If you already have an estate plan in place before becoming a first-time parent, you are ahead of many other families. However, adding a family member is a major life change that requires an update to your estate plan. Especially when you become a first-time parent, whether the child is newborn or adopted, you need to think about the following scenarios:
- Planning ahead for legal guardianship – As long as your child is still a minor, you need to have plans in place for legal guardianship should an untimely accident befall you and your mate simultaneously.
- Setting up a trust – If something does happen to both parents of a child, just having a will is not sufficient. You want a trust in place that will protect the estate until your child reaches legal age. Be sure to choose a trustworthy successor trustee who will protect the estate for your child.
- Review life insurance policies – You may decide that you now need to carry more life insurance. This will ensure that your mate and child do not experience hardship if something should happen to you, especially if you are the family’s primary breadwinner.
Updating Your California Estate Plan
Any major change in life circumstances should result in a review of your estate plan. If you are now living in southern California, Petrov Law Firm can help you to update your plan in accord with state regulations. Give us a call today at 619.344.0360 to get started with an experienced estate planning attorney.Read More
A conservatorship is formed when the courts decide that an individual no longer has the capacity to take care of themselves. Is there a way for you to avoid this unfortunate process should you fall victim to some sort of incapacitation or even a debilitating mental illness? Here are a couple of things you should know about California conservatorships.
- The legal term is “gravely disabled” – Therefore, there is some room for the courts to make their own determination as far as what gravely disabled entails. In the meantime, you can head things off at the pass by listing someone in your estate planning documents to care for you should you ever become gravely disabled.
- There must be sufficient proof of disability – If you are eating three meals a day, paying your rent, and keeping your body and clothing clean, it would be tough for a court to declare you gravely disabled. This means that most mental illnesses won’t result in a conservatorship.
That having been said, someone with a condition like schizophrenia who is not taking their medication properly may be disabled to the point of needing a conservatorship. In other cases, this is reserved for people in comas and other forms of complete incapacitation.
Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego and North County
If you are looking for estate planning attorneys to help you plan for your future in San Diego or North County, then Petrov Law Firm can help. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you to designate a health care surrogate or power of attorney in advance, so the courts don’t have to. Call 619-344-0360 today to learn more.Read More
We hope that your children get to enjoy your loving care for many years to come. But what if an unforeseen accident should occur in your life? You can use your estate planning to protect your minor children. There is no substitute for you, but there are ways to look after your kids, even if you pass away unexpectedly. Here are a few important tips:
- Appoint a legal guardian – The children need to have somewhere to go if left without parents. A good family friend whom the children like and that is up to the responsibility is important.
- Set up a trust fund – A trust fund can allow you to provide financially for your children. While the bulk of the funds may not become available until the children come of age, you can allow dispensations for certain events such as if your child graduates early and needs money for college before he or she turns 18.
Don’t Leave Your Child’s Future to Chance
Sure, it will be better if your estate planning doesn’t take effect for many years because you live to see your children grow up, get married, and have kids of their own. But you can’t leave things to chance. Planning ahead will protect your child in case you are tragically taken from their life by an accident or illness.
The compassionate estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help walk you through the process of setting up an estate plan in California. To learn more, call our offices today at 619-344-0360.Read More
Mental illness is increasingly common in the world today. If a relative has an illness, it doesn’t make you love them any less or want to take care of them any less. Therefore, your estate plan needs to be able to help you provide the support you want your loved one to have while compensating for the fact that he or she may not be able to manage the money alone. Here are a few tips to help guide you.
- A loyal and compassionate trustee. By appointing the right trustee over any trust that you leave to your loved one, you can ensure that the funds will be used for your loved one at the right times and in the proper amount.
- Controlling what funds can be dispensed for. Perhaps your loved one doesn’t need someone to care for him or her, but is still concerned about things like impulse spending or squandering the inheritance in other ways? Structuring the inheritance so that funds are only released for certain types of expenses is a good way to protect your loved one.
