Often abbreviated as DPA, a durable power of attorney is a vital component in your estate planning. This document appoints an agent to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated. What does the document contain and what exactly is your power of attorney responsible for?
What a Durable Power of Attorney Should Outline
The primary purpose of this document is to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you. A separate document should be executed to appoint a person to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated.
But how can you be sure that your power of attorney will treat financial matters in the way you would want? And what qualifies as you being incapacitated? There is no need to leave these matters to chance or opinion. You can include descriptions in the document regarding what you consider incapacitation, whether it be literal unconsciousness or mental degradation that leads to senility or dementia.
You can also provide instructions for your power of attorney as to how your financial matters should be handled. While it should be a responsible person, you also want it to be someone who will understand your instructions and be willing to carry them out.
Help in Preparing your Durable Power of Attorney and Other Estate Planning Documents
If you are interested in setting up a durable power of attorney to protect your estate should you become incapacitated, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can help. We pride ourselves on putting the best interests of our clients first. So if you want the personal attention you deserve from experienced and talented attorneys in the state of California, call 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
There are a number of life events that can have a major bearing on estate planning. Getting a divorce is one of those events. How may a settlement affect the planning that you already have in place, and how can you make sure that any changes to your estate are properly handled?
The Effects of Divorce on an Estate Plan
There are several elements of your estate planning that may be affected. Here are a few examples:
- Retirement Accounts – Because the beneficiary on a retirement account receives the money directly without it going through probate, you may need to change your beneficiary to avoid the money transferring to your ex.
- Trusts – Some property or other assets may have been part of a revocable living trust. However, if those assets were shared or had to be liquidated as a part of the divorce settlement, you will have to update the trust accordingly.
- Shared Accounts – Shared bank accounts transfer automatically on death, so you will need to close these accounts if they have not already been closed as a part of the settlement and open new bank
You may also need to make arrangements if you get remarried so that children from the previous marriage still receive any assets you wish for them to inherit. Otherwise, many things that may be put in your new mate’s name might pass directly without going through probate. This new spouse may feel no attachment to your children from another mate once you are gone, so you can’t leave it to chance.
Help in Arranging Complicated Estate Planning
Estate planning may at times be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The patient estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can walk you through the process so that you can be confident your wishes will be carried out. To learn more, contact our San Diego, California attorneys at 619-344-0360.Read More
You may be looking for a way to leave your assets to heirs without the added time and expenses involved in probate. If so, a living trust could be exactly what you have been searching for. But does this mean that you are turning over control of your assets to a trustee?
If you set up a revocable living trust, then you are the trustee while you are still living. This gives you complete control over the trust. You can add assets or remove them from the trust at any time. It is a great way to leave property and other assets to your heirs and have them avoid probate without giving up control during your life.
However, when you pass away, your revocable living trust becomes irrevocable. At this point, a successor trustee will take over. He or she will then carry out your wishes for the trust in accord with any instructions that you have left behind. This makes it important to determine in advance what you want a successor trustee to do.
Providing Instructions for Your Successor Trustee
If you are a California resident in the San Diego area, Petrov Law Firm is your source for the best estate planning lawyers to help you leave instructions for your successor trustee that ensure your wishes are carried out when you are no longer here to do so yourself.
To learn more about how to set up a revocable living trust with a successor trustee in order to avoid having your estate go into probate, contact Petrov Law Firm at 619-344-0360. Our attorneys will be happy to help you get your affairs in order, regardless of how large or small your estate may be.Read More
One of the things that need to be settled on when taking care of estate planning is deciding who will acquire the property that you own. Something that can complicate this process is co-ownership of real estate. We’re going to discuss a hypothetical example to show how co-owned property can lead to discrepancies that end up having to be worked out later by the court system.
How Does Shared Property Ownership Affect Inheritance?
Imagine a father buys a house and decides to have his two adult sons on the deed. Ownership is split: 1/3 to the dad, 1/3 to the older son, and 1/3 to the younger son. Some time passes, and then dad has a falling out with his younger son. Now he wants to leave everything to his older child. But what about the third of the house that is deeded to the younger son? Will the courts allow the dad to leave the younger son’s interest in the home to his older child?
This is an oversimplified example to show the complications that can result in estate planning when it comes to sharing ownership of property. This can occur whether the other owners are family, friends, business partners, or anyone else. This makes it vital to have your planning properly in place and to consult an estate planning attorney when making decisions that will affect your future estate.
The Estate Planning Attorneys San Diego Residents Can Trust
If you need help with your estate planning, the attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can provide valuable advice on how to ensure your wishes are met. To learn more, contact our San Diego, California practice at 619-344-0360.Read More
When a person passes away, his or her retirement accounts do not go through probate. Instead, retirement accounts are automatically paid out to a beneficiary who is selected by the account holder. What are the different types of retirement accounts that a person may have? Why should you periodically check to see who your beneficiaries are?
