People in California choose to live in the Golden State for many personal and practical reasons. While the quality of life for many here is indeed quite high, Californians pay dearly for these benefits when it comes to taxes. Across the 50 states in the U.S., California has the distinction of having the highest gasoline tax, highest sales tax and highest income tax for high earners. In addition to those staggering figures, California has the nation's highest energy costs, and housing in California is 2.7 times more expensive than in Texas, which can put an even bigger dent into residents' bottom lines at the end of the day.
Many people in California have concerns about wills, estates and trusts but often feel they are too busy to do anything about it. After all, most people don't reach a level of financial success and responsibility by spending too much idle time. It is also common for people, to make another serious mistake when it comes to estate planning: They don't spend enough time discussing their estate plan with their heirs and loved ones.
People in California may have heard an interesting and amusing story about a woman who discovered a treasure trove of $100 bills in the pockets of the clothing of an 85-year-old woman who had recently died. The woman found some $30,000 in currency in the clothing, which had been given to her by family members of the deceased.
People in California and readers of the blog know that there are a number of tools available to estate planners looking to maximize their assets for the good of their heirs or favorite charities. However, what many people do not realize is that state laws can have serious estate planning implications, especially when state tax agencies come to exact their pound of flesh.