Writing up a will is not the first thing on the mind of most people in their 20s. After all, you are probably in good health, and it is unlikely that you have amassed a major fortune that early in life unless it was left to you by the previous generation. So what is the point of estate planning in your 20s? Here are three reasons you want your affairs in place:
- Accidents happen – A car accident or some other fatal accident can affect anyone at any time. Having an estate plan in place is a kindness for surviving family members who will be bereft enough by the tragic and premature loss of such a young loved one.
- Medical decisions – A living will allows you to make medical decisions in advance. If you become incapacitated due to an accident, injury, or illness, you can make medical decisions in advance including appointing someone who can make choices for you.
- Keep the peace – This is a unique opportunity to have your funeral arrangements set out the way you would want them to be handled. Whether you want a burial or cremation, the family doesn’t have to wonder or fight over what you may have said to various family members or friends at one time or another.
Estate Planning Is for Everyone
At Petrov Law Firm, we believe that estate planning is important for everyone. So if you are a resident of Southern California, speak to one of our estate planning attorneys by calling 619-344-0360 today. We can help you to prepare for your future.Read More
Estate planning is about being as prepared for the future as you possibly can be. With that in mind, we’re going to tell you about three of the mistakes people commonly make, so you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Not Planning at All
The biggest mistake you can make is deciding estate planning is not for you. People make all sorts of excuses – I’m too young, I’m in good health, I don’t have that much money – but the fact is that it hurts the ones you leave behind if you don’t have a plan in place.
Mistake #2 – Not Keeping the Estate Plan Up to Date
There are certain events that should always trigger a review of your estate plan. These would include life-changing events such as a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, the death of a successor, and the like. It would also include major financial events like suddenly receiving or losing a large asset or sum of money.
Mistake #3 – Not Preparing for Incapacitation
Many people only make plans for death and not for temporary incapacitation during life. Should you be affected by mental illness, become unconscious due to an injury or accident, or even suffer from dementia later in life, you want plans in place for the sake of both your finances and your medical care. That means appointing individuals to implement your wishes for you.
Getting Your Affairs in Order in Southern California
If you live in San Diego or any of the surrounding communities, the Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you plan effectively for your future. Talk to our estate planning attorneys now by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you to avoid the pitfalls of trying to plan for your estate on your own.Read More
Even once you have an estate plan in place, your job isn’t over. You need to regularly maintain and review your estate plan to make sure it accurately conveys your present wishes. We’re going to give you five tips to help you review your plans successfully without making it a burden.
- Scan the Plan Annually – Every year you should at least look over your estate plan to make sure you don’t need to change beneficiaries, power of attorney, or other vital things such as these.
- 3 to 5 Year Review – Every few years, you should do a more thorough review to go over your financials. Make sure you haven’t taken on any new assets that have not found their way into the plan somehow.
- Review Income Changes – If you have a sudden influx of income or suddenly have significantly fewer assets, you will want to review your plans to make sure they still make sense.
- Major Life Changes – Marriage, the birth of a child, the death of a successor or beneficiary, or any other major life event will require changes to your estate plan.
- Change of Mind – Any time you change your mind about anything related to your estate plan (who gets what, funeral arrangements, medical wishes, etc.), you will want to look over your estate plan again.
Help in Making Estate Plan Adjustments in California
If, after careful review, you discover that you need to make adjustments to your estate plan, contact Petrov Law Firm in San Diego. Our estate planning attorneys can provide you the assistance you need to keep your future plans up to date with your current wishes. Call 619-344-0360 today to schedule an appointment.Read More
It is certainly a title of honor to be named the executor of the will of a trusted friend. However, it can also be an overwhelming task, especially if you are faced with a large or diversified estate. How can you balance the situations that may come up? Here are three things you can do to make the task a little less daunting:
- Be a Good Communicator – Your job is basically to be a go-between for the courts, the IRS, the beneficiaries, and creditors. That means maintaining contact information for all of the parties involved so you can keep in contact. Keeping records of your communications is also important.
- Focus on Organization – An executor has to deal with a lot of stuff. If you’re not organized, anxiety levels will spike quickly. Having a binder with clearly labeled (maybe even color-coded) folders is a great way to store estate planning documents, statements, policies, contracts, contact info, and other vital data.