- Covering voluntary treatment costs. You can structure the trust so that your loved one receives a dispensation when he or she seeks medical care relating to the condition. This may move your loved one to see the high value of proper treatment and may provide the funds necessary to get the right care without the guilt of how expensive medical treatment can be in the US.
Discretionary Trusts and Other Estate Planning Methods in California
At Petrov Law Firm in San Diego, our estate planning attorneys will be happy to help you plan for the future needs of your loved ones. To see what types of estate planning are best for your family, contact us today at 619-344-0360.Read More
You cannot just assume that the right people will benefit from your assets when you pass on. Estate planning is required in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of thinking they can do nothing and that their mate and children will automatically get everything. Here’s the issue with that mentality:
The traditional family structure is becoming less common in the US.
If you and your mate have only ever been married to each other and all of your kids are naturally born to the two of you, you may actually be correct in thinking that your loved ones will inherit everything. But how many families are like that?
If you are raising grandkids, have children from multiple spouses, have adopted children, or have been married more than once, you may have no idea what the line of succession will be for your family. On top of that, family members may have different ideas as to how to care for you medically if you become incapacitated later in life. There can also be fights over funeral arrangements.
Lovingly Caring for the Future of Your Family
The loving way to care for the future of your family is to have an estate plan in place. Petrov Law Firm is your source for estate planning attorneys in southern California. Get in touch with our San Diego and Chula Vista lawyers today by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you plan for your future.Read More
What is a conservatorship? This is a provision that is made to care for financial and other matters when a person is determined by the courts to be incapable of caring for his or herself. But does this mean that you are doomed to a conservatorship being put in place if you are suffering from a mental illness? Not necessarily. Here are a couple of things to consider:
- In order for a conservatorship to be forced upon a person, they must be “gravely disabled.” While it is up to the court to determine what that means, there has to be proof that you can’t take proper care of yourself due to the mental illness.
- There must be proof that you cannot provide for your own basic needs. Basic needs include acquiring things such as clothing, food, and shelter. In many cases, a person suffering from a mental illness can still hold down a job, find a place for rent, afford suitable clothing, and keep the pantry stocked.
There are cases when mental illness can be so severe that a person is unable to obtain these necessities properly. For example, an uncontrolled case of schizophrenia may leave a person homeless and severely deprived of proper food or clothing. On the other hand, someone else with the exact same condition may experience similar symptoms but have it under control to the point of being able to function autonomously.Read More
While you probably don’t want to think about someone else having to raise your precious little ones, if you and your spouse experience an accident, you don’t want to add to the tragedy by not having a plan in place. Here are 5 tips for selecting an appropriate guardian should an accident leave your children orphaned.
- Someone your kids like – If you have friends that just make your kids go, “Ugh, do we have to see them again?” that’s probably not the family to leave your kids to.
- Values and parenting style – Every parent is going to raise their kids a little different, but if you have friends that you see raising their kids the way you would want yours to be taken care of, that’s a good option as a guardian.
- Location – Will your kids suddenly find themselves without parents and having to adjust to a new town and school? If you have nearby friends who could be the guardians, that can reduce the upheaval.
- Age and health – While you may want to leave your kids to your parents should something happen to you, how old are your parents? How is their health? Who would they leave the kids to if they also pass away before the kids are old enough to be on their own?
- Prepare the kids – Talk to your kids about who you have listed in your estate plan as guardians and why. Knowing your desire to care for them, even if you can’t be here to do it yourself, may be comforting, especially if your kids end up with those guardians someday.
Estate Plans with No Loose Ends in Southern California
If you need assistance with legally drafting an estate plan in the state of California, contact Petrov Law Firm by calling 619-344-0360. We can help you to prepare for your future and tie up loose ends to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.Read More
What is a conservatorship? How could it potentially protect you from undue influence regarding financial matters and end of life decisions? Let’s look at this legal way to protect your decisions even if you should become unable to make those decisions for yourself later in life, or even just for a limited period of time.
