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
As of the start of the new year, Californian’s over the age of 21 can use marijuana legally, regardless of whether they have a medical prescription for it or not. This has caused some to think that there is nothing wrong with using marijuana at any time they chose. Unfortunately, this has led some to drive under the influence. But changes to the marijuana laws have not affected DUI laws. What guidelines apply?
- It is not legal to smoke marijuana in a vehicle
- Having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle is illegal
- Driving under the influence of marijuana is just as illegal as driving under the influence of alcohol (and the same penalties apply)
Getting caught driving under the influence of marijuana can also affect a person’s insurance coverage. If a driver causes damages or injuries while driving high, it may actually negate the coverage, which can cause additional problems for those who have been injured.
San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a car accident in California, especially if the other driver was under the influence, you need to get the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Petrov Law Firm is practiced in helping car accident injury victims to receive fair settlements. If you need help in getting an insurance company to cover your losses, including pain and suffering, give us a call today at 619-344-0360. We’re the San Diego personal injury attorneys that local residents trust.Read More
Driving while drowsy is a common issue in the United States, especially when it comes to truckers. If you have ever fallen asleep at the wheel or felt like you may do so, here are some statistics that should convince you to take a nap before getting on the road.
Did you know that more than 1 million accidents that occur on US roads each year are directly related to falling asleep at the wheel? Then you have to add to that figure the number of accidents that are related to being drowsy which causes a person no longer to be alert. This can decrease response times in emergency driving situations and lead to an accident occurring when a person would normally have been able to stop, swerve, or perform other evasive maneuvers.
According to the CDC driving drowsy can result in the following three issues for drivers:
- Decreases the ability to make good decisions (i.e., “Should I pull out in front of that car?”)
- Decreases reaction times
- Inhibits ability to pay attention (as if drivers didn’t already have enough distractions)
Hopefully, this is enough to convince you to pull over and take a nap, but what about other drivers on the road?
If You Have Been Injured by a Drowsy Driver in California
If you have been injured in a car accident due to a driver being drowsy or even falling asleep at the wheel, contact Petrov Law Firm right away at 619-344-0360. Our personal injury lawyers specialize in car and truck accidents, and we can help you to receive the compensation you deserve.Read More
Getting some exercise and walking around sunny Southern California is a great way to stay healthy, run errands, and even get to work in the morning. However, there are dangers associated with going for a walk around your neighborhood or in San Diego. Whether it is dangers from unsafe or distracted drivers or just from potential hazards on the sidewalk, here are 10 ways to protect yourself.
- Wear bright colors so that you are easily visible to drivers.
- If you walk at night, be sure to wear something reflective, even if it just on your shoes.
- Look both ways before crossing an intersection, even though you have the crossing light.
- Don’t assume a driver sees you. Always try to make eye contact.
- Don’t walk with headphones in. Your ears can help keep you safe as much as your eyes can.
- Always cross at designated areas and stay in the crosswalk.
- Cross with a group if you can. This will increase visibility to drivers.
- Walk on the sidewalk if there is one. If not, always walk against traffic so you can see what is coming toward you.
- Avoid using mobile devices while walking. Such a distraction could cause you to step in front of a car or trip on a hazard on the sidewalk.
- Don’t drink and walk. If you had one too many, call a cab.
Personal Injury Lawyers for Southern California Pedestrians
If you have been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, contact the personal injury attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. We can help you to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and other compensation that you are due for your losses. Call us today at 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
When most people think of personal injury, they immediately focus on car accidents and slip and fall accidents. While these are two of the most common types of personal injuries that occur, they are far from being the only common ones. Here are 5 other injuries that frequently lead to suits in California.
- Work Injuries – Dangers on the job pose a real threat to workers. You don’t even have to be in a manual labor job to experience an injury at work. Office workers suffer injuries due to unsafe conditions as well.
- Defective Products – An accident can happen when a product is used improperly, but what if you were following the instructions to a T and are still injured? You may able to receive compensation, especially if a defect that the manufacturer should have known about is what resulted in the injury.
- Medical Malpractice – While there are some laws in place that protect medical professionals from frivolous claims, if you are the victim of negligence on the part of a medical professional, there are also laws that will allow you to receive due
- Dangerous Medications – Sometimes a medication makes it past the FDA, but further dangers are discovered once the product has been on the market for a time. If you were taking it with a prescription, this might give you grounds to file suit.
