The words probate court probably have you envisioning huge wait times and losses for your heirs. While this is not always the case, it can be, so we’re going to look at a simple way to cut out the middleman, as it were. Here is how you can use bank accounts to avoid probate.
- POD Accounts – You can set a bank account to be payable on death. This allows the account to transfer directly to the named beneficiary without going through probate. Keep in mind that you need to remember to change the beneficiary if you have a change in circumstance and want a different person to inherit the account. Otherwise, this will go to the named beneficiary, regardless of how your wishes may have changed.
- Retirement Accounts – Retirement accounts generally require a named beneficiary. These also transfer automatically when the account holder passes away. This is another situation that involves reviewing and updating your estate plan regularly to ensure the right people are listed as your beneficiaries.
- Shared Bank Accounts – Anyone you share an account with would obviously still have access to it if you pass away. The main downside to this type of account is that the other individuals could do whatever they want with the money even while they are still alive.
Planning for Your Estate and Probate in California
To help money transfer quickly and seamlessly to your heirs in California, contact the Petrov Law Firm today. You can speak to an experienced estate planning attorney in San Diego by calling 619-344-0360 and scheduling an appointment.Read More
Estate planning is about being as prepared for the future as you possibly can be. With that in mind, we’re going to tell you about three of the mistakes people commonly make, so you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Not Planning at All
The biggest mistake you can make is deciding estate planning is not for you. People make all sorts of excuses – I’m too young, I’m in good health, I don’t have that much money – but the fact is that it hurts the ones you leave behind if you don’t have a plan in place.
Mistake #2 – Not Keeping the Estate Plan Up to Date
There are certain events that should always trigger a review of your estate plan. These would include life-changing events such as a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, the death of a successor, and the like. It would also include major financial events like suddenly receiving or losing a large asset or sum of money.
Mistake #3 – Not Preparing for Incapacitation
Many people only make plans for death and not for temporary incapacitation during life. Should you be affected by mental illness, become unconscious due to an injury or accident, or even suffer from dementia later in life, you want plans in place for the sake of both your finances and your medical care. That means appointing individuals to implement your wishes for you.
Getting Your Affairs in Order in Southern California
If you live in San Diego or any of the surrounding communities, the Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you plan effectively for your future. Talk to our estate planning attorneys now by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you to avoid the pitfalls of trying to plan for your estate on your own.Read More
Even once you have an estate plan in place, your job isn’t over. You need to regularly maintain and review your estate plan to make sure it accurately conveys your present wishes. We’re going to give you five tips to help you review your plans successfully without making it a burden.
- Scan the Plan Annually – Every year you should at least look over your estate plan to make sure you don’t need to change beneficiaries, power of attorney, or other vital things such as these.
- 3 to 5 Year Review – Every few years, you should do a more thorough review to go over your financials. Make sure you haven’t taken on any new assets that have not found their way into the plan somehow.
- Review Income Changes – If you have a sudden influx of income or suddenly have significantly fewer assets, you will want to review your plans to make sure they still make sense.
- Major Life Changes – Marriage, the birth of a child, the death of a successor or beneficiary, or any other major life event will require changes to your estate plan.
- Change of Mind – Any time you change your mind about anything related to your estate plan (who gets what, funeral arrangements, medical wishes, etc.), you will want to look over your estate plan again.
Help in Making Estate Plan Adjustments in California
If, after careful review, you discover that you need to make adjustments to your estate plan, contact Petrov Law Firm in San Diego. Our estate planning attorneys can provide you the assistance you need to keep your future plans up to date with your current wishes. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
IRAs have become a popular form of retirement account. They offer tax benefits and are also convenient for a person who runs his or her own business. However, there are a few concerns when it comes to estate planning and IRAs. Here are three things you need to protect your retirement account against so your beneficiaries receive their full inheritance.
- Taxes – Sometimes when an IRA account owner dies, the account is liquidated, and the funds are sent as a check to the beneficiary. The problem with this is that accepting that check may subject your beneficiary to paying a ton of taxes, thereby negating any tax benefits you previously received from putting money into the retirement account.
- Divorce – With an IRA, you select a beneficiary. Thus, a divorce will likely mean changing the beneficiary on the account, a fairly simple process but one that is easy to forget. A 401(k) is a little more complicated because it automatically goes to your next of kin. That means if you pass away before the divorce is finalized, your soon-to-be-ex may end up getting the money.
- Creditors – While retirement funds don’t pass the same way a bank account would, it is also very different from a trust. Thus, creditors may have the opportunity to sneak in and get their cut.
Proper Estate Planning to Protect Your IRA, 401(k), and Other Retirement Accounts
To make sure the right person or persons benefit from your hard-earned money, trust the estate planning pros at Petrov Law Firm in San Diego. We offer the premier California estate planning services in the area. Call 619-344-0360 to get started now.Read More