If you’ve ever been in a car accident and received a settlement, the rising car insurance premiums may not be a surprise to you. However, if you have been accident-free for years, you may be wondering what you’re paying all that money for. Here are 3 reasons that car insurance rates continue to rise.
- Medical Costs Are Up – In an at-fault state like California, car insurance companies are expected to pay medical bills when their driver is at fault in an accident. That means they get stuck with the bill for their own driver and the one whom he or she hit. Since medical costs continue to rise, car insurance companies have to continue increasing their rates to keep up and make a profit.
- Car Repair Costs Have Skyrocketed – According to a 2016 report, California has the highest average repair cost when it comes to a check engine light ($435), so you can imagine what it must cost to do body work on a vehicle that has been in an accident.
- Increased Accidents and Injuries – According to the California Highway Patrol, injuries started back on the upswing in 2014 following a downward trend for several years. The more injuries that occur in accidents, the more the insurance companies are paying out.
Getting Help with Your Injury Claim
Of course, just because insurance companies are charging more doesn’t mean they want to pay out a penny more than they can get away with. That’s why you want an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner if you are ever injured in a car accident. Petrov Law Firm can help you to maximize your insurance settlement in the state of California. Call us today at 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
Often abbreviated as DPA, a durable power of attorney is a vital component in your estate planning. This document appoints an agent to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated. What does the document contain and what exactly is your power of attorney responsible for?
What a Durable Power of Attorney Should Outline
The primary purpose of this document is to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you. A separate document should be executed to appoint a person to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated.
But how can you be sure that your power of attorney will treat financial matters in the way you would want? And what qualifies as you being incapacitated? There is no need to leave these matters to chance or opinion. You can include descriptions in the document regarding what you consider incapacitation, whether it be literal unconsciousness or mental degradation that leads to senility or dementia.
You can also provide instructions for your power of attorney as to how your financial matters should be handled. While it should be a responsible person, you also want it to be someone who will understand your instructions and be willing to carry them out.
Help in Preparing your Durable Power of Attorney and Other Estate Planning Documents
If you are interested in setting up a durable power of attorney to protect your estate should you become incapacitated, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. We pride ourselves on putting the best interests of our clients first. So if you want the personal attention you deserve from experienced and talented attorneys in the state of California, call 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
There are a number of life events that can have a major bearing on estate planning. Getting a divorce is one of those events. How may a settlement affect the planning that you already have in place, and how can you make sure that any changes to your estate are properly handled?
The Effects of Divorce on an Estate Plan
There are several elements of your estate planning that may be affected. Here are a few examples:
- Retirement Accounts – Because the beneficiary on a retirement account receives the money directly without it going through probate, you may need to change your beneficiary to avoid the money transferring to your ex.
- Trusts – Some property or other assets may have been part of a revocable living trust. However, if those assets were shared or had to be liquidated as a part of the divorce settlement, you will have to update the trust accordingly.
- Shared Accounts – Shared bank accounts transfer automatically on death, so you will need to close these accounts if they have not already been closed as a part of the settlement and open new bank
You may also need to make arrangements if you get remarried so that children from the previous marriage still receive any assets you wish for them to inherit. Otherwise, many things that may be put in your new mate’s name might pass directly without going through probate. This new spouse may feel no attachment to your children from another mate once you are gone, so you can’t leave it to chance.
Help in Arranging Complicated Estate Planning
Estate planning may at times be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The patient estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can walk you through the process so that you can be confident your wishes will be carried out. To learn more, contact our San Diego, California attorneys at 619-344-0360.Read More
Driving is dangerous enough when driving back and forth to places you’ve been dozens of times. Add the uncertainty of not knowing the roads well, and you have a recipe for disaster. You may be tempted to solve the problem by just following a friend, but a recent study revealed that this may be a dangerous way to get where you are going.
