Our blog includes posts about a wide range of estate planning topics, including trust-based estate plans, estate planning when you have a disabled adult child, planning as part of a blended family, and planning for charitable giving. To learn more, contact our office to discuss how we can help you create an estate plan that best fits your needs.

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  • In the News: How to Protect Inherited Retirement Assets John Goralka Talks with ThinkAdvisor on Protecting Inherited Retirement Assets When planning for retirement, an individual may face the dilemma of deciding what to do if they have leftover retirement assets when they die. Many designate a beneficiary, like a child or a grandchild, to inherit the retirement account. During...
  • The Benefits of a Q-Tip Trust Is a Q-Tip Trust Right For Your Situation? Depending on your situation, you may wish to include the odd-sounding "Q-tip trust" in your estate plan. The name derives from a special estate tax break for "qualified terminable interest property." An Extra Source of Protection for Your Children Q-Tip trusts are...
  • Co-Trustees or Co-Personal Reps: A Good Idea? Or Recipe for Disaster? When drafting a trust or a will, you need to decide who'll be the trustee, or personal representative handling your estate when you die. Individuals who serve in these roles are fiduciaries with a duty to properly administer your estate. When selecting a trustee or personal representative, many people gravitate...
  • 20 FAQs about Required Minimum Distributions The rules for required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be bewildering, frustrating and potentially expensive to retirement savers and their beneficiaries. Avoid the Year-End Crush Taxpayers subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) have until December to calculate and schedule RMDs from qualified plans and IRAs. It's not unusual for people to...
  • When Should You Select a Professional Trustee? One of the most vital decisions to ensure preserved legacy and proper estate execution is electing the right professional or family trustee for investing and properly distributing your estate. Desirable characteristics of a trustee include being well-organized, well-rounded, and functionally capable of administrating your trust as provided by?the document, and...
  • Medi-Cal Protection Planning: Asset Protection for Seniors When a person enters a nursing home or skilled nursing facility and cannot pay, then Medi-Cal is usually the source of funds for payment. Medi-Cal is California's version of Medicaid. Medi-Cal is essentially a form of public health insurance which provides needed health care services for qualifying individuals. To qualify,...
  • All Living Trusts Are Not the Same All Living Trusts Are Not The Same! People generally understand that a living trust is the best estate planning vehicle for most people. However, not all living trusts are the same. In this short video John Goralka will provide insight on the complexity that goes into properly creating a living...
  • What Do You Know About POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)? POLST is a physician order (must be signed by a doctor) that helps give seriously ill patients more control over their end-of life care. Produced on a distinctive bright pink form and singed by both the doctor and the patient, POLST specifies the types of medical treatment that a patient...
  • Dynasty Trust Provides a Bridge to Keep on Giving With a properly executed estate plan, your wealth can be enjoyed by your children and even their children. But did you know that by using a dynasty trust, you can extend the estate tax saving benefits for several generations, and perhaps indefinitely? A dynasty trust can build a bridge that...
  • Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families Blended families are continuously becoming more common in the United States. This creates special considerations that must be taken into account during estate planning because not planning properly for blended families is a good way to ensure that there will be family feuds over an estate. One of the more...
  • 11 Potential Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning Sometimes people attempt to make an estate plan without consulting legal and financial professionals. Mostly this is because they may have a general understanding of estate planning and believe they can do it themselves without paying for professional services. This may be valid to a point, but it often fails...
  • Estate Planning to Minimize Federal Income Taxes The traditional estate planning approach, aimed at reducing estate tax values, is less relevant for the vast majority of individuals today than it was in the past. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) provides relatively generous estate tax rates, limits and rules for estates. Older estate plans should...