Usually, people are encouraged not to waste their time worrying about things that may never happen, but when you are working on an estate plan, you do have to think about certain scenarios that may be unlikely but that would seriously affect your plans. Here are three “what ifs” that your estate plan should account for.
- What if there is a family conflict after I die? A big inheritance can bring out the worst, even in families that are very close-knit. The best way to protect your loved ones is to be very explicit about who gets what. You may even choose a non-family member as your executor.
- What if my mate and I die together? If a tragedy should occur such as an accident or a disaster, this is a possible scenario. Plan ahead by outlining succession in your estate plan and be certain to include plans for the care of minor children should they lose both parents at once.
- What if I die in another country? If you regularly travel or live in another country for part of the year, be sure that dying in another country will not affect your estate plan. You may need the assistance of a lawyer from the country you spend a lot of time in along with your local estate planning attorney.
Crossing the T’s and Dotting the I’s in California
For California estate planning, contact the attorneys at Petrov Law Firm. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers can help you to plan ahead for all of the “what ifs” so that you can have the peace of mind you deserve. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More
You cannot just assume that the right people will benefit from your assets when you pass on. Estate planning is required in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of thinking they can do nothing and that their mate and children will automatically get everything. Here’s the issue with that mentality:
The traditional family structure is becoming less common in the US.
If you and your mate have only ever been married to each other and all of your kids are naturally born to the two of you, you may actually be correct in thinking that your loved ones will inherit everything. But how many families are like that?
If you are raising grandkids, have children from multiple spouses, have adopted children, or have been married more than once, you may have no idea what the line of succession will be for your family. On top of that, family members may have different ideas as to how to care for you medically if you become incapacitated later in life. There can also be fights over funeral arrangements.
Lovingly Caring for the Future of Your Family
The loving way to care for the future of your family is to have an estate plan in place. Petrov Law Firm is your source for estate planning attorneys in southern California. Get in touch with our San Diego and Chula Vista lawyers today by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you plan for your future.Read More
The Internet is filled with generic wills that you can download and just add your information to. However, if you want your estate plan to be personalized, you may require the assistance of an estate planning attorney. Here are a few tips for customizing your estate plan, so that your heirs gain the most benefit.
- Leave something to charity – What is really important to you? By leaving some of your estate to charity, you can show future generations the causes that meant the most to you. Plus, you have the peace of mind of knowing that some of your estate is going to a good cause that can really create a legacy for your family.
- Pass on heirlooms – Rather than just combining all of your physical possessions to leave to a relative in one lump sum, determine some of the things that have the most sentimental value to you and turn them into family heirlooms.
- Create a narrative – By using everything from letters to video recordings, you can tell your story to the next generation. Passing on money is one thing but passing on your knowledge and experience can help the next generation to use the things that you have amassed in a wise manner.
Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
To help you customize an estate plan that will meet your needs and benefit future generations, contact Petrov Law Firm today. Our estate planning lawyers can help you to understand how federal and California laws affect your planning efforts. Get started today by calling 619-344-0360.Read More
In our years of estate planning expertise, we’ve just about seen it all. This allows us to help our clients avoid the common pitfalls that affect many estate plans. Here are a few things to watch out for.
- Not Doing It – No one wants to think about his or her own mortality, but you are only hurting your loved ones by not having a plan in place. You don’t have to wait until you are a senior citizen to plan ahead for your future. And should some tragedy cut your life short, having an estate plan in place can make things a lot easier on the people you care about most.
- Neglecting Medical Planning – Estate planning is not all about assets. You also want to make advanced medical decisions. This gives you the opportunity to appoint an agent to champion your medical decisions or to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated for a time.
- Never Reviewing Your Plan – Our lives can change in an instant. A birth, a marriage, an adoption, a divorce, a financial reversal – these are all things that can have a profound effect on an estate plan. Be sure to review your plan every year to make sure it still accurately reflects your wishes and review it immediately when you experience a major life event like those listed above.
Plan for Your Future the Right Way
Petrov Law Firm offers the experienced California estate planning attorneys that you need in order to plan ahead for your future and protect your assets and rights. To learn more, contact us for a consultation at 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Estate planning is about more than leaving money to your heirs. This is an opportunity to create or pass on a real family legacy. Here are a few ways to ensure that your name will live on long after you are gone.
- Trusts – You can create trusts that are dispensed when certain conditions are met. For example, you can create an education trust so that your grand kids can attend the university of their choice. You can even create trusts that provide incentives to reach goals, such as a trust that becomes available to your niece when she opens the new business she has been talking about venturing into. Knowing that the capital is there to get the business off the ground may be just what she needs to decide to give it a try.
- Letters and Old Photographs – While many modern personal documents and photos all exist in the cloud and are easy to pass on, your family may still have a treasure trove of old letters and printed photos. From pictures of your parents and grandparents to love letters that passed between relatives back in the 19th century, you can leave a wealth of family history to the next generation.
