Charitable planning is a wonderful part of estate planning that can allow a person to pass on a legacy of benefit to those in need. However, failing to plan properly for this giving can lead to legal issues for both the charities you intend to help and your family members whom you may intend to leave the bulk of your estate to. Here’s an example of the messy situations that may arise.
Charity Sues Trust Over Use of Funds
An issue arose for a man who executed his estate planning all the way back in 1967. A trust was formed that gave the man’s grandson a $100/month payout for as long as he lived. There was also a stipulation that would allow the trust to provide the grandson with additional funds for special situations like medical bills, accidents, and other cases of “dire need.”
The grandson dipped into the trust for such a case of “dire need” in 2009 when he went through a divorce. The trustee approved more than $160,000 in disbursements. So far everything seemed to be working as intended, but there was one catch.
Several charities were to share what was left in the trust when the grandson eventually died. These charities had already been waiting for 50 years, and one in particular was not happy that $160,000 was going on a divorce, disagreeing with it being a case of need that the trust should pay for. The case has bounced between state and federal courts and was back in a California court as of January 2017. No doubt this was not the way the man who left behind the estate wanted things to go, with more and more of the trust’s money ending up going to lawyers and court fees.
Protect Your Trust with Good Estate Planning
By planning one’s estate carefully, it is possible to provide for descendants and also for charities to benefit fully from assets without a legal battle. Petrov Law Firm specializes in estate planning, and our attorneys can help you to plan effectively for various situations that may arise in the future. Call 619-344-0360 to get started.Read More
Some people take the extra time and effort to plan their own funeral and make it a part of estate planning. However, if you do not take this advanced step to outline the way you want your funeral to take place (and many people don’t), it raises the question: Who will plan the funeral?
Can Someone You Disinherit Plan Your Funeral?
You may be surprised to find that answer is yes. Let’s say you pass away and decide not to leave any money or assets to your children. It all goes to your favorite nephew. Out of the $100,000 you leave him, he decides to spend $15,000 of funeral arrangements at a nearby funeral home.
However, the disinherited children step in and decide to plan a $50,000 funeral at a location more convenient for them. Legally they can do that in California as closer relatives. Now half of our favorite nephew’s inheritance goes toward a funeral you didn’t want, that was planned by kids you had a falling out with.
Suddenly it becomes clear why planning a funeral ahead of time is so important, especially if you have close relatives you don’t want to have involved in the planning.
Planning Your Funeral in California
California residents can take control of funeral arrangements by making it part of the estate planning process. This can help a grieving spouse or children by making decisions for them in advance. It can also protect the assets left to another relative by overriding decisions that would otherwise have fallen on a closer relative according to state law.
If you have not yet made arrangements for your future funeral, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can be of assistance to you. Call 619-344-0360 and make an appointment to discuss your estate planning needs.Read More
If you own your own business, one question you may have is what will happen to your business after you pass away. For some, a company serves as a real legacy, even if it is a small family owned business, so you want to be certain that succession will occur in accord with your wishes, especially if something were to befall you suddenly. Here are a few things to know based on the type of business you run.
If You Are a Sole Proprietor
If a person owns a business alone and has not incorporated, there is no legal entity that exists apart from the owner. That means that when the owner passes away, the business goes too. It may be possible for assets of the business to be sold and the profits to be distributed to heirs. However, if you want to leave the company to a successor, you will have to draft paperwork in advance.
The Importance of a Partnership Agreement
If you own a business as a part of a partnership, the original partnership agreement should outline what happens if one partner dies. Thus, this may already be taken care of. However, a partnership agreement is legally required, so a person may not have entered into one, especially if the partner is a relative. Drafting an agreement and deciding what happens if one partner passes before the other is a smart idea.
What If the Business Is an LLC or a Corporation
LLCs and corporations have other laws that dictate what will happen if one shareholder or member dies. Therefore, it is important to consult with an estate planning lawyer to determine what happens with your portion of the business.
Estate Planning Attorneys to Help Protect Your Legacy
The estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm would be happy to help you protect your legacy for future generations. Just call 619-344-0360 today to get started.Read More
You probably realize that accidents happen and life can be cut short suddenly, making estate planning important. So why do surveys show that less than half of Americans even have a will let alone a trust? Here are the top 3 reasons that people put off estate planning.
#1: “I’m Not Wealthy.”
Many people think estate planning is just for those with millions of dollars to pass on to heirs. However, even if you only have a few assets to leave behind, if you want those assets to avoid probate and go directly to your family, you need to start thinking about estate planning now.
#2: “I Don’t Like Thinking About Dying.”
No one does, but this is for your family. You just need to sit down with your loved ones, decide who gets what, and then spend a little time with an estate planning lawyer to get everything on paper and signed. Then you never have to think about it again until it actually happens.
#3: “It’s Too Time Consuming.”
Sometimes procrastination can turn a small chore into a giant that we have to slay. Estate planning doesn’t have to take a long time. The right attorney can help you to take care of matters easily. Then you can rest assured that your family will be well taken care of should something happen to you.
The Top San Diego Estate Planning Attorneys
If you are looking for the top estate planning attorneys in San Diego, give Petrov Law Firm a call at 619-344-0360. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys can help walk you through the process, so you can see how easy it is to leave whatever assets you may have to the right people without having to spend too much time thinking about it.Read More
Trust administration refers to the management of a trust by a trustee who has been appointed to distribute the property or funds. The trustor provides the trustee with instructions that are to be carried out. The trustee then applies these wishes in accord with state laws and in the best interest of the beneficiaries. How does California state law affect how trustees carry out this responsibility?
