The statistics for 2017 were just released regarding motorcycle fatalities across the nation, and there are only three states (and the District of Columbia) that saw more of a decrease than California. In fact, there were about 30% fewer fatal motorcycle accidents in the state of California than in 2016.
While this is good news indeed, we want to be sure that our clients are still using the safest practices while riding. For example, did you know that the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents don’t involve another driver? The biggest factor is speeding. So please be careful, obey the speed limits, and don’t ride faster than you feel comfortable with.
The Lane-Splitting Paradox
When California changed state driving laws to allow motorcyclists to engage in lane-splitting, people may have assumed that motorcycle accidents would increase. However, we can see that the opposite has occurred. While lane-splitting is not for every rider and should be done with extreme caution, the good news is that drivers seem to be paying more attention and watching for motorcycles more than before. Perhaps this is actually contributing to the decrease in fatal accidents.
Help for Motorcycle Accident Victims
While it is growing less common, there are still motorcycle accident victims who have been injured by distracted drivers. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the Petrov Law Firm to see how we can help you to get the settlement that you deserve. We serve the Southern California area from our San Diego and Chula Vista offices, so call 619-344-0360 to schedule an appointment.Read More
Car accidents may not seem to leave any damage at first, but it is always important to be examined by a medical professional just in case an underlying injury occurred. Before you reach a settlement, here are five symptoms to watch out for.
- Migraines or Headaches – This can be an indicator of head or neck trauma. You may be experiencing post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
- Vertigo – Another indicator of PCS, whiplash can also lead to vertigo (A false sensation of movement that often presents as the feeling that the room is spinning.
- Diminished Cognitive Function – Memory and ability to focus, in particular, may be affected.
- Mood Swings or Irritability – Most people do not recognize this symptom in themselves, so don’t ignore it if a family member or co-worker mentions that you have been acting funny, perhaps a little more irritable than usual.
- Insomnia – This can be a symptom of PTSD (you may have nightmares about the accident), but it can also indicate PCS.
If any of these symptoms arise in the weeks or months following a car accident, be sure to go back to the doctor for an examination. Worry about getting well first, but you should also hire a personal injury attorney to help you maximize your settlement.
Southern California’s Personal Injury Attorneys
At Petrov Law Firm, we specialize in helping the victims of car accidents to recover their losses. Car insurance companies always try to pay out as little as they can. The right support can help you to get compensated for your medical bills as well as things like lost wages and emotional pain and suffering. To learn more, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
The short answer is no. For legal purposes in the state of California, all of your documents need to be printed and signed. California courts will only accept the original documents as evidence. So does that mean you shouldn’t have an electronic copy of your estate plan?
The Simple Way to Review Your Estate Plans
The fact is that you should be reviewing your estate plan annually to ensure everything is in harmony with your current desires. This also allows you to account for major life or income changes. If you get married, divorced, have a child, lose a business account, gain a large sum of money or a piece of property, or experience any other major change, the first thing you should do is go over your future plans. A digital copy of your estate plan can make it simple for you to review matters without having to get your planning documents from a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, or wherever you may store the original documents.
Planning for Your Estate in the State of California
To understand estate planning in California, all you have to do is call the professional estate planning attorneys at the Petrov Law Firm. We are happy to put our experience to use in assisting you to ensure your final wishes are met and that your estate assets are distributed just as you desire. To learn more, call our San Diego office at 619-344-0360 and schedule a consultation.Read More
Probate is the process that determines how a person’s assets and properties are distributed after he or she passes away. When a person dies without an estate plan, California probate court makes the decisions regarding what happens with a person’s belongings.
A last will and testament allows you to designate an executor who acts as a go-between for your beneficiaries and the court system. This can help to speed up the process and may save some of the estate from going on legal fees. It also gives you more control over who your estate is assigned to and how it is distributed.
However, if you want to avoid the time and expense of the probate process altogether and give your beneficiaries a larger cut in a more expedient way, you can set up a revocable living trust. While you are alive, you can control what goes into the trust and who it is left to. You can also designate a successor trustee who takes control of the trust and the proper distribution of it when you die. This is often the preferred way to leave a larger estate to heirs.
Planning for Your Estate in Southern California
To plan ahead successfully for your future, be sure to enlist the help of the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. We have the knowledge and experience to help California residents meet their estate planning goals. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 today!Read More
The short answer is: It can be. The fact is that many estate planning options provide different benefits depending on your specific situation. So we prefer to offer the best options to each client individually once we have a consultation to learn about your specific needs. However, we can provide you with a few of the benefits of naming your revocable trust as the beneficiary for your life insurance policy.
- Protects your assets against the simultaneous death of your beneficiary – What if you are in a fatal car accident with your spouse who is listed as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy? Now that money will have to go through probate court to determine who it belongs to.
- Protects estate from executor and attorney fees – In California, much of your estate can end up going to the executor and the required lawyer if your insurance policy ends up tied up in probate court for a significant amount of time. There are also additional out of pocket expenses for loved ones if the life insurance is tied up for months.
- Protects minor children – Your kids won’t get the life insurance policy right away if they lose both their parents before they turn 18. You can set a revocable trust to make annual disbursements, so the kids have funds before the entire trust becomes available.
Estate Planning to Meet Your Personal Needs in Southern California
At Petrov Law Firm, we understand that each of our clients will have different estate planning needs, so rather than offering you a cookie cutter approach, we take your personal needs and wants into consideration when making recommendations. To start planning for your future, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Estate planning often involves leaving one’s possessions and assets to living relatives or perhaps to a charitable organization. However, what if you don’t have any relatives or are estranged from them? Can you leave your legacy to anyone you choose?