- Video and Audio Files – Your knowledge and experience can prove beneficial to future generations. But what if you are worried that the modern generation won’t care about your handwritten or typed letters? Why not try creating digital recordings of your advice or, better yet, video recordings. These can be preserved for years to come, allowing generations of the family to benefit and to see your face and hear your voice even if they never got to meet you in person.
Let Us Help You Establish Your Family Legacy
At Petrov Law Firm, we specialize in estate planning and can help you to leave behind a legacy for future generations. To learn more, contact us today at 619-344-0360. We look forward to helping you ensure that your future is well taken care of.Read More
If you were worried that your beneficiaries would have to pay a lot of your estate in taxes should you pass away during 2018, you just got a lot more breathing room. While the estate tax exemption limit seems to go up a little bit each year, from 2017 to 2018 it doubled! What does that mean for you and your beneficiaries?
Do You Need to File an Estate Tax Return?
In 2018, an estate tax return is not required unless the total value of the estate exceeds $11,180,000. That means most estates are exempt from any taxation at all and beneficiaries will get to enjoy the full use of the funds being left to them. But what can you do if your estate exceeds the exemption limit?
Avoid the Estate Tax
There are a number of ways to ensure that your beneficiaries will experience the least taxation on the assets they receive when you pass on. To get help in planning your estate to leave the funds to your heirs rather than to the government, we encourage you to execute an estate plan and keep it updated by reviewing it annually.
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you execute or review your California estate plan. To schedule a consultation, contact our offices in southern California today by calling 619-344-0360. We look forward to helping you get your future plans down in writing to ensure they will be carried out.Read More
The short answer is no, but here is the reason why. A power of attorney is a document that allows you to name an agent to take financial, legal, or medical actions on your behalf (depending on the type of document that you are executing). Here are a few things your agent may do for you:
- Sell your house
- Access your brokerage accounts
- Decide whether you will accept a medical treatment
Of course, a power of attorney may not approve your agent to do all of those things. You control how much authority the agent has when you execute a power of attorney. You may execute a document that allows an agent to care for one financial or legal matter and that is all.
Your spouse only has control of assets that you share or that you have given your spouse power of attorney over. Here are some examples:
- You may give your spouse the judgment call of when to take you off of life support equipment.
- Your spouse can access a bank account that is in both of your names.
- You can make your spouse a trustee, beneficiary, executor of your will, or appoint him or her to any other number of positions.
Executing a Power of Attorney in California
So being married to you or even having a power of attorney document signed doesn’t give any one person control over all aspects of your life. You want your estate plan to clearly outline who gets control of what in the event that you are incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions for a time. Petrov Law Firm can help you to assign agents to care for necessary matters while giving you the ability to regain control should you change your mind about an agent or recover from an incapacitating ailment. Call 619-344-0360 today to get started.Read More
Any time you have a major change in your life circumstances, you should review your estate plan, and a divorce certainly counts. Here are a few things to consider regarding your estate plan if you recently or currently are going through a divorce.
- Don’t forget the kids if you remarry – If you get remarried there is a risk of all of your estate going to the new mate and children, so don’t forget to include any kids from the previous marriage when you plan your estate.
- Changing beneficiaries – Not everything goes through probate, so if you have retirement accounts, a life insurance policy, or trusts with a named beneficiary, you want to be sure you change the primary beneficiary to reflect your new situation.
- Settling quickly – If a divorce settlement is still in progress when you pass away, this can tie up your estate indefinitely in probate court, so be sure to clear up and potential legal conflicts with a finalized settlement as soon as possible.
Help in Developing or Updating Your California Estate Plan
The experienced estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help you to plan for your future with a comprehensive estate plan that takes good care of your beneficiaries. We can also help you to update an existing estate plan whether due to a change in circumstances, like a divorce, or even something simple such as being a recent move-in into the state of California. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule an appointment and get your affairs in order.Read More
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
The short answer is no. For legal purposes in the state of California, all of your documents need to be printed and signed. California courts will only accept the original documents as evidence. So does that mean you shouldn’t have an electronic copy of your estate plan?
The Simple Way to Review Your Estate Plans
The fact is that you should be reviewing your estate plan annually to ensure everything is in harmony with your current desires. This also allows you to account for major life or income changes. If you get married, divorced, have a child, lose a business account, gain a large sum of money or a piece of property, or experience any other major change, the first thing you should do is go over your future plans. A digital copy of your estate plan can make it simple for you to review matters without having to get your planning documents from a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, or wherever you may store the original documents.
Planning for Your Estate in the State of California
To understand estate planning in California, all you have to do is call the professional estate planning attorneys at the Petrov Law Firm. We are happy to put our experience to use in assisting you to ensure your final wishes are met and that your estate assets are distributed just as you desire. To learn more, call our San Diego office at 619-344-0360 and schedule a consultation.Read More