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
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
If you have a large estate to leave behind, you might be concerned that the beneficiaries will squander the money if they receive it in one lump sum. Perhaps you’d like to see your children work for a portion of their adult lives before they receive the money. Or perhaps, the issues are more serious and involve children with drug or gambling addictions. Regardless of the reason, you have three major options when it comes to preventing a lump sum inheritance.
You can simply have the money portioned out as your children grow older. While there will be some fees involved in setting up a trust and assigning a trustee to manage the money, you can rest assured that your money will not be distributed in a lump sum. You can dictate the terms in various ways. For example, you could release funds as the beneficiaries reach specific ages. Or you could have the money distributed after specific amounts of time pass.
Another option is to purchase an annuity with the funds from your estate. In this way, the principle funds belong to the bank and your beneficiaries will never get a lump sum. The bank will simply send them a monthly or yearly check for a specified dollar amount, for a specified amount of time. This option is especially useful if want to provide on-going support without the threat of the money being mismanaged.
Lastly, you can make the distribution of funds tied to certain incentives. This option, however, can cause high fees as the trustee of your estate will have to put in significant time to monitor the beneficiaries. For example, you could withhold funds if a beneficiary shows a positive test for drug use. You could also encourage hard work, by stipulating that the funds will be distributed upon completion of a college degree or specific number of years at work.
The first step is to talk with an estate attorney who will guide you toward the right decision. Estate lawyers create wills and trusts every day. They have options you never knew existed. While it may not be possible to take the money with you when you go, you can certainly make sure it stays in your family for longer than a weekend trip to Las Vegas.Read More