What is a conservatorship? How could it potentially protect you from undue influence regarding financial matters and end of life decisions? Let’s look at this legal way to protect your decisions even if you should become unable to make those decisions for yourself later in life, or even just for a limited period of time.
What Is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a final line of defense against having financial or medical decisions made without a person’s ability to consent. While proper estate planning can provide a power of attorney to make these decisions, a conservatorship involves the probate court assigning someone to make valid decisions on a person’s behalf. There are 3 types of probate conservatorships.
- A general conservatorship involves the court giving a person the legal ability to care for the personal decisions of another, including financial decisions.
- A limited conservatorship is usually only set up in the case of an adult who is developmentally disabled and needs some assistance in decision making.
- Under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, a conservatorship can be set up to assist someone who becomes so gravely disabled they can no longer provide their own basic needs of shelter, food, and clothing.
In the case of a person trying to influence someone who has become mentally incapacitated to make financial decisions that are different from what a will or medical directive may have originally dictated while the individual was of sound mind, a conservatorship may provide a neutral party to maintain the wishes a person expressed in the past.
A Better Way to Ensure Your Decision Remain Yours
The best thing to do is to have your estate planning properly prepared now. Everything from how your assets are to be divided to what you want your funeral to be like should be part of your estate planning. Appointing a power of attorney to make financial decisions or appointing a healthcare agent to uphold your medical decisions can also make things easier on family members who may have differing opinions on how to care for matters if you cannot do so yourself for one reason or another. To learn more, contact Petrov Law Firm today by calling 619-344-0360.Read More
Most people think of estate planning as a way to leave material assets and instructions to others. However, we occasionally hear the question: “Can I use my will to cancel a loan?” We’ll discuss a few reasons this question may come up and provide the answer.
Why Cancel a Debt Posthumously?
The fact is that if you leave your estate to beneficiaries, the executor has the responsibility to ensure those heirs receive what is rightfully theirs. If you have someone paying back a loan, that money is owed to the estate. The executor would move to collect the loan so that the beneficiaries receive the money. But you may decide that your estate is sufficient without placing an extra burden on someone who owed you money. In that case, you can cancel the debt in your will, and the loan will not have to be repaid. Here is an example of why you may choose to do this.
Let’s say you intend to leave your fortune to two sons, but the older boy borrows $50,000 from you as business capital. You have a written contract outlining how he will repay you. If you pass away, you could choose to include a clause forgiving the rest of the loan. This would allow the two boys to split the remainder of your estate evenly. If not, the son with the loan may have to repay his loan or have the balance come out of his share of the inheritance.
Help with Preparing a Will that Expresses Your Wishes
It is up to you to determine what is fair and just in the distribution of your estate when you die. The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help by drafting documents that legally bind your executor and heirs to abide by the decisions that you make while alive and in a sound state of mind. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
When dealing with an aggressive or reckless driver, you may feel either concerned for your safety or angry and ready to respond in kind. Road rage has been in the news frequently in recent months, with some cases ending in tragedy. What we will do today is discuss 3 ways to deal with road rage and keep yourself safe.
- Do not make eye contact – You have to treat a driver with road rage like a wild animal. Eye contact may be considered a challenge. Instead, do what you can to keep an eye on the driver through mirrors, and allow aggressive drivers to pass and speed away.
- Do not tailgate – If a reckless driver gets ahead of you and then is forced to slow down by traffic, your first instinct may be to drive close as a protest to how you were treated. Reckless drivers are selfish and don’t care about your well-being. He or she may hit the brakes to cause you to rear-end the vehicle or may become angry and resort to further reckless behavior.
- Stay calm – If you were to begin yelling, shaking your fist, or worse, a person who is already experiencing road rage may completely fly off the handle and do something shocking. It is best just to allow an angry, selfish, violent person to have the right of way. You’re not doing it for them. You are doing it for yourself, your passengers, and other drivers who may pay the price later. Feel free to have someone in the car alert the authorities to your location and a description of the reckless driver’s vehicle.
