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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Posts tagged "estate plan"

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.

Couples without kids still have major estate planning decisions


Residents in California may have read an interesting editorial article in the Wall Street Journal recently, dealing with the questions that many couples without children face when they're considering their estate plan. Without children, and the possibility of children in the future, some couples might get the false sense of security that their estate plan isn't as urgent, but having an estate plan is just as essential for people with no kids as it is for people with 10 kids.

Basic things to think about when setting up an estate plan


People in California who want to be able to leave a lasting legacy after their death need to have an estate plan. Whether a person has a substantial estate or only a few financial resources, having an estate plan, including a will, trusts, and other necessary legal documents, is the only way that people can ensure their assets are distributed, and their wishes are honored, after their passing. Whether it's setting up an education trust fund for a grandchild or leaving a piece of real estate to a favorite charity, everyone needs an estate plan.

Talking about inheritance still proves difficult


People in California may have seen a recent editorial article in the New York Times about the state of familial relationships and the difficulty of starting conversations about estate planning. Talking about anything related to death can be difficult and uncomfortable, but when it comes to financial planning for families and future heirs, not having the conversation can create a much more uncomfortable, even dangerous, situation down the road.

Actor Hoffman excluded his children from his will


People in California probably remember revered actor Philip Seymour Hoffman for his roles in many of the most acclaimed Hollywood movies of the last decade. Hoffman, who died unexpectedly of a drug overdose in February, 2014, left behind a substantial estate, but the lack of direction for the distribution of this fortune was a matter of concern for friends, family members and other professionals in the field who couldn't fathom how he could leave $35 million unaccounted for.

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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