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
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
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
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
Just one of the many differences between a will and a trust is that wills are a matter of public record and trusts are confidential documents. As a result, if you choose to divide your estate by means of a will instead of a trust, you may be opening yourself or your heirs up to scams.
What Someone Can Learn from Your Will
If a scam artist is looking for a big score, all he has do is look through public records to find wills that divide up large estates. Now he can either go after that money through trying to run a scam on you personally, or if you don’t fall for it, he can add your heirs to a list and wait patiently for them to inherit the money.
How Much Do Scams Cost Seniors?
In just the first 3 months of 2016, more than 1.7 million dollars were stolen from seniors in the US using phone scams alone. That is hard earned money that should have gone to loved ones rather than a conniving stranger. Here’s one way to take the target off your back.
Safe Estate Planning Techniques
Implement safer estate planning methods by calling Petrov Law Firm. Our estate planning attorneys can help you set up a confidential living trust. No one should know how much money you have, and only your family should get it. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule a consultation with the San Diego estate planning lawyers you can trust.Read More
A living trust is a legal document in estate planning indicating which assets are to be used for your benefit while you are still living and to whom these benefits would transfer with your passing. Living trusts are used by those desiring to avoid the administrative hassle and possible publicity involved in the probate process.
To take the most advantage of a trust, you should make sure everything you own is held in trust form. It is important to occasionally revisit your trust provisions to ensure all of your assets are included as no assets become a part of the trust without explicit inclusion.
A revocable living trust enables the grantor to later change his mind about the property placed into it or even the existence of the trust itself. Benefits of a revocable living trust include avoidance of probate, resulting in faster distribution of assets to beneficiaries, potential money savings, privacy, and the ability to manage your affairs without court involvement should you become incapacitated.1
An irrevocable living trust is one that cannot be changed once it is signed by the grantor. With certain limited exceptions regarding transfers occurring within three years of death, only property owned at the time of death is subject to estate taxes.2 One big potential benefit of an irrevocable living trust is the avoidance of probate and estate taxes because ownership of property transfers to the trust while the grantor is still alive. Properties that fall under the federal estate tax exemption are not subject to these taxes.
The most important thing to consider when deciding between the two types of living trusts is any potential tax consequences. Talk to an estate planning attorney to obtain further guidance on creating a living trust and ensure your assets are used exactly as you wish during and after your lifetime.Read More
It is not always necessary to create a trust prior to your death. In fact, it is quite common to stipulate that a trust will be created upon your death. There are several reasons for creating a trust, but generally the purpose of the trust is to protect your assets and to ensure continued use of your accumulated wealth for a specific purpose.
If the beneficiary of your estate is likely to have significant debts, the trust can help protect your assets from becoming part of collection efforts levied again the beneficiary.
If your beneficiary is a minor, has special needs, or is likely to waste the principle, a trust can ensure a life-long stream of income. You can protect the money while allowing your beneficiary to use any earned interest. Annuities are commonly used as an investment tool with a guaranteed monthly or annual payout.
You can also use your trust to stipulate the use of your assets. For example, you could set aside a specific amount of money to be used for education or a real estate purchase.
A trust is a significant tool for generational tax planning. When you have valuable cash assets and real estate, a series of trusts for the benefit of the entire family will ensure your great-grandchildren benefit from your assets.
Consult with your estate planner and discuss the possible use of your assets. And don’t forget to account for the growth of your wealth for the length of your life — however long that may be.Read More
With the rising cost of higher education, more young adults are turning their parents and grandparents for help with paying for room, board, and tuition bills. Whether you have a substantial lump sum or on-going payments, you should speak to an estate planner to help you select the right plan that will ensure that your money goes into your loved-one’s education and not the IRS coffers.
In addition, education planning is one way to ensure that the inheritance you leave behind is not wasted on sports cars and trips to Las Vegas. Young adults are not known for financial savvy, and $100,000 can quickly disappear instead of being put to practical use.
Living trusts are a common way to set money aside for education. However, these are typically reserved for large lump sums – generally over $100,000. You can make substantial restrictions on the money in the trust — such as dictating that the money can only be used to pay tuition bills. You will have to name a trustee who will make all the decisions about the money once you are gone. If you’d prefer to maintain full control over your money until you pass away, you can set up a testamentary trust that becomes active upon your death.
For monthly or annual payments towards education, your attorney can help you set up a 529 plan. These are investment plans created with the sole purpose of funding higher education. There are significant tax benefits with a 529 plan. Your estate planner can help you create a comprehensive last will and testament incorporating a trust or a 529 plan to ensure education is part of your legacy.Read More
You may already know that setting up a trust can be an investment tool to help you save money, protect your assets, and ensure the easy transfer to your heirs. While trusts can avoid estate taxes and provide for you and your family in the case of your incapacitation, there are a few lesser-known ways to take advantage of a trust.
- Protect your assets from creditors and settlements. When you move assets into a trust, legally they don’t belong to you anymore and they will fall outside of the assets a court could force you to forfeit in the event of a judgement. While this is particularly helpful for business owners (even those with an incorporated business), protecting your assets can become a priority with a car crash or slip and fall in your home.
- Allow professional investors to be aggressive with your money. If you allow a group of professional investors access to a trust specifically for aggressive growth strategies, you might find they are generally more successful at managing your money. When the investors have to call you for every purchase, sale, and transfer, the investment process can be slow and difficult. Set up a trust and let the investors have their way. It might just pay off.
- Shift your incoming producing assets to members of your family in a lower tax bracket. If you have a spouse or children producing less money than you, you can move your assets into a trust and put the tax burden in their names. And yes, you can still maintain control of the assets.
None of these options with a trust is simple or easy. These creative uses of trusts require a few long hours with a good attorney to help you understand what you are getting — and what you are giving up.Read More