sacramento trust attorneyBy John M. Goralka, J.D.

My dad was an amazing man. While we were growing up, he worked at least six (6) days a week for as long as I can remember. He then worked on the house and the ranch. I can recall waking at 2:00 or 3:00 AM to find him fixing things in my room from time to time. He was a radiologist- a medical doctor who took and read X-Rays. For me, he was just “dad”. He had many other talents including a great sense of humor. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a funny story or joke to tell.

Dad was very skilled in working with wood. He made a lot of the furniture in our home. My first bed was the top bunk in a three-tiered bunk bed. My bed was only a few feet from the ceiling. Later, I graduated to a single bed that my father made complete with a bookshelf and cabinets. I shared that room with my brother Joe who had an identical bed on the other side of the room.

Sacramento Business LawyerMy dad completed some very large projects on his own. He built a 20 plus foot-tall carport complete with a large tool shed on his own. His tool shed was complete with radial saws and a wide range of power tools. The carport was not fancy or elaborate, but large and solidly built with 4’x 4’ beams. I have no idea how he was able to complete that on his own. This would require lifting and balancing large, heavy beams.

In our kitchen, he painted a mural of ancient ruins. No color, but a detailed outline of the ruins. Very unique… I learned later from my grandmother that he had wanted to be an artist.

Some of my favorite memories were stringing sheep and cattle fence (barbwire for cattle). Working the ranch and riding my bicycle ten (10) miles to school got me in shape for sports in high school. The ranch was just shy of 300 acres. The views were spectacular. At the top and side of the hills, the entire valley floor was on display. There was a grove of Eucalyptus trees through the middle of the ranch complete with a beehive. At times, the fog would roll in and you could not see your hand in front of your face. I was an avid reader then and always thought of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Sacramento Trust AttorneyThese were very precious times when I was alone with my dad. No agendas or timetables, just working on the fence. My first beer was with my dad. He never had more than one (1) or two (2) beers and drank Lucky Beer which had puzzles in the cap. The puzzles were a combination of pictures, letters, and short words of two (2) or three (3) letters or less. Very much like the old TV show called Concentration. We would solve the puzzles together.

My dad typically dropped us off for school in the morning. Often, he had five (5) kids attending the same elementary school. He had a sweet tooth and enjoyed getting pastries from the bakery on the way to school. Those were the very best bear claws. Once, when we were close to being late, he wrote us notes saying that he was on time but was late because he had to write five (5) separate notes because the kids were worried about being late.

The years have gone by too fast. I thought of my dad as I struggled to be on time dropping my kids off at school. My own kids are now grown and off on their own. After more than 20 years, I married Ainur who has children of her own.

Best Trust Lawyer in SacramentoCareful estate planning is particularly important for a blended family. How can you be sure that your kids will receive the appropriate share of your estate if you die before your new wife? How do you also provide for your new wife? How do you protect your beneficiaries from a divorce throughout their lives? How does estate tax impact? How do you divide assets without triggering estate tax on the first spouse’s death? See my article on planning for the blended family for more information.

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