What Is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a final line of defense against having financial or medical decisions made without a person’s ability to consent. While proper estate planning can provide a power of attorney to make these decisions, a conservatorship involves the probate court assigning someone to make valid decisions on a person’s behalf. There are 3 types of probate conservatorships.
- A general conservatorship involves the court giving a person the legal ability to care for the personal decisions of another, including financial decisions.
- A limited conservatorship is usually only set up in the case of an adult who is developmentally disabled and needs some assistance in decision making.
- Under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, a conservatorship can be set up to assist someone who becomes so gravely disabled they can no longer provide their own basic needs of shelter, food, and clothing.
In the case of a person trying to influence someone who has become mentally incapacitated to make financial decisions that are different from what a will or medical directive may have originally dictated while the individual was of sound mind, a conservatorship may provide a neutral party to maintain the wishes a person expressed in the past.
A Better Way to Ensure Your Decision Remain Yours
The best thing to do is to have your estate planning properly prepared now. Everything from how your assets are to be divided to what you want your funeral to be like should be part of your estate planning. Appointing a power of attorney to make financial decisions or appointing a healthcare agent to uphold your medical decisions can also make things easier on family members who may have differing opinions on how to care for matters if you cannot do so yourself for one reason or another. To learn more, contact Petrov Law Firm today by calling 619-344-0360.Read More
There are many ways to get tax benefits from charitable donations. However, not every person who makes charity a part of estate planning is doing so for the tax break. This is also the opportunity to make a real difference for a non-profit organization and leave a lasting legacy. What are the 3 major types of charitable organizations, and how can you make charity part of your estate plan?
3 Types of Non-Profit Organizations
For those who are also thinking about tax benefits of contributing, we’re going to go through this list in order from least tax advantages to the most.
- Private Foundations – These groups are usually privately funded by one family, although they may accept contributions from others. This is the simplest form of non-profit to organize and also has minimal tax benefits for donors. These foundations do not engage in charitable work directly but do forward funds to public charities.
- Private Operating Foundations – These foundations are still private, but they do engage in charitable acts directly. The main difference is the percent of funds that are privately contributed versus publicly.
- Public Charities – These are organizations that are funded by the general public. Less than half of their funds can come from large donations made by companies or individuals. These organizations are what most of us think of when we envision donating to charity. This is also the best way to get tax benefits from donating.
How to Leave Money to Your Favorite Charity
Depending on the charity itself, some may prefer a trust and others may prefer a donation via a will. The benefits of using a trust include the money avoiding probate. You can select one specific charity or an entire portfolio of non-profits that you would like to make a contribution to, so don’t feel tied down if you are having trouble deciding who to leave your contributions to.
Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you make charity a part of your estate plan. Just call 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.Read More
Food banks and other non-profit organizations have to careful about what goods they serve. Restaurants have to be careful about the food they donate. If you work for a restaurant looking to donate food, or a non-profit looking to distribute food, contact a personal injury attorney to ensure that you are not exposed to any liabilities.
Food that needs to be refrigerated spoils quickly, and the chain of custody has to be certified and reliable at every step. So unless the non-profit organization looking to serve the food has a refrigerated van, the food can spoil between the restaurant and the non-profit’s donation center.
Non-refrigerated food like bread can spoil but might be an acceptable donation. Bread and pastry can grow mold, but mold at a toxic level is visible. Generally, bread donations don’t expose the giver or receiver to much liability as long as the bread is relatively fresh. Day old bread is a great way to contribute to the needy.
Food banks often don’t accept fresh produce or bread simply because they don’t have the storage capacity to ensure the donations will last. If you are looking to donate fresh, non-refrigerated items, contact individual donation center to ask about specific policies.
With the number of people that suffer with hunger, unused food is a sad waste. However, with the proper channels, you can use a lot of fresh food to help out during the holiday season.Read More