California Laws on Trust Administration
California law dictates how trustees handle their responsibilities in a number of ways including:
- Guidelines that keep a trustee from taking action that does not benefit the heirs or trust
- Requirements to perform certain duties in connection with the trust
- A designated line of succession in case a trustee dies at the same time as or before the trustor or is otherwise unable to carry out responsibilities
The Responsibility Placed on a Trustee in California Trustees are expected to comply with the instructions outlined in the trust as well as with all applicable state and federal regulations. They are expected to handle the estate in a manner that is financially responsible, preserving it for the beneficiaries. The trustee may be in charge of financial records, debts, and taxes. Beneficiaries can request financial statements from trustees to ensure things are being handled properly.
Trusts and Other Estate Planning in San Diego, California
If you are setting up a trust or doing any other kind of estate planning in California, the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm can provide you with the assistance you need to execute all of the paperwork properly. This will help to ensure that beneficiaries get what they deserve and that your wishes are carried out properly. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.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
This is a commonly asked question when it comes to estate planning. The short answer, if you have executed a will, is yes. In the state of California, the person assigned to handle your affairs when you die is your executor.
What Is the Job of the Executor?
If you die with only a will, then your estate will go through probate. At that time, your executor will be in charge of accounting for all of your assets and distributing them to your heirs as declared in the will. The will gets filed with the probate court. The executor is also in charge of paying off debts or creditors, so these individuals need to be informed of the death. The executor is also in charge of paying the taxes due on the estate and will appear in court on behalf of the estate as necessary.
Avoiding Probate with a Living Trust
A living trust or revocable trust is a great way to avoid probate and the need for an executor. This is a common practice in California, but it can still be confusing to know which option is best for you and how to execute it properly. That’s what the Petrov Law Firm is here for.
Our estate planning attorneys know how to maximize the benefits for your heirs when you are no longer here to take care of them yourself. Call 619-344-0360 to set up a consultation with one of our estate planners today.Read More
You probably plan for a lot of things, even if you don’t want them to happen. You wear a seatbelt and carry car insurance to plan ahead in case of an accident, even though you hope one never happens. You purchase a 100,000-mile warranty on a car, even though you hope the transmission lasts much longer than that. What are we getting at?
While no one wants to think about how quickly life can end, having an estate plan is a vital part of being prepared so that your loved ones are well taken care of if something happens to you in 2017. Here are a few basic things about estate planning that you may want to be aware of.
- How do I set up a trust? – It is as simple as a little paperwork, and you won’t have to worry about your beneficiary dealing with probate.
- Who keeps the documents? – The originals go with you, so be sure to keep them in a safe place.
- What is involved in estate planning? – An estate plan includes everything from living trusts to an advanced healthcare directive.
- What is the estate tax? – Estate tax affects estates that are over $5.49 million in value. However, we may be able to help you minimize taxes on amounts that exceed the tax threshold.
A New Year, A New Estate Plan
If you do not year have an estate plan, or if you need to make changes to your present plan, contact Petrov Law Firm. Our estate planning attorneys are ready to help you plan ahead for the benefit of your family. Call 619-344-0360 to begin today.Read More
When preparing your estate for future heirs, one concern you may have is taxes that may apply and reduce the benefits to your family. As of now, your estate would have to exceed $5 million in order to be subject to taxes. Republicans strongly oppose the estate tax altogether, so it is possible that recent elections may lead to the elimination of the estate tax. However, rather than relying on that to occur, it’s a good idea to prepare your estate properly for your loved ones.
Disclaimer Trusts Help Avoid Estate Tax
One way around being taxed if an estate is over the $5.45 million mark is a disclaimer trust. Everything beyond the $5.45 million tax-free amount can be disclaimed as a gift and put directly into another trust. Therefore, the direct heir (usually a surviving spouse) receives $5.45 million in assets without paying taxes, and the rest goes into a further trust for future heirs to enjoy without taxes being removed. It provides a healthy sum for a surviving mate and ensures that additional funds that will go to children who can receive regular payouts from the disclaimer trust if this provision is made in advance.
Get Help to Learn How Estate Taxes Work
The Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help you develop an estate plan that ensures your money and assets are left to the people you love rather than being picked apart for government use. Call 619-344-0360 to get started today.Read More
Advanced medical directives help maintain a person’s right to self-determine and to make medical decisions in advance while in the proper frame of mind so that health decisions can be carried out in accordance with his or her wishes if unconscious or no longer in a proper state of mind to make such decisions. One type of medical directive is a psychiatric care directive.Who can benefit most from this type of legal document?
Who Benefits from a Psychiatric Care Directive?
First of all, it is important to note that one does not to be suffering from any form of mental illness to have this type of directive. The document is in place to determine a person’s desires should he or she ever suffer from a mental disorder in the future. It can outline things such as desired forms of treatment as well as name persons who can make healthcare decisions on his or her behalf should the need arise.
If an individual suffers from a mental disorder, it is important for the person to be in the right frame of mind when the document is executed in order for it to be legal. If a person is deemed mentally incapacitated at the time the document is executed, it may be considered void.
Legal Advice Regarding Advanced Medical Directives
If you intend to execute any type of advanced medical directive, the estate planning attorneys at the Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help. This will ensure that the documents are executed properly, and your wishes will be upheld during a medical emergency whether psychiatric or otherwise.