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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Posts tagged "Estate Planning"

Sherman Hemsley's death spurs will contest

California residents may be interested to know that the court battle over the final wishes of Hollywood personality and beloved actor Sherman Hemsley took a rather bizarre twist as a judge ordered a man claiming to be the actor's brother to undergo a DNA test. Hemsley succumbed to lung cancer in July of this year. Currently, his body remains at a funeral home as the dispute over his will continues.

Court holds Marilyn Monroe estate not owed royalties

Sacramento readers may be interested to learn that earlier this month the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the estate of Marilyn Monroe could neither stop the sale of images of the deceased actress nor collect royalties from sales by the Milton Green Archives. Under California law a person who is a legal resident of the state may be entitled to posthumous publicity rights, including the right to control images and likenesses of the deceased. For the California rich and famous, this is one estate planning consideration that could have repercussions for decades after a person's death.

Before giving assets away to avoid gift tax, visit an appraiser

In addressing their estate plans, some California residents have probably heard about the gift tax exemption, which is scheduled to change dramatically at the beginning of 2013 unless Congress takes legislative action. One of the most important aspects of estate planning is asset protection, and for individuals and couples looking to avoid unnecessary taxation, the gift tax exemption is of critical importance.

Jackson family upset over administration of Michael's estate

It probably comes as no surprise to Californians that the controversy over Michael Jackson's estate remains in the headlines. The latest news comes in the form of a statement by the attorney representing Janet Jackson and other family members, alleging that the executor of Jackson's estate has damaged family relationships and created discord amongst family factions that are currently disagreeing about the handling of the estate. Jackson's last will and testament continues to be at the center of the argument, and questions as to its validity have not, and according to the statement, will not, go away.

Son of Mary and Robert Kennedy Jr. named administrator

The estate administration process involving the late Mary Kennedy's estate has taken a step forward, as the son of Mary and Robert Kennedy Jr. has been appointed as the administrator of the estate. Conor Kennedy, the couple's eldest son, turned 18 in late July and on the same day requested the court to name him as the administrator of his mother's $2.1 million estate.

How to talk to heirs about an inheritance

Californians may be interested by a recent New York Times piece on the predicament of parents and children who have experienced the turmoil of inheriting a large sum of money. While this certainly seems like a very fortunate problem to have, some heirs have claimed that the lack of communication regarding a potential inheritance has left them ill-equipped to handle the responsibility and burdensome expectations that may accompany that money, with the consequences being irresponsible financial management and family discord. Proper estate planning may be the answer, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to familial communication.

California court creates inheritance rights for same-sex partner

The California Court of Appeals has recognized for the first time that an unmarried same-sex partner may have what is known in legal language as expectation of inheritance. That result was reached in the ongoing inheritance case of a late California man and his partner, which may change the landscape of probate law in the state.

Parental legislation could affect estate planning in California

A new bill being considered by the California State Legislature could produce some interesting side effects in the area of wills, trusts and probate administration. The bill, however, is primarily concerned with family law matters and seeks to eliminate the legal mandate that a judge consider no greater than two people to be the legal parents of a child.

Potential 2013 tax increases would affect many in California

Sacramento residents may want to prepare themselves for a tax hike next year. According to Republicans, in 2013 we will see the largest tax increase in U.S. history. From a pure dollars and cents perspective this is true, but when measured as a percentage of gross domestic product and compared to other years, it quickly loses this label. The increases would represent roughly 2.6 percent of GDP.

Include digital assets in estate plans to avoid confusion

California residents are living more and more of their lives online. Many areas of law have evolved in response to the popularity of online activities. But laws governing what happens to a person's online assets--which can include blogs, email accounts and social media pages--in the event of that person's death are still developing. This lack of definite legal standards may cause problems for heirs.

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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