If you are putting off a conversation with your family about estate planning because the topic is tough to deal with, now is the time to get everyone together. The fact is that as difficult as the conversation may be to have, you need to have it while everyone is calm and has their wits about them. During an emergency medical situation or when cognitive problems start to set in are not the right times for serious talk about the future. Here are a few things you should know.
Why You Need to Have an Estate Planning Discussion
Discussing things as a family does not take away your right to determine what will happen to you or your estate. It simply helps you to convey to your family why your estate plan is being set up as it is, and it allows your family members to voice opinions or ideas you may not have thought of. What should the discussion include?
- Distribution of Assets – Discussing who will get what can curb hurt feelings over what your will or trust will later
- End of Life Decisions – If you don’t want your life prolonged on machines, now is the time to break the news to your family and to discuss who can handle the emotional responsibility of making the call if it comes to that.
- Funeral Arrangements – Now is the time to let your family know how you want your remains to be handled.
- Medical Wishes – If you become incapacitated either physically or mentally, now is the time to establish who will be in charge of making decisions for you and what you expect those decisions to be.
Meeting Your Estate Planning Needs in San Diego, California
By having this discussion, you can help absolve your family of any feelings of guilt when having to make tough calls and limit any hurt feelings that may be piled on top of grief at a later time. Petrov Law Firm can then help you to carry out the decisions you have made by sharing our valuable estate planning experience with you. To begin enacting your plans for the future, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
One estate planning method that many couples use to avoid probate is called joint tenancy. This means that the two of you own the property together. As a result, if one spouse dies, the other will automatically own the property outright and thereby avoid having to through the mate’s estate to get ownership. Does the same concept apply to cars?
Joint Tenancy of Cars in California
Joint tenancy should help a car pass to the right person automatically. However, it is vital to register the car properly in both names. This is highlighted by a case involving two friends who co-owned a vehicle. When one of the friends passed away, the other expected to get full ownership of the vehicle since both names were on the title. But the court ruled that the title did not create joint tenancy but merely tenancy in common. As a result, the surviving friend received 50% ownership only, and the other half went to the deceased’s trust.
Knowledgeable Estate Planning Advice in San Diego
Knowing how to properly register your vehicle as joint tenancy is important if you want the car to avoid probate and pass immediately to the co-owner, whether that be your mate, another family member, or a close friend. The estate planning lawyers at Petrov Law Firm can help you to make sure you have taken care of all the details that will ensure a smooth transition. To get started on your estate plan and get the accompanying advice that you need, just call 619-344-0360.Read More
A living trust is a great way to simplify matters for your heirs and avoid probate. Since assets that are a part of a trust are passed on differently than those in a will, your heirs may receive their inheritance faster and with fewer legal fees. The difference is in the way the trust is funded. Only a correctly implemented trust will save time and money and avoid lengthy court proceedings.
Why Executing the Trust Properly Is Vital
A 2012 case in El Dorado, California brought this topic to the fore. In the case, an older woman had executed a trust leaving her home to her daughter. Three years later, she changed her trust to make her son the heir but failed to change the deed on the house. Thus, the conflict was whether or not the house should be left to the son or daughter.
In the end, the son received the house due to California law allowing for the transfer of the property to the new trust. However, it took 5 years longer than it should have for the son to get the home. So it still drives home the point of properly executing a trust in order to avoid long legal battles.
Help in Executing Your Living Trust in Sand Diego, California
San Diego, California residents can trust the experienced attorneys at Petrov Law Firm to help execute your living trust properly. This will make for a smooth transition in the future when your heirs receive their inheritance. To learn more and to start planning for the future today, call 619-344-0360.Read More
There is a lot to think about when a couple goes through a divorce, especially if they have been together for a long time and have a family. One major consideration is the status of your estate planning. What estate matters need to be considered following a divorce?
- Does your former mate still have power of attorney to make medical decisions for you?
- Was your spouse the trustee for part or all of your estate?
- Do you share a living trust?
- Is your ex still in your will?
- Is your former spouse listed on your bank, credit, or retirement accounts?
- Do you share any property?
While some of these matters may be resolved as a part of the divorce (for example, jointly owned assets may be liquidated), some things may need to get taken care of afterwards. If you become suddenly incapacitated either physical or mentally, it will be too late to make these changes, so now is the time to think about it.