If You Are Injured by a Reckless Driver
Reckless driving can result in accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. If your family has been struck with tragedy as the result of a reckless driver, contact the Petrov Law Firm. Our compassionate attorneys will help guide you through the process of seeing restitution. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More
The effects of a slip and fall accident can range from mild embarrassment to tragic death. It’s far better to avoid the injuries associated with falls, and doing so requires knowing what poses the greatest risk. Here are two things to look out for on a regular basis to avoid injury.
Caution: Wet Floor
Any surface that is wet immediately becomes more dangerous to walk on. Even if a caution sign is up, you need to adjust your pace to ensure you don’t fall. Seeing the sign isn’t enough to keep you from injury. Walk around wet areas and spills if possible. Be careful on concrete or pavement that is wet as well.
Bumps in the Road
Uneven walking surfaces can also lead to a quick trip. Damaged carpet that is beginning to bunch can make an indoor walking surface dangerous. Uneven sidewalks that have cracked and settled in odd patterns also poses a threat. Be careful to keep the walkways at your home or business well-maintained, both inside and out.
If You Have Suffered a Slip and Fall Injury
Slipping accounts for about 12% of falls each year and over a million visits to the ER. If you’ve had a slip and fall accident, you are far from alone. You shouldn’t be alone when it comes to getting a settlement either. That’s why the personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm offer free, no-obligation consultations to slip and fall victims. Call 619-344-0360 to speak with someone now.Read More
If you determine that the best way to leave your assets to beneficiaries is via a trust that will help keep matters out of probate, there is still something vital to consider. What is the relationship between your heirs and the person (or persons) you are appointing as a trustee? Obviously, a better relationship will make things easier on those who are to inherit your estate.
What Does a Trustee Do?
When the trustor passes away, the trustee is in charge of keeping the trust safe and making appropriate distributions to any beneficiaries. So there are a few things to consider when appointing a trustee:
- Is this person trustworthy enough to carry out your wishes?
- Does the trustee have sufficient ability to handle this responsibility?
- Will the trustee’s relationship with the beneficiary help or hinder the proper distribution of the trust?
Of course, planning your trust properly can also help the process along, even if there is some disputing between the trustee and beneficiary. However, you can minimize how much of the trust ends up going toward administration costs by selecting the right person – someone who has the ability to care for the trust and the desire to do what is best for the beneficiary.
Help for Creating Trusteeships in San Diego, California
If you live in California and need advice or help in creating a trust, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to assist you. To learn more, call our San Diego and Chula Vista attorneys at 619-344-0360.Read More
There are two important and separate matters that are handled by proper estate planning and the appointment of a power of attorney. They are matters pertaining to your financial assets and matters dealing with your health care. In some cases, you may want a different person to have power of attorney for each circumstance. In other cases, the same person may act as power of attorney for everything. Here are a few things to consider.
Power of Attorney for Financial and Health Decisions
Should decisions about your health or finances need to be made while you are unconscious or no longer of sound mind, appointing a power of attorney who has specific instructions on how to carry out your directives can help to ensure that matters are still handled as you would want them to be, even if you can’t give the orders for yourself.
However, you may not always want the same person making all of these decisions. For example, you may want your wife to make financial decisions in your absence but your son to make medical decisions or vice versa. You may even have certain decisions that you want to leave to a party that is not as emotionally tied to you. In other situations, you may have one trusted friend or relative who can handle all of your decision-making as a POA.
San Diego Residents Planning for Financial and Health Care POAs
If you are a California resident, especially if you live in the San Diego area, and are looking to designate a power of attorney for health or financial matters, contact the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm today. We can help you to make informed decisions that will lead to your wishes being carried out as closely as possible. To learn more, call 619-344-0360.Read More
Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. Regardless of the type of vehicle you drive, there’s just no competing with a giant 18-wheeler when an accident occurs. While most truck drivers are safe, consider the following 3 ways that commercial trucks can pose a threat to other drivers and their passengers.
- Undertrained Drivers – Again, most truck drivers have a CDL and are trained to drive trucks in general. However, certain types of trucks like big rigs require additional training. An undertrained driver can pose a serious threat to others.
- Rollovers – If a truck rolls over and lands on another vehicle, it’s not going to go well for a car or even an SUV. Don’t drive alongside trucks for very long, especially if there is a turn or a hard stop coming up as these are situations that can lead to a rollover.