Which Retirement Accounts Have Beneficiaries?
If you have a savings account, this can be left in trust. Or you may have another person’s name on the account. However, retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s are different. These should have a beneficiary listed on the policy. If you live in California and have an IRA or a Roth IRA, your spouse will be the beneficiary. The only way to designate someone else is to have your spouse provide written consent allowing you to designate another beneficiary. The same is true with a 401(k). Thus, unless your current mate has signed a waiver and you have designated someone else, he or she is the beneficiary.
Why Maintain Your Beneficiary List?
You should check on your beneficiaries periodically, especially if you experience a change in life circumstances. For example, if you get divorced, you will likely want to change the beneficiary on your retirement accounts.
Of course, your retirement accounts may not be the only thing that needs changing. You may have to update the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, amend a will, adjust a trust, and so on. For help with all of your estate planning needs, contact the estate planning lawyers at Petrov Law Firm. We can help you keep all of your records in good order so that your wishes are carried out properly. To learn more, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Most young people think that estate planning is what you do when you retire as a grandfather and want to make sure your assets go to your favorite relatives. However, accidents happen, and that means any adult should have the necessary documents in order, even if you are in your 20s and are the picture of good health. Here are two important reasons for starting your estate planning young.
If a Fatal Accident Occurs
Sometimes, accidents happen. Whether you have started a family as a young person or still live at home with mom and dad, you want to be sure that end-of-life decisions are in place. How do you want the funeral to be carried out? Are you willing to be kept alive on life support, even if there is a degree of medical certainty that you will never recover? Especially when a tragic accident occurs, it can be difficult for family members to make these decisions. Making them in advance is a kindness to your loved ones.
If Wrongful Death Is Involved
What if the fatal accident is caused by a drunk driver, a defective product, an avoidable work accident, or another situation in which wrongful death may be involved? Having your estate planning in place may help survivors to start a wrongful death suit. An executor can do so on behalf of the estate. Otherwise, whoever would be next as far as intestate succession is concerned would suddenly be confronted with this responsibility.
Now Is the Time for Proper Estate Planning
If you live in the San Diego area, come and see us at Petrov Law Firm. Regardless of your age, it is never too soon or too late to get your estate planning in order. Call 619-344-0360 today to get started with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys.Read More
If you determine that the best way to leave your assets to beneficiaries is via a trust that will help keep matters out of probate, there is still something vital to consider. What is the relationship between your heirs and the person (or persons) you are appointing as a trustee? Obviously, a better relationship will make things easier on those who are to inherit your estate.
What Does a Trustee Do?
When the trustor passes away, the trustee is in charge of keeping the trust safe and making appropriate distributions to any beneficiaries. So there are a few things to consider when appointing a trustee:
- Is this person trustworthy enough to carry out your wishes?
- Does the trustee have sufficient ability to handle this responsibility?
- Will the trustee’s relationship with the beneficiary help or hinder the proper distribution of the trust?
Of course, planning your trust properly can also help the process along, even if there is some disputing between the trustee and beneficiary. However, you can minimize how much of the trust ends up going toward administration costs by selecting the right person – someone who has the ability to care for the trust and the desire to do what is best for the beneficiary.
Help for Creating Trusteeships in San Diego, California
If you live in California and need advice or help in creating a trust, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to assist you. To learn more, call our San Diego and Chula Vista attorneys at 619-344-0360.Read More
There are two important and separate matters that are handled by proper estate planning and the appointment of a power of attorney. They are matters pertaining to your financial assets and matters dealing with your health care. In some cases, you may want a different person to have power of attorney for each circumstance. In other cases, the same person may act as power of attorney for everything. Here are a few things to consider.
Power of Attorney for Financial and Health Decisions
Should decisions about your health or finances need to be made while you are unconscious or no longer of sound mind, appointing a power of attorney who has specific instructions on how to carry out your directives can help to ensure that matters are still handled as you would want them to be, even if you can’t give the orders for yourself.
However, you may not always want the same person making all of these decisions. For example, you may want your wife to make financial decisions in your absence but your son to make medical decisions or vice versa. You may even have certain decisions that you want to leave to a party that is not as emotionally tied to you. In other situations, you may have one trusted friend or relative who can handle all of your decision-making as a POA.
San Diego Residents Planning for Financial and Health Care POAs
If you are a California resident, especially if you live in the San Diego area, and are looking to designate a power of attorney for health or financial matters, contact the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm today. We can help you to make informed decisions that will lead to your wishes being carried out as closely as possible. To learn more, call 619-344-0360.Read More