Compassionate Assistance When Estate Plans Need to Be Adjusted
Life-changing events are never easy. It can be tough to think things through logically following a divorce, especially if you experienced many years together. Having a quality estate planning lawyer in your corner can be an important asset when it comes to making sure you’ve dotted all your I’s and crossed all of your T’s.
Petrov Law Firm has the compassionate attorneys who can help you to make the right decisions at your own pace. To schedule an appointment, call 619-344-0360.Read More
If you own your own business, one question you may have is what will happen to your business after you pass away. For some, a company serves as a real legacy, even if it is a small family owned business, so you want to be certain that succession will occur in accord with your wishes, especially if something were to befall you suddenly. Here are a few things to know based on the type of business you run.
If You Are a Sole Proprietor
If a person owns a business alone and has not incorporated, there is no legal entity that exists apart from the owner. That means that when the owner passes away, the business goes too. It may be possible for assets of the business to be sold and the profits to be distributed to heirs. However, if you want to leave the company to a successor, you will have to draft paperwork in advance.
The Importance of a Partnership Agreement
If you own a business as a part of a partnership, the original partnership agreement should outline what happens if one partner dies. Thus, this may already be taken care of. However, a partnership agreement is legally required, so a person may not have entered into one, especially if the partner is a relative. Drafting an agreement and deciding what happens if one partner passes before the other is a smart idea.
What If the Business Is an LLC or a Corporation
LLCs and corporations have other laws that dictate what will happen if one shareholder or member dies. Therefore, it is important to consult with an estate planning lawyer to determine what happens with your portion of the business.
Estate Planning Attorneys to Help Protect Your Legacy
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you protect your legacy for future generations. Just call 619-344-0360 today to get started.Read More
We live in a do-it-yourself age where people want to feel the accomplishment of completing a task without the help of a trained professional. When it comes to putting together your own Ikea furniture, that’s a great attitude to have. However, estate planning is not the place to miss out on professional advice for the sake of saving a little money. Here are 2 reasons to avoid simply downloading a pdf form will and filling it out yourself.
#1: A Form Document May Not Address Your Specific Needs
What if the document you download has a place for assigning who will inherit property when you pass away, but doesn’t mention anything about future properties you might acquire after you complete the document but before you leave the inheritance to your heirs? A form document can’t take into consideration the specific circumstances of each person who will download and fill it out, so you can’t be sure you are getting what you need.
#2: You Miss Out on Valuable Legal Advice
These sites don’t provide you with a live person to give you advice on how to fill out the documents. At best, you get some simple instructions. The legal system is very complicated, and trying to do your own estate planning from a form is like trying to stitch a would yourself after reading a how-to article online without the help of a medical professional. You might end up doing it right the first time, but there are some things that are too important to read about on the Internet and then try yourself with no practical experience.
Meeting Estate Planning Needs and Providing Sensible Legal Advice
At Petrov Law Firm, we help our clients determine what their estate planning needs are, and then we provide the necessary legal advice to ensure your wishes are met. Don’t try to go it alone only for your family to receive a rude awakening later. Give our experienced estate planning attorneys a call at 619-344-0360.Read More
Estate planning is vital regardless of the amount of money you may have to leave behind for your loved ones. Unfortunately, due to some myths that are frequently cited on the Internet, some are moved to take either the wrong actions or no action at all when it comes to estate planning. We’re going to address those 3 estate planning myths and help you to prepare for your family’s future properly.
Myth #1: You Can Just Download a Will Template Online
You can, but you shouldn’t. The fact is that you don’t know who drafted the template you are downloading. If may not be viable in California if it was worded for execution in another state. You don’t want to wait until your family is in probate court for them to learn that your will was not executed properly. The Internet is a great tool for research, but some things are too important to do without the help of an experienced attorney.
Myth #2: I Can Transfer Everything to My Kids and Get Medicaid
That’s a great idea in theory, but you have to come up with the idea well in advance of needing medical care. If you just sign everything over to an heir and then immediately apply for Medicaid, it will get caught in the check, and you may get hit with penalties that will make you wish you just sold your assets and paid your medical bills in cash.
