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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Posts tagged "estate planning"

Estate planning essential for single parents in California

One of the primary goals of an estate plan is to take care of your family in the event of your death. It is not often pleasant to reflect on those circumstances, but it is a reality that all of us will necessarily face at one time. The best course of action, therefore, is to address potential problems and solve them using the legal tools available.

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.

Consider the estate of affairs in your succession plan, part 2

Last week we discussed the importance of being proactive in developing a California estate plan to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of a sudden illness or accident. But that is merely the first step in the process. Executing a will and then placing it in a safety deposit box to accumulate dust is not a strong estate plan.

Soul singer Etta James dies in California hospital

Legendary singer Etta James passed away on January 20, 2012, as she succumbed to complications due to leukemia. The world renowned singer--famous for songs such as "At Last" and "I'd Rather go Blind"--died at a Riverside, California hospital with her husband and two sons at her side.

Consider the estate of affairs in your succession plan, part 1

Some very large estates have been divided in California courts. But sound estate planning is not just for Hollywood millionaires, titans of industry, and masters of the universe. Every person needs to lay out a detailed plan, so that when the time comes to dispose of one's property, the process can be as free from strife and discord as possible. Most importantly, a strong estate plan will most fully effectuate the intent of the person who created it.

Too young to create a trust? Think again

Sacramento's young professionals may not think they are old enough or rich enough for estate planning, but that mistake could lead to years of heartache and strain for their relatives should an accident happen. For those young people who have taken the initiative to speak with an estate planning lawyer, however, it is most likely they have only created a will. Instead of just making a will, there are other options, including trusts, that may make more sense.

Michael Jackson still makes money, 18 months after his death

The death of Michael Jackson may have been a huge loss to the music world, but not even death could stop him, or his estate, from making money. Through clever estate administration, Jackson and his lawyers were able to secure a solid financial future for Jackson's mother and children. Now, approximately 18 months after his death, the King of Pop is continuing to provide for his family.

Trust administration for California family winery ends up in court

Proper estate planning is very important for California families, as even when a trust is set up while an individual is still alive, legal matters can still arise. The heirs to a California winery are learning this after winding up in court over matters related to trust administration of the family winery. The family has settled the legal dispute, but there may be emotional scars left on the family for some time.The matter involves the Foppiano wine family from Healdsburg. The winery was family-founded and has been in operation since 1896. The 101-year-old father passed control of the winery to his son in 2005, and named both children as co-trustees in 2009.

Man intentionally wills property, money to government

Most people go through the estate planning process to ensure that when they die, as much of their estate as possible escapes the clutches of Uncle Sam. However, in a case that California readers may find interesting, one Florida man chose to do the exact opposite. That is, he intentionally left his historic house, along with $1 million, to the federal government through his will.The man, who died in December 2010 at the age of 87, had lived in his Coral Gables home for almost his entire life. The home was reportedly worth more than $1 million, and it sold for $1.175 million in a recent auction. A news report states the contents of the home will also be auctioned off by the government in January.

Estate taxes may rise in 2013

One of the concerns that California residents have when they do estate planning is the effects of federal taxes on their estate. At the moment, estate taxes have an exemption amount of $5 million with a top marginal rate of 35 percent, but that exemption is set to expire in 2013. If no action is taken by Congress, then the exemption will fall to $1 million and the top marginal rate will rise to 55 percent. So readers of this blog may be particularly interested in a piece of legislation by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington.The bill, called the Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2011, was recently introduced a week before Thanksgiving. If passed, the bill would allow the top marginal tax rate to rise to 55 percent, as it would under current law. However, the bill also proposes that the current exemption amount be allowed to expire, and that the $1 million exemption be indexed for inflation starting in 2000. That would mean the exemption amount would fall from the current $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples to $1.31 million for individuals and $2.61 million for couples.

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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