trustee level-headed but not the best with numbers? An accountant can help ensure that no mistakes are made. Plus, a second set of eyes keeps everyone on the straight and narrow.
- Crossing the line – A successor trustee can fall into think that he or she plays a larger role in how the assets are preserved than you intended. Leaving precise instructions will help your trustee to remember what his or her proper function is.
- Envy – Your trustee sees what you are leaving to your beneficiaries and is the one doing all the work. In order to avoid feelings of envy or jealousy from clouding the trustee’s judgment, it is a good idea to provide adequate compensation.
It is also important to be objective when selecting your successor trustee. The best way to avoid problems is to select the best person for the job rather than allowing sentiment to get in the way.
California Estate Planning Experts
For more assistance with trusts, contact the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm by calling 619-344-0360. We are happy to help California residents plan for the future with confidence.Read More
Mental illness is increasingly common in the world today. If a relative has an illness, it doesn’t make you love them any less or want to take care of them any less. Therefore, your estate plan needs to be able to help you provide the support you want your loved one to have while compensating for the fact that he or she may not be able to manage the money alone. Here are a few tips to help guide you.
- A loyal and compassionate trustee. By appointing the right trustee over any trust that you leave to your loved one, you can ensure that the funds will be used for your loved one at the right times and in the proper amount.
- Controlling what funds can be dispensed for. Perhaps your loved one doesn’t need someone to care for him or her, but is still concerned about things like impulse spending or squandering the inheritance in other ways? Structuring the inheritance so that funds are only released for certain types of expenses is a good way to protect your loved one.
- Covering voluntary treatment costs. You can structure the trust so that your loved one receives a dispensation when he or she seeks medical care relating to the condition. This may move your loved one to see the high value of proper treatment and may provide the funds necessary to get the right care without the guilt of how expensive medical treatment can be in the US.
Discretionary Trusts and Other Estate Planning Methods in California
At Petrov Law Firm in San Diego, our estate planning attorneys will be happy to help you plan for the future needs of your loved ones. To see what types of estate planning are best for your family, contact us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Establishing a trust is a great way to eliminate all of the problems that come along with probate. Your family won’t have to worry about the court fees or deal with an executor. This can prevent long delays in receiving the inheritance. However, it is still important to choose the right successor trustee in order to ensure that your estate is in good hands until it gets to your beneficiaries. Here are a few ways to keep your successor trustee from making the most common mistakes.
- Hire an Accountant – Unless your trustee is particularly good with numbers and understands accounting, this is the best way to ensure that there are no errors in the record keeping. Plus, having two people to check each other’s numbers keeps everyone honest.
- Outline Instructions Clearly – Sometimes a trustee can get confused about the role that he or she plays. To eliminate confusion, make sure your estate planning documents outline how you want your trustee to act, including how the assets are preserved until they reach your beneficiaries.
- Provide Adequate Compensation – Your trustee knows how much has been set aside for your beneficiaries. The trustee is doing all of the work. So while you may leave a relatively small percent of your estate to compensate the trustee, it should be enough to ensure he or she doesn’t feel cheated or isn’t moved to maneuver for a little additional compensation from your family.
- Be Objective – Sentimentality cannot guide your choice of a successor trustee. It has to be the person who is best suited for the job. Otherwise, problems are likely to come about.
Assistance in Developing a Trust and Other Estate Planning in California
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm are experienced in helping California residents to plan properly for the future. To learn more, contact us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
You want to save for your future, but you also want to plan for the future of your family. How can you get your retirement plan to play nice with your estate plan and ensure that you get to enjoy your golden years and still pass on an inheritance to your loved ones? Here are a few things to consider.
Your Retirement Fund Can’t Be Part of Your Trust
Your trust can’t own the retirement fund. That means you have to select a separate beneficiary for your retirement account. You can leave the retirement money and the trust to the same individual, just not with one nested under the other.
When selecting a beneficiary for a retirement fund, remember that there are tax advantages and other financial benefits to leaving these funds directly to a spouse. For example, regardless of who the beneficiary is, retirement funds don’t go through probate. They pass directly to the named beneficiary. However, only a spouse can defer minimum distribution until he or she hits retirement age.