Why Following Another Car Is Dangerous
The study revealed what would be expected – the following driver is afraid of losing the lead driver and takes risks to keep up. For example, if the lead driver goes through a yellow light, the following driver may go through a red light to maintain direct sight of the other car. Other issues can include sudden lane changes, tailgating to not allow other cars in between, and driving too fast because the lead driver is doing so.
The Safer Way to Get Where You Need to Go
The better way to go is to look up directions ahead of time or to use a GPS to find your own way. This is especially true if you have another person in the car who can act as a navigator and keep an eye on the GPS in case it doesn’t warn you about upcoming turns in time.
Even Safe Drivers Can Be Injured in Accidents
Unfortunately, you can still be injured in an accident, even while doing everything you can to drive safely. Where can you turn for help if you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident? The personal injury lawyers at Petrov Law Firm are here to help. Just call 619-344-0360 for help in getting a settlement that covers your expenses and other due compensation.Read More
The state of California has heavy penalties in place for DUI offenders. These laws are in place to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. A drunk driver can destroy lives in an instant. Despite these penalties, many injuries are still sustained each year due to driving while intoxicated. Here is a list of some of the penalties in place in the state of California.
The minimum penalty for a first-time offender (assuming no one is hurt or killed) includes:
- $1,800 in fines and assessments
- 2 days in jail or 3 months with a restricted license (only driving back and forth to work or treatment is allowed)
- 3 to 9 months of mandatory treatment (depending on BAC) which costs about $500
- Loss of license for 30 days (the restricted license begins after this period)
These penalties quickly escalate for second and third-time offenders. However, if someone is hurt or dies as a result of the DUI, penalties may include a felony that will result in prison time. Depending on whether the person was a previous offender, the minimum sentence will be somewhere between one and five years.
If You or a Loved One Has Become the Victim of a Drunk Driver
If you have been hurt or have tragically lost a loved one due to someone driving under the influence, you deserve to be compensated for all of your losses. This can include lost future wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and more. The compassionate lawyers at Petrov Law Firm can help you to handle these sensitive matters when you may not mentally be in a position to seek a reasonable settlement yourself. Let us help you start to put the pieces back together. In many wrongful death cases, we only get paid if we win for you. Just call 619-344-0360 for help in the state of California.Read More
If you have a diversified portfolio of assets, you may have questions about the best way to leave securities to your heirs would be. For example, can you pass securities on to heirs through transfer on death (TOD)? We’ll examine how this works so you can make an informed decision on the best way to leave your assets to beneficiaries.
You Can Pass Securities Directly to Heirs at Death
The good news is that the state of California has ways to transfer some of your assets outside of the potentially costly and lengthy probate process. One of these is the California Uniform TOD Security Registration Act. This act specifically addresses the passing of stocks and other securities directly to a beneficiary by what is called transfer on death.
The good thing about TOD is that if something happens to you, your heir immediately becomes the owner of the securities that have been designated. The key is to properly designate the TOD assets so that the transfer takes place seamlessly and without question.
Help in Designating Transfer on Death Securities
Petrov Law Firm specializes in estate planning. We can help you to leave your assets to beneficiaries in a way that cuts through some of the legal red tape and gets the money to your heirs faster and without costly legal bills. To learn more, give our San Diego office a call today at 619-3344-0360. We can help you with all of your estate planning needs in the state of California.Read More
This is a question that a lot of clients come into our office asking. Let’s discuss how probate works and what you can do if you want to avoid it.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the legal process through which a person’s assets are distributed after he or she dies. If the person who passes away has a last will and testament that is legally valid, then the document is used as a guideline. It should outline:
- An executor – This is a person who is responsible for gathering and dispensing the estate’s assets. Responsibilities may include paying taxes that are still owed by the estate as well as any other debts and collecting debts that may be owed to the estate. Multiple executors can be named in succession in case the primary executor dies before the person whose will it is.
- Beneficiaries – One or more people can be designated to receive part or all of the estate. This includes property and other assets.
Probate court can drain much of the funds in an estate and lead to lengthy proceedings that keep beneficiaries from getting money as quickly – especially if the will is contested. For this reason, many people prefer to take steps to avoid probate. How?
