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Passing on wealth to heirs requires sound planning


People in California may have seen a recent editorial about people who have had the good fortune to pass on their wealth to future generations, and the surprising backlash many people in the American public seem to have against their heirs. While many people are quick to criticize people who they feel haven't "earned" their wealth, it is obvious that common misconceptions have a lot to do with the reasons the public perception is so negative. After all, the American dream hinges on the ability to create success, and then share that success with loved ones and future generations.

Compensating a trustee for trust administration services

Readers of the blog here in California know that setting up a trust can be an excellent way to preserve and utilize money for a specific purpose, or a specific person. Many estate plans include at least one trust, and they are favored because of the peace of mind and stability they can provide. However, one integral person in the trust can often be overlooked: the trustee.

Nation's fourth wealthiest woman revealed through estate drama

Sacramento readers may not know the name of the fourth-wealthiest woman in the country, but the wealth she has come to possess has certainly had seen its share of controversy in the courtroom as well as the tabloids over the years.

Facebook insiders use trusts to plan ahead for estate taxes

Californians recently witnessed one of the largest initial public offerings of stock in Silicon Valley history when California-based Facebook, Inc. went public. For some, like Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and other insiders, the IPO will only add to their already considerable financial assets. These 20 and 30-year-old millionaires prove that estate planning is not only the concern of the elderly; indeed, minimizing estate taxes and maximizing asset protection are very much on their relatively young minds.

California pet owners can include pets in estate plans

Many California pet lovers may be concerned about what will happen to their beloved pet after they pass away. A good estate plan should ensure that four-legged friends and other companions are cared for. Fortunately, over the years the law has increasingly come to recognize that some people want to provide for pets in their wills and has created mechanisms for them to do so.

Highly detailed estate planning protects an artist's legacy

As previously noted on this blog, Michael Jackson's estate is one example of excellent estate administration that continues to manage the estate's assets and preserve the musician's legacy after his death. The Kinkade Family Trust has already proven essential in protecting the legacy of Thomas Kinkade and his estate's future earnings after the artist's sudden death on April 6 at his Northern California home.

Some California residents may benefit from a testamentary trust

There are many ways a person can pass wealth on to descendants. One of these is the trust, which comes in a wide variety of forms to suit a person's needs. Trusts can be particularly useful if a person has minor children or other young descendants who could benefit from receiving their inheritance once they become older and more financially mature.

Whitney Houston's death raises questions about her estate plan

The death of Whitney Houston this past week in a California hotel was an occasion to mourn the singer's untimely death, and to remember how her soaring mezzo-soprano voice brought joy to the lives of millions. But at the same time many people wondered how much money she had accumulated and who would be the beneficiary of all that wealth.

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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