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A trust can be an important part of a California estate plan


A trust is an extremely versatile tool for estate planning in California. Last week's post discussed some of the advantages of the living or inter vivos trust. There are other types of trusts, however, each having their own advantages and ability to be tailored to meet a client's specific needs.

How does an inter vivos trust benefit the trustor?


When Sacramento residents are organizing financial assets, a concern that often arises is how the property will be allocated and whether a trust is a sound strategy. This is important for both the trustor and the beneficiary or beneficiaries. One tactic that is often used is an inter vivos trust, also known as a living trust. Before considering this option, it is imperative to have a grasp on what it entails.

Robin Williams estate fight continues in California court


It has been a year since the death of comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide in his Northern California home on August 11, 2014. Sadly, his widow and his children from previous marriages remain entangled in a bitter dispute over his estate. According to an attorney for the children, Williams' trustees are distressed by the fact that Williams sought to avoid just this kind of dispute when he prepared his estate plan.

Why create a trust while living in Sacramento?


Sacramento is the perfect city to settle down, start a family, open a business or retire. In the midst of all these crazy life decisions, it would be unwise to forget about estate planning tools at your disposal, such as wills or trusts. Once settled in a city like Sacramento, it is likely the perfect time to begin estate planning to address the what ifs. Here is why becoming the trustor of your estate plan is not such a bad idea.

California court finds trustee used undue influence over trustor


When a California woman died last year at age 91, her caretaker was left in control of her assets. The caretaker, now 63, met the woman in 2002 when she was recovering from surgery in an Orange County care center. When she left the facility and went home in 2003, the caretaker continued to visit and provide care for her.

Advantages of a California living trust


The living trust has become a popular estate planning vehicle for many California residents. A trust is a legal arrangement in which property is transferred to a trustee, who manages the property for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries in the trust document.

What are the advantages of a special needs trust in California?


The basic concept of a trust is very versatile and can be adapted to accomplish a number of goals. One of the most useful forms of trust for California residents is the special needs trust, which is designed to provide for the supplemental needs of a disabled person while maintaining their eligibility for needs-based government assistance programs.

Multi-generational estate plans present interesting challenges


People in California often want to plan for their own financial future as well as those of their living heirs, but those with significant assets may have an interest in thinking even further into the future. California residents who want to share their wealth with future generations of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even beyond will want to take the right approach to estate planning, possibly using various trusts to provide a wealth of options and possibilities for any future contingency.

Dean Smith uses trust to his heirs' advantage


College basketball fans in California may have heard about the passing of legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith earlier this year. His legacy as one of college basketball's greatest coaches was cemented, but after his death, tales of his generosity also began making national headlines.

The basics of trust administration aren't always so basic


People with substantial estates want to ensure that their money is going to the people and causes they love and support after they die. Most people want assurance that their money isn't going to disappear into the coffers of an overreaching government when they die, but unfortunately even a minor mistake in a person's estate planning documents can send a case to probate, an expensive and often inefficient system that determines how a person's assets will be distributed.

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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