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
You have the freedom to make advance decisions as to whether you want to have your life prolonged should there be a reasonable degree of medical certain that you will not regain consciousness, your condition is irreversible and fatal, or the risks of treatment would outweigh the benefits. With that in mind, how you word your advance directive plays a key role in whether your wishes will be observed.
An advance health care directive needs to be a part of your estate planning. This document allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated. It also allows you to state your medical wishes in advance on sensitive topics such as end of life decisions.
This document makes the process simpler for the person you designate as your health care surrogate. Your decision is already made. All he or she has to do is make sure your medical wishes are carried out by giving you a voice when you can’t speak for yourself.
Help in Preparing Your Advance Health Care Directive
Your decisions should be yours to make. However, if they are not executed properly, someone may be able to object when you can’t defend your wishes. Petrov Law Firm can help you to word your advance directive clearly and in harmony with California state law. Every state requires different wording for health care directives, so even if you have moved into California with an existing document, it needs to be updated right away. Call 619-344-0360 to get the help you need.Read More
Making your own decisions is an important part of the estate planning process. After all, it is your future, and the whole point of estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are carried out regardless of whether you become incapacitated or pass away. But a do-it-yourself will based on an online template poses several risks.
- Leaving out important details – An estate planning attorney will know what questions to ask. Do you need to change your beneficiaries? Have you opened new accounts since you last looked at your will? You don’t want a 20-year-old will to outline wishes that you don’t even agree with anymore.
- Loopholes – When you leave money or other assets to family and friends, you don’t want to leave loopholes mistakenly. This could result in a greedy or vindictive family member dragging out a long probate battle, exhausting much of the funds and tying up what isn’t wasted.
- Taxes pitfalls – You don’t want your beneficiaries getting stuck paying most of your estate out in taxes. An estate planning attorney can help you to pass along the funds the right way and even help you to leave advice for beneficiaries.
Handling Your Affairs the Right Way in Southern California
The San Diego based attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to handle your affairs the right way so that no details are left out, all the loopholes are closed, and tax concerns are handled properly. For peace of mind in the estate planning process, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Writing up a will is not the first thing on the mind of most people in their 20s. After all, you are probably in good health, and it is unlikely that you have amassed a major fortune that early in life unless it was left to you by the previous generation. So what is the point of estate planning in your 20s? Here are three reasons you want your affairs in place:
- Accidents happen – A car accident or some other fatal accident can affect anyone at any time. Having an estate plan in place is a kindness for surviving family members who will be bereft enough by the tragic and premature loss of such a young loved one.
- Medical decisions – A living will allows you to make medical decisions in advance. If you become incapacitated due to an accident, injury, or illness, you can make medical decisions in advance including appointing someone who can make choices for you.
- Keep the peace – This is a unique opportunity to have your funeral arrangements set out the way you would want them to be handled. Whether you want a burial or cremation, the family doesn’t have to wonder or fight over what you may have said to various family members or friends at one time or another.
Estate Planning Is for Everyone
At Petrov Law Firm, we believe that estate planning is important for everyone. So if you are a resident of Southern California, speak to one of our estate planning attorneys by calling 619-344-0360 today. We can help you to prepare for your future.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
It is certainly a title of honor to be named the executor of the will of a trusted friend. However, it can also be an overwhelming task, especially if you are faced with a large or diversified estate. How can you balance the situations that may come up? Here are three things you can do to make the task a little less daunting:
- Be a Good Communicator – Your job is basically to be a go-between for the courts, the IRS, the beneficiaries, and creditors. That means maintaining contact information for all of the parties involved so you can keep in contact. Keeping records of your communications is also important.
- Focus on Organization – An executor has to deal with a lot of stuff. If you’re not organized, anxiety levels will spike quickly. Having a binder with clearly labeled (maybe even color-coded) folders is a great way to store estate planning documents, statements, policies, contracts, contact info, and other vital data.
- Get Legal Help – An experienced estate planning attorney can help you to sort through a murky last will and testament to make sure you are avoiding the common pitfalls that plague executors.
California Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
If you are an executor in the state of California and need legal advice, or if you are planning for the future of your own estate, contact Petrov Law Firm today at 619-344-0360. Our estate planning attorneys can help you to navigate the executorship successfully so that you can fulfill your obligations.Read More
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