The jury is out on probate court for some since there are occasional circumstances where it can be beneficial. However, in most situations, it’s just an unnecessary drain. Here are three primary reasons you should try to keep your estate from going into probate.
- It Costs a Lot of Money – You want to leave your estate to your family, not the court system. However, a drawn-out probate battle can drain the funds from your estate rapidly. Don’t let your beneficiaries get stuck with a mere fraction of what you worked hard to amass during your lifetime.
- It Can Take a Long Time – Another issue is that your loved ones may have to wait months or years before they see any of the money that you want them to enjoy. Bypassing probate altogether is the best way to get your estate to your heirs quickly and intact.
- It Is a Matter of Public Record – You don’t want everyone knowing what you had and who you left it to. That could be dangerous for family members who suddenly have a lot of money for the first time and could become the victims of scammers. It could also cause hurt feelings among those who received a smaller portion of the estate. It is no one’s business what you decide to give or to whom you choose to give it.
Assistance to Legally Keep Your Estate Out of Probate
If you are looking for an experienced estate planning attorney in Southern California who can keep your estate assets out of probate court and get it into the hands of your loved ones, contact Petrov Law Firm today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Estate planning is about more than just deciding what kind of funeral you will have or who will receive what from your personal belongings. Long-term care, which is often necessary at the end of a person’s life, is a vital consideration. Why is this the case? Here are three reasons:
- It Happens to a Lot of People – While only about 1 in 10 people will spend over three years in a nursing home, over 40% of people will be there for at least some time. Whether you end up in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, failure to factor it into your estate plan can be devastating to your benefactors.
- It Costs a Fortune – An assisted living facility can cost upwards of $3,500 per month. As you can imagine, that can drain the estate of most seniors rather rapidly. A one year stay in such a facility can take over $40,000 from your estate. Even if you have millions, you didn’t earn it to give it to a private care facility, and estate planning is the right way to minimize costs.
- Your Health Benefits Probably Won’t Cover It – Many older ones make the mistake of thinking it doesn’t matter how much extended care facilities cost because they have Medicare, Medicaid, or some form of private insurance. You can choose to protect yourself with a long-term care insurance policy. Just be sure you don’t end up paying for the care in advance by means of exorbitant premiums.
Helping You to Prepare for the Future in Southern California
At Petrov Law Firm, we want all of our clients to enjoy their golden years and still have something to pass on to their family. Contact our experienced estate planning attorneys today by calling 619-344-0360 to get started on an estate plan that will meet your needs.Read More
DIY has become a buzzword with fewer and fewer people wanting to pay someone else to do something that they think they can handle themselves. That’s great when it comes to most things. However, planning for your future and for the benefit of your heirs is one of the times that you don’t want to take chances. Here are three reasons to pass on using a DIY will for your estate plan.
- Interpretation Disputes – You may be an eloquent person, but that doesn’t mean your every word will be interpreted correctly or the same way by two different people. If there is a dispute over what something you say in your will means, it can tie your estate up in probate court for years and result in a great deal of your assets going to the court system rather than to your beneficiaries. That isn’t what you’ve worked so hard for all your life.
- Mistakes – Even if you get a little online legal assistance from a site that helps you put together a will, you don’t get the personal attention that you would from a local estate planning lawyer who is specifically experienced with the laws in your state. Mistakes in wording or even in omitting something (like failure to name a healthcare agent) can lead to major issues.
- Peace of Mind – You shouldn’t have to wonder if your will is going to be good enough. Hiring an estate planning attorney can provide you with peace of mind. You will know that all of your bases are covered and that your family’s future is secure.
Hire the Right California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you are planning for the future in the state of California, Petrov Law Firm has the estate planning lawyers you want on your team. Our compassion and experience will make the process as simple as possible and provide you with the peace of mind you want. To get started, call 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
When it comes to estate planning, trusts are an excellent way to protect your family from drawn-out court proceedings and expensive probate hearings. We’re going to look at two of those options, and how they may be able to add a level of protection to your estate plan.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a great way to leave your estate to your beneficiaries without having it go through probate. You can even serve as the trustee while you are still alive and control what goes into the estate personally. Then you can appoint a successor trustee to distribute things to the right heirs at the right time. Some people even decide to make the revocable living trust the beneficiary of their life insurance policy. That makes it payable to the trust beneficiaries and no one else.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
This type of trust helps you to administer the benefits of one or more life insurance policies for your beneficiaries. It provides tax benefits and protects the insurance money from creditors. You can also fund the trust with other assets besides just your insurance policies. Those assets can be used to pay the insurance premiums.
Planning for Your Estate in California
If you have an estate to leave to beneficiaries in California, even if it is primarily your life insurance policy, you can still benefit from the professional advice of the estate planning attorneys at the Petrov Law Firm. To get started, give our San Diego office a call at 619-344-0360.Read More
Most people realize the importance of setting up a power of attorney to care for financial matters should they become incapacitated for a time. However, healthcare is frequently overlooked. This is a sensitive area and many people, even family members, will disagree on the type of medical care they want. With that in mind, here are 3 documents you need in case you are ever incapacitated and need medical care.
- Advance Healthcare Directive – Your healthcare directive allows you to designate a health care agent who can make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated for a time. It also gives you the opportunity to leave instructions for your health care agent so that you are still making your own medical decisions. The health care agent is therefore just carrying out your wishes until a situation comes up that you haven’t accounted for. Then he or she will step in to make those decisions for you.
- Living Will – This gives you the opportunity to express additional wishes in regard to end of life decisions. For example, you can determine whether or not you want your life to be prolonged by machines, even if there is relatively little hope of being revived.
- HIPPA Authorization – You need to give health care practitioners the legal right to share your medical information with your health care agents as having access to your records will make it much easier to make decisions in harmony with your wishes.
Planning for Your Future Health in California
Whether you have an estate plan that addresses financial matters but not health or you need to start from scratch, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. Give us a call today at 619-344-0360 to ensure that your wishes will be carried out, not just after your death but even while you are alive should you become incapacitated.Read More