- Assault – If someone injuries you on purpose, you have the potential for making a claim. The assailant could be in for jail time as well as the potential for having to make financial compensation.
Personal Injury Claims in Southern California
If you have suffered a personal injury in the San Diego area, the attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to seek the compensation you deserve. To get your claim started, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Probate gets a pretty bad rap for being something that delays beneficiaries from receiving their inheritance and may even eat up considerable funds from the estate. Is there any time when probate court can actually be a good thing? Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of probate.
The Advantages of Probate
If someone passes away without executing a will or having other estate planning measures in place, probate can really save the day. A few of the advantages include:
- Provides a legal means of redistributing the estate
- Enforces and validates the wishes included in a will
- Cares for remaining debts and taxes so heirs don’t have to worry someone will eventually come knocking at the door looking for money that may have long been spent
- May encourage debt forgiveness due to the window for claims against the estate being short
The Disadvantages of Probate
Here are a few of the reasons most people try to avoid probate with their estate planning:
- Probate is public record, so anyone can look up your financial information
- Executor fees and court costs may cut significantly into the value of the estate
- Probate can keep beneficiaries from receiving funds for weeks, months, or in some cases even years
- Complicated probate regulations can put a huge strain on beneficiaries and especially on the executor of the will
- The courts make the final decisions on your estate rather than you
- The higher the gross value of your estate, the higher the probate fees, making it more cost effective to create and maintain a revocable trust
Southern California Estate Planning Attorneys
Petrov Law Firm has the Southern California estate planning attorneys you can trust to help you develop an affordable and effective plan of action for the future. Contact us today by calling 619-344-0360 to get started.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
If you are filing a personal injury claim, you want to be straightforward about any preexisting conditions you may have, especially with your lawyer. Why do clients sometimes withhold information about preexisting issues? What effect can this have on a claim? Read on to learn about this important factor in a personal injury suit.
Why People Feel the Need to Hide a Preexisting Condition
You may think that if you reveal a preexisting condition, it will affect the amount of your settlement. For example, if you get migraines but they become far worse after your car accident, you may neglect to mention you already would get migraines before. Why? Well, you may be concerned that opposing counsel will try to limit your medical compensation because the migraines were a preexisting condition and the fact that they got worse may have had nothing to do with the accident.
Why You Should Disclose Any Preexisting Conditions or Injuries
While the above scenario could be true, imagine how bad it will look when the condition comes out (and it will) during the course of a trial or negotiations. Now it goes from something that could have a minor effect on the settlement to something that calls into question your credibility as a whole. That can have a major effect on your case.
Personal Injury Attorneys to Help You in Southern California
Petrov Law Firm is here to help you with your settlement, so please don’t hide any preexisting conditions from our personal injury attorney. While you may be concerned it will hurt your case, comparing your medical condition before and after the injury may help make your case even more clear and help you to get a better settlement. To get started on your case, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
If someone under the age of 18 in the state of California is involved in a personal injury settlement, there are additional regulations that do not apply in all personal injury cases. What do you need to know about and how many this affect your settlement?
In California, court supervision is required for cases involving minors. These regulations have been put in place by the state in order to ensure that children get a fair settlement. The funds will not be accessible to the child until he or she turns 18. In most cases, the funds will either be used to purchase an annuity or they will be put into a blocked account.
If an annuity is the chose form of settlement payment, funds with either be received annually starting from when the child turns 18 or they may be dispensed in lump sums at certain time periods (for example, one payment every three years or at particular birthdays until of the money is divested).
There are certain rare exceptions where the settlement is determined to be a sum of less than $5,000 where the money becomes immediately available for the minor. In even more exceptional situations, the court may allow parents to make funds available to minors before they turn 18. However, the circumstances surrounding such a situation need to be quite extraordinary.
Help in Attaining Fair Personal Injury Settlements
The courts often only provide assistance for minors seeking a settlement. Thus, it may become necessary to hire a personal injury attorney to determine if an insurance provider is offering a reasonable settlement. Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help you determine what a fair settlement should be. Contact 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