Making Your Retirement Fund Beneficiary Your Trust
Why not simply leave your retirement fund to your loved one? What if he or she was to make the mistake of taking all of the funds at once and ends up paying half of the inheritance out in taxes the next year? That would be an expensive error. But your trustee could ensure that the retirement fund is stretched and distributions are taken at the proper times to maximize the payout.
Leaving Your Estate and Retirement Funds Behind the Right Way
Petrov Law Firm can help you to negotiate the laws that California has in place regarding estate planning and retirement funds. To get the help you need in planning for a better future, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with estate planning is thinking that all estate planning is about is what happens when you die. Your estate plan should include contingency plans for during your lifetime. Here’s something many people miss, and a quick fix for it.
Planning for Incapacitation
It’s a scenario we forget to plan for because we don’t like to think about it. What if you ever become mentally incapacitated during your lifetime? It could be due to an accident or illness that leaves you unconscious for a period of time or simply due to the mental degradation that sometimes accompanies old age. But it raises the question: Who will make financial decisions for you if you are no longer of sound mind to do so yourself?
Naming a power of attorney in your estate plan is the perfect way to ensure the courts don’t end up having to appoint a conservatorship to care for things for you. You get to select someone you trust to carry out your wishes rather than their own. And you don’t have to worry about undue influence affecting you if your judgment ever becomes less than sound. This can prevent your estate from becoming tied up in a long legal battle.
Planning for the Future in Southern California
From selecting a power of attorney to setting up revocable living trusts, Petrov Law Firm can help you select the estate planning options that are best for you. Speak to one of our estate planning attorneys to learn more. Call 619-344-0360 today to get started.Read More
No one wants to think about the end of his or her life. However, if you have anything to leave behind to your loved ones, you have probably at least gone through the mental exercise of deciding who gets what. There are other elements of an estate plan, however, that require engaging the emotions. Here are a few things to consider:
- Protecting the emotions of survivors – When you pass away, there will be people who mourn you. Your estate plan can make things easier for But you need to consider now what emotional burdens your family may face so you can plan accordingly. For example, will it save infighting if you detail how you want the funeral to be arranged?
- Keep private matters private – A last will and testament becomes public record when you die. So if you don’t want everyone being able to look into your business, it is better to consider other estate planning options such as leaving assets to your loved ones by means of a trust. This can keep anyone from having hard feelings over knowing who received which parts of your estate.
- Leaving behind a legacy – You may wish to leave private letters or videos for your beneficiaries to provide advice or just to say goodbye and give them a memento. Your estate is a great way to pass on heirlooms, family lore, and other priceless history that may not have monetary value but plenty of sentimental value.
California’s Compassionate Estate Planning Attorneys
If you want estate planning attorneys on your side who can help you to navigate both the logical and emotional side of planning for the future, you want the compassionate lawyers at Petrov Law Firm in your corner. Contact us today at 619-344-0360 to start planning how to leave your loved ones something truly special.Read More
Some people are willing to take the chance that everything will pass to their spouse and kids. Others are content to draw up a will and let the courts have their part in matters. But if you want your family to receive your estate with an increased degree of certainty and without the courts causing delays and expenses, there are two things you need to include in your estate planning.
- Trusts – A trust can allow your heirs to skip probate. You can manage the trust while you are alive and appoint a successor trustee to carry out your wishes and disseminate the trust in your absence. It gives you the flexibility you need while you are alive and provides your beneficiaries with the convenience of fewer court fees and the excessive time it may take to receive funds if probate is involved.
- Power of Attorney – Whether you are appointing a healthcare agent to make medical decisions should you become incapacitated or a power of attorney to make financial decisions, this is a great way to block courts from stepping in and appointing a conservatorship to take care of matters for you. You can outline your wishes in advance and appoint someone you trust to carry out those wishes as opposed to whomever the court may grant guardianship to.
Smart Estate Planning in Southern California
Petrov Law Firm offers smart estate planning options to residents of San Diego and the surrounding areas. If you are ready to take control of your future rather than leaving it in the hands of the court system, give us a call today at 619-344-0360.Read More