- Get Legal Help – An experienced estate planning attorney can help you to sort through a murky last will and testament to make sure you are avoiding the common pitfalls that plague executors.
California Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
If you are an executor in the state of California and need legal advice, or if you are planning for the future of your own estate, contact Petrov Law Firm today at 619-344-0360. Our estate planning attorneys can help you to navigate the executorship successfully so that you can fulfill your obligations.Read More
The jury is out on probate court for some since there are occasional circumstances where it can be beneficial. However, in most situations, it’s just an unnecessary drain. Here are three primary reasons you should try to keep your estate from going into probate.
- It Costs a Lot of Money – You want to leave your estate to your family, not the court system. However, a drawn-out probate battle can drain the funds from your estate rapidly. Don’t let your beneficiaries get stuck with a mere fraction of what you worked hard to amass during your lifetime.
- It Can Take a Long Time – Another issue is that your loved ones may have to wait months or years before they see any of the money that you want them to enjoy. Bypassing probate altogether is the best way to get your estate to your heirs quickly and intact.
- It Is a Matter of Public Record – You don’t want everyone knowing what you had and who you left it to. That could be dangerous for family members who suddenly have a lot of money for the first time and could become the victims of scammers. It could also cause hurt feelings among those who received a smaller portion of the estate. It is no one’s business what you decide to give or to whom you choose to give it.
Assistance to Legally Keep Your Estate Out of Probate
If you are looking for an experienced estate planning attorney in Southern California who can keep your estate assets out of probate court and get it into the hands of your loved ones, contact Petrov Law Firm today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Estate planning is about more than just deciding what kind of funeral you will have or who will receive what from your personal belongings. Long-term care, which is often necessary at the end of a person’s life, is a vital consideration. Why is this the case? Here are three reasons:
- It Happens to a Lot of People – While only about 1 in 10 people will spend over three years in a nursing home, over 40% of people will be there for at least some time. Whether you end up in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, failure to factor it into your estate plan can be devastating to your benefactors.
- It Costs a Fortune – An assisted living facility can cost upwards of $3,500 per month. As you can imagine, that can drain the estate of most seniors rather rapidly. A one year stay in such a facility can take over $40,000 from your estate. Even if you have millions, you didn’t earn it to give it to a private care facility, and estate planning is the right way to minimize costs.
- Your Health Benefits Probably Won’t Cover It – Many older ones make the mistake of thinking it doesn’t matter how much extended care facilities cost because they have Medicare, Medicaid, or some form of private insurance. You can choose to protect yourself with a long-term care insurance policy. Just be sure you don’t end up paying for the care in advance by means of exorbitant premiums.
Helping You to Prepare for the Future in Southern California
At Petrov Law Firm, we want all of our clients to enjoy their golden years and still have something to pass on to their family. Contact our experienced estate planning attorneys today by calling 619-344-0360 to get started on an estate plan that will meet your needs.Read More
DIY has become a buzzword with fewer and fewer people wanting to pay someone else to do something that they think they can handle themselves. That’s great when it comes to most things. However, planning for your future and for the benefit of your heirs is one of the times that you don’t want to take chances. Here are three reasons to pass on using a DIY will for your estate plan.
- Interpretation Disputes – You may be an eloquent person, but that doesn’t mean your every word will be interpreted correctly or the same way by two different people. If there is a dispute over what something you say in your will means, it can tie your estate up in probate court for years and result in a great deal of your assets going to the court system rather than to your beneficiaries. That isn’t what you’ve worked so hard for all your life.
- Mistakes – Even if you get a little online legal assistance from a site that helps you put together a will, you don’t get the personal attention that you would from a local estate planning lawyer who is specifically experienced with the laws in your state. Mistakes in wording or even in omitting something (like failure to name a healthcare agent) can lead to major issues.
- Peace of Mind – You shouldn’t have to wonder if your will is going to be good enough. Hiring an estate planning attorney can provide you with peace of mind. You will know that all of your bases are covered and that your family’s future is secure.
