Probate court is a provision set up by each state to assist with succession when a person dies without a will or if they have a last will and testament only. It can really help a person’s family if there was no estate planning in place. However, this can take time and cut into the ultimate amount received due to court fees.
On the other hand, with a little planning, you can bypass probate and get the majority of your assets to your loved ones without the wait and expense. Here are three reasons to take advantage of trusts and other estate provisions that go straight to your beneficiaries.
- They get the money faster – Even if the trustee has instructions on how and when to distribute the money, the only delays would be due to your instructions and not for time spent in court.
- They get more of the money – While you may pay your successor trustee to handle the funds, there is no way to know how much would be used up in court, especially if your loved ones need to hire a lawyer to get your estate.
- No one knows who gets what – Probate court is public record, so everyone knows how much your assets were worth and who they went to. Proper state planning keeps your inheritance private to protect your beneficiaries.
San Diego’s Estate Planning Lawyers
Contact Petrov Law Firm today to get in touch with the area’s top estate planning attorneys. Just call 619.344.0306 to learn more about what we can do for you.Read More
Estate planning can help you to ensure that your family is well taken care of should something happen to you unexpectedly. Your estate plan can also protect your rights. Here are a few tips if you are not sure where to begin.
- Don’t wait – If an accident were to take your life tomorrow or a sudden illness causes you to become incapacitated, the right time to prepare your documents is today.
- Talk with a professional – Hire an experienced estate planning attorney rather than taking chances with online templates that may not even be specific to the state of California’s laws.
- Make sure you include your health wishes – An advance health care directive is a crucial part of an estate plan. You need to select an agent to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself and make your wishes (especially end of life decisions) clearly known in writing.
- Review your documents every year – Even once you have your estate plan, you should be reviewing it each year to be sure that it reflects your current wishes.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
The Petrov Law Firm is helping families from North County to Chula Vista plan for the future. If you want to prepare a new estate plan or if you want to update an existing estate plan, call 619.344.0360 today. Remember that laws regarding inheritance and advance directives vary from state to state, so if you have moved to California with an existing estate plan, now is the time to update it for local regulations.Read More
People say that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. How can you be sure that after your death, your beneficiaries do not have to pay much of your estate in taxes? Fortunately, a large amount is automatically exempt from taxes. If your estate is even bigger, and you don’t mind parting with some of the funds now, you can also make large gifts that are tax exempt. Here are the current federal limits.
- Estate tax exemption – Currently, the estate tax exemption limit is $11.58 million. For most estates, that means the entire sum will be tax-free for your beneficiaries. But what if you have a larger estate and want to share some of the inheritance while you are still alive?
- Annual gift exclusion – You can gift someone $15,000 with the person not having to pay federal income tax on it. This can allow you to dispense quite a large estate over time without tax implications. For example, if you and your spouse each write a check to your child and their spouse, you can actually give $60,000 per year to a couple. In this way, you can get the estate down under the tax exemption limit while you are still alive.
Smart Ways to Pass on an Inheritance in Southern California
San Diego’s estate planning experts are at Petrov Law Firm. To learn more about how to distribute your estate wisely, call 619.344.0360, and speak with one of our attorneys.Read More
A divorce is a major life change. It can occupy much of your time and your thoughts, even if you are the one who initiated the change and feel that it is for the best. At a sensitive time like this, you don’t want to make mistakes regarding your finances, which may be heavily affected by the divorce. One thing to review is your estate plan. Here are two reasons:
- Making changes to your beneficiaries – Your ex was probably the primary beneficiary on your life insurance policy, retirement accounts, POD bank accounts, and the like. You need to change those beneficiaries as soon as possible because not everything goes through probate, and your executor won’t be able to stop your ex from getting those funds if you forget to change the name on the accounts.
- Planning for your children – If you are no longer leaving everything to your ex, then you need to make plans to care for any kids you had together. This is especially true if you plan to remarry. Your next spouse may not feel the need to share your assets with kids from your previous marriage, especially if you have children together.
Family Friendly Estate Planning in San Diego
Petrov Law Firm can help walk you through planning for a traditional family, a blended family, or even for leaving behind charitable contributions. To learn more, contact us today at 619.344.0360. Our estate planning attorneys will be happy to get your plans moving forward.Read More
Probate court can drain valuable resources from your estate and cause your loved ones to have to wait to receive their inheritance. How can you fast track some of the funds that your family will need when you pass away? The type of bank accounts that you use can help. Here are two to consider:
- Joint accounts – This is the best option for couples. You can share the bank account. If something happens to one of you, the other will retain access to the account. The only downside to joint accounts is that anyone else on the account has access to the funds at any time, even while you are still alive, which is why this is not a common account for other relationships besides marriage mates.
- Payable on death (POD) accounts – This option is better when you want someone to inherit the money immediately if something happens to you, but you don’t want them accessing your funds while you are still alive. You name a beneficiary who receives the remaining account funds when you pass away. Just remember that you have to change the beneficiary name immediately if you want someone else to get the money. There will be no way for anyone to contest the beneficiary after you die.
Southern California’s Estate Planning Experts
Petrov Law Firm can help you to have things in order well in advance of any emergency situations or end of life decisions. This can give you and your family peace of mind. Call 619.344.0360 to discuss your options with an experienced estate planning attorney.Read More
The novel coronavirus has a lot of people thinking about the future of their family and estate. The good news is that couples have a lot of great estate planning options available to them in California. Here are a few situations that call for specific types of trusts.