California Law That Dictates Beneficiaries
In the US, you don’t have to worry about things like forced heirship which many European nations use to limit beneficiaries. In the US, you can leave your assets to anyone you choose with very few restrictions. If you want to go to the Whitepages website and pick names at random, California doesn’t care for the most part.
The only real exception will be if you are holding the asset as community property with a spouse. But even then, you could leave your 50% to a random person.
Of course, if you leave a will that outlines random recipients of your estate, you are making things really tough on the executor, who may spend a lot of your estate simply locating the random beneficiaries. Then, you have to include long probate proceedings, especially if a randomly selected heir has passed away.
Again, it’s unlikely that anyone is looking to give their hard-earned money to just anyone. The idea is that you can if you want to, and it is nice that California doesn’t restrict what you can do with your things when it comes to passing assets on to the next generation.
Estate Planning in San Diego, California
Whether you want to leave your assets to family members, charity, or even to your favorite pet, Petrov Law Firm can help you to prepare for the future. Contact our California estate planning attorneys today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Sometimes a client calls to let us know they would like to open a suit since they fell in a store. While the store owner may be at fault for the injury and the client may be due compensation, this is not always the case. There are certain factors that we will go over with the client to help you understand how personal injury suits work. Here are a few things you need to know:
- The store owner is not responsible for your safety. They are only required by law to provide reasonable care. In other words, an injury in a store is not automatically the owner’s fault.
- Negligence can be proven if the store was not properly inspected a reasonable amount of time before the injury took place. Here’s an example. Let’s say someone breaks a pickle jar in a grocery store. Three minutes later, you slip on the pickling liquid and fall. It’s not really reasonable to expect the store to notice the spill and clean it that quickly. But if it sat there for three hours, you have a much better case for negligence.
- You need facts, not guesses. If you slipped but are not sure what you slipped on, it will be tough to prove it was the store’s fault. They may be able to claim you fell on your own. If you slipped on soapy mop water or tripped over a part of the rug that was frayed, now you know exactly what led to the fall, and it can be traced back to the store.
Help for Your Slip and Fall Accident Case in California
As you can see, it is important to have experienced personal injury attorneys in your corner when you are dealing with a slip and fall case in California. The experienced lawyers at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help you see if you have a case and to assist you to maximize your settlement. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
According to Canine Journal, dogs bite approximately 4.5 million people every year. That’s a shocking number (although not as shocking if you consider the fact that American households keep about 90 million dogs as pets nationwide).
The good news is that over 80% of dog bites do not cause injuries requiring medical treatment according to the National Canine Research Council. In fact, your lifetime odds of being killed in a dog attack is 1 in 112,382. As a point of reference, you have a 1 in 315 chance of being killed by a gun in the US (according to a February 2018 article in Business Insider.)
If you do happen to be injured in a dog attack, what should you do?
- Get the owner’s contact info if the owner is present. You’re going to want the dog’s immunization records. Without those, you will have to be inoculated for rabies.
- Clean the would thoroughly with soap and water to stave off the risk of infection.
- If you are seriously injured, you may need to call 911. If the injury isn’t that bad and it is during your doctor’s normal office hours, you can call to see if your doctor will see you at the office or recommends that you go to the ER.
- Call the dog’s vet to ensure the animal’s immunizations are up to date.
- If you have accumulated medical bills or suffered other losses as a result of the attack, contact a personal injury attorney.
California Personal Injury Attorneys Specializing in Dog Bites
At Petrov Law Firm, we specialize in helping victims of dog bites and other animal attacks. To gain the benefits of our expertise on this topic, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
If you and your mate are planning for the future, you have some options that are unique to couples and that may offer some tax benefits to the survivor. Here are a few things you should know about estate planning for married couples.
- You can use a Survivor’s Trust if you want to leave everything to your mate. This is the simplest way to leave your estate to a spouse. However, if your surviving mate remarries, this does leave things open for the estate to be passed to the new mate and his or her children rather than yours.
- A Marital Disclaimer Trust gives the surviving mate the option to use a Bypass Trust. However, the help of an attorney is recommended so that the survivor exercises this option at the most financially sound time.
- For very large estates, you may need an A/B Trust to act as a tax shelter. However, with the estate tax only applying to massive estates, this is no longer a frequently used option.
- If you have a blended family or a smaller estate, you may benefit from a Survivor’s Trust with a QTIP (qualified terminable interest property) plan. You maximize the distribution of assets to the surviving spouse while still taking advantage of the best deductions for a married couple.
Learn More About Estate Planning for Married Couples in California
Petrov Law Firm has been helping married couples to plan for the future since 2014, and we are proud to specialize in California estate planning. To get started on your future plans, call our California estate planning attorneys at 619-344-0360 today!Read More
Did you know that gifts can be taxed once they reach a certain value in a calendar year? That’s why gifting trusts exist. By sending gifts that exceed the exclusion amount to a gifting trust, you add to a beneficiary’s trust and don’t get hit with a huge tax penalty. Here are four types of gifting trusts that each have specific benefits.
- Gift Trust with Annual Exclusions – This is how you get around the gift exemption amount. You put anything that you gift above the exclusion amount into a trust for the individual. The money isn’t immediately available, but it also doesn’t get taxed into oblivion.
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT) – This trust can be used to transfer a family business to another member of the family and offer protection from creditors for the beneficiary.
- Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) – Are you looking to leave money to a charity rather than family? This is a form of gift trust that is specifically designed to gain tax benefits for the estate when you leave money to the charity of your choice.
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT) – This is a way to transfer a home to your children at a value that is far lower than the current market value. It provides tax benefits as well as asset protection for the house.
More Generous Gifting Solutions in California
If you are making generous gifts to your beneficiaries or you want to plan for your future in other ways, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm are happy to help. Contact us today at 619-344-0360 to get started on your estate plan.Read More