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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Estate Planning Archives

Taxes on beneficiaries could be very costly


Residents in California who are planning for the well-being of their future generations and heirs probably have a lot of common goals. For one, they want their heirs to be able to enjoy their inherited assets, whether it be a taste of the good life or a little extra something to help them make their ends meet or send their kids to college. Moreover, they probably want to avoid punitive taxes on the assets and property they plan to leave for their heirs and beneficiaries.

Estate planning a solid complement to retirement planning


People have probably heard it from the time they earn their first paycheck, "You need to start saving for retirement!" There is wisdom in these words, but unfortunately, there are many other facts of life that make this advice difficult to follow at times. Residents of Sacramento have student loans to pay off, rent to pay, and anything they actually can save for is probably for something short-term, such as a house, vacation or a new car.

Planning for long-term care is important for seniors


As Californians age and start to consider retirement planning and estate planning issues, they may want to think about their own potential need for long-term care. It may not be a pleasant thought for people to confront their own human frailty, but when it comes to ensuring that you are prepared for any health issue, long-term health insurance may be an essential that should not be overlooked.

How often do I need to think about my life insurance policy?


Many people in California have some sort of life insurance policy. Life insurance is a tried-and-true method of providing some level of financial support for surviving loved ones after a person's death; when everything goes according to plan, life insurance can be a valuable part of a person's overall estate plan. But just like the other components of an estate plan, there is a risk to putting things on autopilot when it comes to your life insurance policy.

Everyone needs estate planning of some kind


When it comes to planning for end-of-life matters and determining where to leave one's assets after death, a lot of people have the same question, "Do I need professional estate planning?" Chances are, they do. Regardless of a person's assets and the complexity of their financial situation, may folks can benefit from professional estate planning services from an experienced California estate planning attorney.

Public estate planning resources may provide basic information


People in Northern California who have questions about estate planning may not initially know where to turn. Most people understand that it is a very important task, but busy people also know how easy it can be to put it off. The problem with putting it off is that nobody can see the future, and those who die or become incapacitated without a legally sound estate plan in place may leave their family and close friends in a very difficult position.

Why is it important to clearly establish a domicile?


As Joan Rivers' passing last year illustrated, the proof of a person's domicile can have tremendous ramifications on a person's estate, in particular the amount of state estate tax a person may be liable for. California, which has not had an estate tax since 2005, would be a much more preferable state of domicile in Joan Rivers' case, as opposed to New York, where estate taxes can be upwards of 10 percent of the entire estate. Since Rivers spent time in both California and New York, the question of her true domicile is still up in the air, and it will be interesting to see how the court finds in this high profile case.

Joan Rivers' state of domicile has big impact on tax burden


Comedy and entertainment pioneer Joan Rivers left a legacy of laughter and success to her family, as evidenced by the $150 million estate she left behind to family and loved ones. What nobody is laughing about, however, is the fact that an apparent ambiguity in her estate planning documents could end up costing her estate millions in state estate taxes, depending on the outcome of the case.

Holidays are a great opportunity to discuss estate plans


Every December, people in California and across the U.S. prepare to gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. While most people are focused on catching up with one another and enjoying their time together, it is also a great opportunity to have important discussions with loved ones. People with estate planning issues may want to consider taking some time this holiday season to address their estate plan issues with potential heirs and family members. With the right approach, the holidays can be the perfect time to address this delicate, but important, subject.

Do I need a lawyer to write a will?


As Californians get older and plan for the next phase of their lives, they have lots of things to consider. Not the least of these worries is planning and providing for spouses, children and even grandchildren. Not surprisingly, this gives rise to a whole other list of concerns, including retirement planning, assisted living planning, end of life decisions, asset protection and a host of other financial decisions that must be addressed.

My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.

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