- Hazardous Materials Spill – If you’ve even been parked on the highway for hours while a hazardous chemical spill is cleaned up ahead, the only good thing to say is that at least you weren’t close enough to be exposed.
If You Have Been Injured in an Accident with a Commercial Truck
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to additional compensation beyond any settlement the insurance or shipping company may offer you. Before signing anything, you should be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney. The lawyers at Petrov Law Firm can help you to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To get started on a case, call 619-344-0360.Read More
There are a number of different ways to save for your golden years. Some types of retirement accounts are:
- IRA – Contributions are tax deductible and taxes must be paid when the funds are withdrawn.
- Roth IRA – Contributions are taxed in advance instead of at the time of withdrawal.
- 401(k) – Contributions are made pre-tax, and therefore are subject to taxes when withdrawn. In addition, a penalty is imposed if funds are withdrawn earlier than age 59 and 6 months.
The question arises, however: what if you pass ways with money in a retirement account? Who gets it?
Where Your Retirement Accounts Go
The normal process when setting up a retirement account is to designate someone who would serve as a beneficiary and inherit any remaining funds. If you do designate a beneficiary on a retirement account, this will supersede your will. For example, if your retirement account beneficiary is your mate, but you later divorce and leave everything to your kids in your will, you will have to change the beneficiary on the retirement account as well, or your ex will still get that money.
In other words, a retirement account is not a probate asset, so your executor will have no say in what happens to it. You have to make that decision now by keeping your beneficiary up to date.
Having the Proper Estate Planning Attorney on Your Side
In order to ensure that all of your wishes will be carried out, you want the advice of an estate planning attorney who can help you to understand how these little details work. The experienced estate lawyers at Petrov Law Firm can help you plan for the future of your heirs. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Driving safe is far better than having to go after compensation for injuries due to an accident. While you can’t anticipate every mistake other drivers will make, there are certain good habits that can protect you and your passengers. Of course, not every defensive driving technique you read about online is everything it’s made out to be. Here are 2 misconceptions about defensive driving.
Myth #1 – Always keep your hands at 10 and 2
This has been drilled into anyone who is 30 and over since high school. There’s just one problem – the air bag was invented. Sure airbags keep us safer, but they also make the 10/2 hand position a prime spot for broken arms during an accident. Now the recommendation is to keep your hands at the 9 and 3 positions.
Myth #2 – Hands-free headset calls are safer
Unfortunately, the problem with being on the phone while driving is not taking one hand off the wheel – it’s being distracted by the conversation itself. As a result, studies have shown that drivers are just as dangerous while taking a call on a headset as while holding the phone for a call. The best way to stay safe is to leave phone calls for when you arrive at your destination and to pull over for emergency calls.
If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
No matter how safe you try to be, accidents can still happen. If you have been injured due to a mistake made by another driver, you need the right support in order to receive a fair settlement from the insurance company. Petrov Law Firm has experience in dealing with these companies and attaining just compensation for our clients. To learn more, call 619-344-0360.Read More
According to Time magazine, the average American household has more than $16,000 in credit card debt. Some people are under the mistaken impression that this kind of debt dies with them. However, your heirs will be met with a terrible surprise if you don’t prepare to handle debt as part of your estate planning. Here is what you need to know.
How Credit Card Agreements Work
When you use a credit card, you sign in agreement to complete the payment. Passing away does not absolve your estate of that debt. Thus, credit card debts pass on in one of two ways.
- Through your spouse – If you have a living spouse, the creditors will seek payment from your mate.
- Through your estate – If you die without a living spouse, the credit card issuer will go after your estate for the balance due.
As a result of these factors, an executor who understands how credit card debt works will usually pay all legitimate bills without it even having to go through probate. An inexperienced executor who doesn’t understand the way credit card debt works may find out through the probate process that these bills need to be cared for from what you leave behind.
Planning Properly for Debt Resolution
To save everyone a headache during the probate process, it is a good idea to ensure that your executor understands how credit card debt works. Including how these debts are to be paid after your death will make the process easier, and won’t leave any surprises for heirs.
For more about how to properly arrange for these matters, please contact Petrov Law Firm. Our estate planning attorneys will be happy to help you prepare your estate properly. Just call 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More