- You have a very large estate – An A/B trust can help to protect your estate when it is large enough to be impacted by the estate tax. Obviously, this is rare, but the option exists for those fortunate enough to be in this category.
- You want to leave everything to the one and only mate you have ever had – A survivor’s trust is perfect if you want to leave your spouse everything, and you have not been previously married to anyone else.
- You have a blended family or a smaller estate – A survivor’s trust with QTIP is good for remarried individuals and those who don’t have as much to leave to their family.
There are also additional options for people who fall into very specific categories, such as the marital disclaimer trust. Hiring an experienced estate planning attorney will help you to understand which estate planning documents are the best for you and your loved ones.
Southern California’s Estate Planning Attorneys
If you are planning for an estate in or near the San Diego area, contact Petrov Law Firm at 619.344.0360. We can help you to customize an estate plan to meet your family’s unique situation.Read More
Trusts can help your estate to bypass probate court. This allows your beneficiaries to receive the full amount you leave to them without having to wait or pay court fees. What are a few types of trusts that you may not know about?
- QPRT – A qualified personal residence trust allows you to transfer ownership of a property that you own to a family member without them having to pay the current value. This protects your assets while you are still alive, and it offers tax benefits for you now.
- IDGT – An intentionally defective grantor trust is the way to pass a family business to a beneficiary. It also offers some protection against creditors for the family. So if you have a business and want to keep business and personal assets separate, this is an important trust to know.
- CRT – A charitable remainder trust is one to know if you want to leave some of your estate to charity. Additionally, your beneficiaries may receive tax benefits if you leave part of your estate to a charity in this way, so it benefits your family while doing a good deed for the community.
Gifting Through Trusts to Protect Your Assets
Petrov Law Firm wants to help you ensure that the maximum amount of your estate goes to your beneficiaries rather than being wasted on court fees, high taxes, and other things that can cut into an inheritance. Call 619.344.0360 to discuss options for working on your estate now.Read More
At the time of the writing of this article, California already has more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus. With nearly 25,000 deaths globally due to this pandemic, you can’t afford to leave the future of your family to chance. Here are two important steps to take regarding your estate plan (or lack thereof) in California.
- Get started today – If you don’t already have an estate plan in place, now is the time to jump into action. Don’t assume you are too young to be affected either. Parents especially need to take care to protect their mate or minor children by means of a competent estate plan.
- Review your existing plan – If you already have an estate plan, now is the time to review it to ensure that your current wishes are stated clearly. Now is not the time to accidentally have an ex as your retirement fund beneficiary or to have an estate plan that never changed when you moved from one state to another (each state has its own laws regarding estate planning). You always want to be certain that your medical wishes are up to date.
Planning Ahead Is Not Alarmist – It’s Smart
We hope that you and your family enjoy your time at home together during this pandemic without incident, but the course of wisdom is to be prepared. If you need to begin or update an estate plan in southern California, Petrov Law Firm can help. Call 619.344.0360 to get in touch with an estate planning attorney today.Read More
If all you have is a last will and testament (or worse – nothing at all), then when you pass on, your estate will have to go through probate court. Of course, probate is there for a reason. It’s not all bad. However, there are some excellent reasons to try and pass as much as possible to your heirs without this provision. Here are a few reasons:
- It can affect how much your beneficiaries receive – Probate court isn’t free. The longer the money stays tied up, the more court costs will consume, leaving less for your loved ones.
- It is a matter of public record – Sadly, we have to worry about scams and thieves. That is the world we live in today. If it is on public record what you left to your family members, it could result in criminals targeting your heirs.
- It can result in delayed receipt of assets – Your beneficiaries may not even receive their inheritance for months or years after you pass away. This is especially true if there is no will or if the will was poorly written, and it ends up contested in court.
Estate Planning Attorneys in San Diego
You can keep much of your estate out of probate court by having your estate planning handled professionally. Call the experienced attorneys of Petrov Law Firm today at 619.344.0360 to learn more. Whether you need to start your estate plan from scratch or update an existing plan, we’re here to help residents of southern California.Read More
Long-term care relates to the medical attention you may require in the final years of your life. While this is something we don’t often think about (mostly because we don’t want to), it can be something that seriously affects the estate that you leave to your family. Here are three reasons to be sure that long-term care is factored into your estate planning.
- You may be more likely to need care than you think – In fact, about 40% of Americans end up in a care facility at the end of their life. 1 in 10 people spends three years or more in a nursing home.
- Long-term care is expensive – Depending on the facility you end up in, long-term care can cost anywhere from $40,000 per year up to well into the six-figure range. For most people, that can go through an estate pretty quickly.
- Insurance doesn’t cover long-term care – Medicare doesn’t cover an expense like this. If you do have coverage for long-term care, you may be paying out just as much in premiums as you eventually would have in care. In order to leave something for your family, you have to find a better way to plan ahead.
Long-Term Care as a Part of Your Estate Planning
If you live in the San Diego area, contact the estate planning attorneys at Petrov Law Firm by calling 619.344.0360 today. We can help you to develop an estate plan that leaves your assets to your family rather than to a long-term care facility.Read More