Avoiding Probate in California
If you are looking to avoid probate court in the state of California, the right option for you may be a revocable living trust. Such a trust is not subject to probate in California. The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you set up such an estate plan. To learn more, call our experienced California attorneys at 619-344-0360.Read More
If you are a parent, one of the most terrifying days of your life may be the day your son or daughter gets a driver’s license. It is a sad fact that the number one cause of death between the ages of 16 and 20 is being in a car accident. How can you protect your teen? Technology may be the key.
Modern Technology that Reduces Distractions
Some of the tech that is helping younger drivers today is designed to reduce the distractions that can lead to a motor vehicle accident. For example, smartphone use is one of the most dangerous things a person can get involved in while behind the wheel. But teens often lack the experience to see the importance of following California state guidelines in this regard.
Modern smartphones and cell phone companies provide tech that can block calls or texts while driving and send an automatic response to the person who sent the message or made the call. That completely removes the temptation of checking the phone and sends the message to friends that calls won’t go through until your kid reaches his or her destination.
Modern Technology that Produces Better Driving Habits
You can also enlist the help of your car insurance provider. Most insurance companies produce devices that can be attached to a vehicle to monitor driving and alter insurance rates based on how safe someone is. Gradually speeding up and slowing down rather than punching the gas when a light turns green and waiting until the last second to break will be rewarded monetarily. That is enough incentive for most young drivers.
If Your Teen Is Injured in an Accident
Not all accidents involving teens are the young person’s fault, but it can be tough to convince an insurance company. Petrov Law Firm has the experienced personal injury attorneys you want on your side to secure a fair settlement. To have your case reviewed, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Regardless of the motor vehicle manufacturer you purchase your car from, you are bound to run into a recall sooner or later. What is a recall? Why should you respond promptly when you receive one? We will discuss the answers to these questions and more.
What Is a Recall?
If a manufacturer discovers that a part of one of their vehicles is defective, a recall will be immediately issued. This is a notification for owners of a particular year, make, and model to head over to the dealer for the part to be changed out for one that is not defective. The work is performed at no charge since it was the manufacturer’s fault.
Why Respond to a Recall Notice Right Away?
Once the company notifies you of a recall, their liability should something happen is reduced or eliminated. In other words, you can no longer say that it was the manufacturer’s fault because you have knowledge of the issue and an offer to fix it for free. If you are injured or injure someone else because of the defect, it may actually be your fault rather than the manufacturer’s at that point. This makes it vital to follow through on recall notifications immediately.
If Your Vehicle Has Malfunctioned
If you are injured by a vehicle that has malfunctioned, even if there was a product recall, you may still be eligible for some compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to see if you have a legitimate case and can also back you up while pursuing the best possible settlement. Call 619-344-0360 today to get started.Read More
You may be looking for a way to leave your assets to heirs without the added time and expenses involved in probate. If so, a living trust could be exactly what you have been searching for. But does this mean that you are turning over control of your assets to a trustee?
If you set up a revocable living trust, then you are the trustee while you are still living. This gives you complete control over the trust. You can add assets or remove them from the trust at any time. It is a great way to leave property and other assets to your heirs and have them avoid probate without giving up control during your life.
However, when you pass away, your revocable living trust becomes irrevocable. At this point, a successor trustee will take over. He or she will then carry out your wishes for the trust in accord with any instructions that you have left behind. This makes it important to determine in advance what you want a successor trustee to do.
Providing Instructions for Your Successor Trustee
If you are a California resident in the San Diego area, Petrov Law Firm is your source for the best estate planning lawyers to help you leave instructions for your successor trustee that ensure your wishes are carried out when you are no longer here to do so yourself.
To learn more about how to set up a revocable living trust with a successor trustee in order to avoid having your estate go into probate, contact Petrov Law Firm at 619-344-0360. Our attorneys will be happy to help you get your affairs in order, regardless of how large or small your estate may be.Read More