Myth #3: I Can Avoid Estate Tax by Using a Trust
First of all, the estate tax is for estates that exceed $5.49 million in value, so only a small fraction of estates have to worry about this tax. Second, forming a trust doesn’t automatically avoid this tax. You’re going to need to spend years combining trusts, gifts, asset transfers, and the like to avoid estate tax legally. Finally, trusts have plenty of benefits when it comes to things like avoiding probate.
Estate Planning Attorneys You Can Trust
Rather than trying to navigate the murky waters of estate planning on your own, come and see us at Petrov Law Firm. We enjoy helping families to see the full benefit of good advance planning. To schedule a consultation, call 619-344-0360.Read More
No one wants to think about their own mortality or even the idea that at some point in life we may no longer be mentally fit to make our own decisions anymore. However, the aging process is a fact of life, and these matters need to be considered. How can you help an aging parent before a situation arises where he or she can no longer make sound medical or financial decisions?
Executing the Right Documents to Protect an Aging Parent
The best thing to do is to take time now with your parent to discuss these decisions. Then execute estate planning documents that allow you to carry out your parent’s wishes should he or she become mentally incapacitated.
A Trust can be vital even in the case of temporary incapacitation so that you can make the needed decisions and carry out your parent’s wishes as outlined in the estate planning documents and through your previous verbal communication.
Documents such as an Advance Health Care Directive let you know what your parent’s medical wishes are. If your parent doesn’t want to be kept alive on machines for years if death is a medical certainty, stating so in such a document can relieve you of the guilt of giving the order to turn off the machines. HIPAA Authorization is also important. It will be difficult to make medical decisions if your parent’s healthcare provider cannot legally share relevant information with you.
Assistance in Executing Estate Planning Documents that Benefit Families
Families are important to us at Petrov Law Firm. Helping families to understand how estate planning works and helping people to execute documents properly is just one of the things we do for our clients. Contact us today at 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
Trust administration refers to the management of a trust by a trustee who has been appointed to distribute the property or funds. The trustor provides the trustee with instructions that are to be carried out. The trustee then applies these wishes in accord with state laws and in the best interest of the beneficiaries. How does California state law affect how trustees carry out this responsibility?
California Laws on Trust Administration
California law dictates how trustees handle their responsibilities in a number of ways including:
- Guidelines that keep a trustee from taking action that does not benefit the heirs or trust
- Requirements to perform certain duties in connection with the trust
- A designated line of succession in case a trustee dies at the same time as or before the trustor or is otherwise unable to carry out responsibilities
The Responsibility Placed on a Trustee in California Trustees are expected to comply with the instructions outlined in the trust as well as with all applicable state and federal regulations. They are expected to handle the estate in a manner that is financially responsible, preserving it for the beneficiaries. The trustee may be in charge of financial records, debts, and taxes. Beneficiaries can request financial statements from trustees to ensure things are being handled properly.
Trusts and Other Estate Planning in San Diego, California
If you are setting up a trust or doing any other kind of estate planning in California, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can provide you with the assistance you need to execute all of the paperwork properly. This will help to ensure that beneficiaries get what they deserve and that your wishes are carried out properly. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More
Estate sale companies come into a house and manage the sale (or removal) of the house’s contents. A good estate company will guarantee an empty house, and many companies will offer to clean the interior so it’s ready to be sold on the real estate market.
If you are making general, long-term plan for your estate, you can simply say that you want the home’s contents to be sold off through an estate company. However, if you live sparsely, the sale of your used items might not even be enough to cover the fees of a reputable estate company. Make sure you leave sufficient operating funds in an account to include the estate sale fee as part of your final expenses.
If you have a terminal illness, you can actively coordinate the estate sale before you pass. Cleaning out the house of a recently passed loved one is very painful. Your family will appreciate your forethought in hiring an estate sale company to take over once you are gone.
By pre-arranging the estate sale, you will ensure the home’s transition from a residence to a piece of real estate is quick and painless. In addition, you can work with your family members to ensure special items go to the right relatives.
Review the fee schedule of several estate sale companies, keeping in mind you get what you pay for. An inexpensive estate sale company might not guarantee an empty, clean house. Select the best company to ensure your home and its contents do not become a troubling aspect of your passing.Read More