Hire the Right California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you are planning for the future in the state of California, Petrov Law Firm has the estate planning lawyers you want on your team. Our compassion and experience will make the process as simple as possible and provide you with the peace of mind you want. To get started, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Establishing a trust is a great way to eliminate all of the problems that come along with probate. Your family won’t have to worry about the court fees or deal with an executor. This can prevent long delays in receiving the inheritance. However, it is still important to choose the right successor trustee in order to ensure that your estate is in good hands until it gets to your beneficiaries. Here are a few ways to keep your successor trustee from making the most common mistakes.
- Hire an Accountant – Unless your trustee is particularly good with numbers and understands accounting, this is the best way to ensure that there are no errors in the record keeping. Plus, having two people to check each other’s numbers keeps everyone honest.
- Outline Instructions Clearly – Sometimes a trustee can get confused about the role that he or she plays. To eliminate confusion, make sure your estate planning documents outline how you want your trustee to act, including how the assets are preserved until they reach your beneficiaries.
- Provide Adequate Compensation – Your trustee knows how much has been set aside for your beneficiaries. The trustee is doing all of the work. So while you may leave a relatively small percent of your estate to compensate the trustee, it should be enough to ensure he or she doesn’t feel cheated or isn’t moved to maneuver for a little additional compensation from your family.
- Be Objective – Sentimentality cannot guide your choice of a successor trustee. It has to be the person who is best suited for the job. Otherwise, problems are likely to come about.
Assistance in Developing a Trust and Other Estate Planning in California
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm are experienced in helping California residents to plan properly for the future. To learn more, contact us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Probate gets a pretty bad rap for being something that delays beneficiaries from receiving their inheritance and may even eat up considerable funds from the estate. Is there any time when probate court can actually be a good thing? Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of probate.
The Advantages of Probate
If someone passes away without executing a will or having other estate planning measures in place, probate can really save the day. A few of the advantages include:
- Provides a legal means of redistributing the estate
- Enforces and validates the wishes included in a will
- Cares for remaining debts and taxes so heirs don’t have to worry someone will eventually come knocking at the door looking for money that may have long been spent
- May encourage debt forgiveness due to the window for claims against the estate being short
The Disadvantages of Probate
Here are a few of the reasons most people try to avoid probate with their estate planning:
- Probate is public record, so anyone can look up your financial information
- Executor fees and court costs may cut significantly into the value of the estate
- Probate can keep beneficiaries from receiving funds for weeks, months, or in some cases even years
- Complicated probate regulations can put a huge strain on beneficiaries and especially on the executor of the will
- The courts make the final decisions on your estate rather than you
- The higher the gross value of your estate, the higher the probate fees, making it more cost effective to create and maintain a revocable trust
Southern California Estate Planning Attorneys
Petrov Law Firm has the Southern California estate planning attorneys you can trust to help you develop an affordable and effective plan of action for the future. Contact us today by calling 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
You want to save for your future, but you also want to plan for the future of your family. How can you get your retirement plan to play nice with your estate plan and ensure that you get to enjoy your golden years and still pass on an inheritance to your loved ones? Here are a few things to consider.
Your Retirement Fund Can’t Be Part of Your Trust
Your trust can’t own the retirement fund. That means you have to select a separate beneficiary for your retirement account. You can leave the retirement money and the trust to the same individual, just not with one nested under the other.
When selecting a beneficiary for a retirement fund, remember that there are tax advantages and other financial benefits to leaving these funds directly to a spouse. For example, regardless of who the beneficiary is, retirement funds don’t go through probate. They pass directly to the named beneficiary. However, only a spouse can defer minimum distribution until he or she hits retirement age.
Making Your Retirement Fund Beneficiary Your Trust
Why not simply leave your retirement fund to your loved one? What if he or she was to make the mistake of taking all of the funds at once and ends up paying half of the inheritance out in taxes the next year? That would be an expensive error. But your trustee could ensure that the retirement fund is stretched and distributions are taken at the proper times to maximize the payout.
Leaving Your Estate and Retirement Funds Behind the Right Way
Petrov Law Firm can help you to negotiate the laws that California has in place regarding estate planning and retirement funds. To get the help you need in planning for a better future, call us today at 619-344-0360.Read More