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.
People in California who have questions about estate planning issues may want to start with the basics. While every person should have a will as well as a health care directive in place, some people may also benefit from setting up a living trust.
California is one of a handful of states across the country that recognize the rights of same-sex couples, but for people who are in domestic partnerships in California, the fact is that they still face some unique challenges when it comes to transferring assets, protecting heirs and ensuring that their estate plans give them the protections that they seek. Michael Sawamura, an estate planning attorney in Sacramento and Northern California, understands these challenges and is committed to helping clients in domestic partnerships achieve the results they desire.
People in California know that a will is probably the single most important estate planning document that every person should have. That being said, there are certain kinds of property that a will simply cannot cover for various reasons. For that reason it's important to know the limitations of a will, and what other supplemental estate documents a person may need to work with their attorney to draw up or amend.
People in California know that everyone needs a will. It's an important document that spells out what is to become of a person's assets after they die, and in many ways is a person's only means of communication with friends and family members after death. For that reason, a lot of time and effort can go into the will decision-making process, but unfortunately not enough people spend enough time making sure that the will itself is correctly written and legally valid. People who try to write a will on their own may end up making some serious mistakes which could in some cases nullify the will entirely, or lead to costly and avoidable legal challenges as to the validity of the will or its execution.
By this time of the year, most Sacramento residents will have received all the forms and paperwork necessary to file their income taxes for 2013. Some may find windfall refunds awaiting them; others will be less lucky and end up owing money to the state of California and to Uncle Sam. But while the subject of taxes is fresh in the minds of local residents, it is worth noting that there are options available for those wondering how to reduce federal taxes on their estates.
People in California may have seen a recent news article about a new variation on the old theme of family members behaving badly when it comes to fighting each other for a share of a wealthy benefactor's inheritance. The sad fact is that money, combined with grief at the loss of a loved one, can lead to some serious family in-fighting when the terms of the will are not crystal clear on how to distribute the deceased's assets.
People in California know how important it is to have a will. Not only does a person's will provide him or her with the ability to express final earthy sentiments and provide comfort and closure to loved ones, it has powerful legal and financial implications that will impact the world long after the person is gone. But on the other hand, dying or becoming incapacitated without a will can be a legal and practical nightmare, as the disposition of a person's personal property and assets is essentially left to up to the court system, which will blindly and systematically dictate who receives what without any consideration for what the deceased would have wanted.
People in California and all over the United States mourned the death of rock-and-roll visionary Lou Reed, who died last month after a hard-fought bout with liver disease. Reed, who was best known as the front man for the legendary art-rock outfit The Velvet Underground, as well as his solo career, died peacefully and with his affairs settled.