Will My Roth IRA Heirs Have to Take Annual Distributions?

A Roth IRA is one of the many estate planning tools because of some of the tax advantages that apply. This article summarizes information about how Roth IRA’s can be a powerful investment tool both while you are alive and as a mechanism to transfer assets after you pass on. 

What is a Roth IRA?

  • A Roth IRA is an Individual Retirement Account to which you contribute after-tax dollars. While there are no current-year tax benefits, your contributions and earnings can grow tax-free, and you can withdraw them tax-free and penalty free after age 59½ and once the account has been open for five years. 

Why is a Roth IRA beneficial for heirs?

  • Many are happy to find out that heirs get to inherit your Roth IRA tax-free. This is quite the advantage compared to a traditional IRA or 401(k) where withdrawals made by heirs are taxed. In other words, you get to pass your Roth IRA benefits directly down to your heirs. 

Are there specific benefits for a spouse beneficiary of a Roth IRA?

  • Yes, spouses who inherit a Roth IRA have several advantageous options. 
    • If they are the sole beneficiary, they can be the account owner and avoid required minimum distributions (RMD’s) during their lifetime. 
    • If they are not the sole beneficiary, they can roll over their portion of the assets into an inherited or beneficiary IRA and stretch RMD’s out over their life expectancy. 
    • Roth distributions are tax free if the account has been open for at least five years.

 Will my non-spouse IRA heirs have to take RMD’s?

  • This question was asked and answered on nj.com, and the answer was “A non-spousal beneficiary must begin taking RMDs on the basis of his/her life expectancy by Dec. 31 of the year after the owner’s death.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

There are many estate planning tools such as the Roth IRA to effectuate beneficial growth and tax treatment in life and for the heirs after your death. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience helping clients with estate planning and can help you make a plan that is just right for you and your loved ones. Contact us at 707-451-4502. 

Anne Heche, Another Celebrity Estate Planning Lesson, Dies Without a Will

A recent celebrity death can provide insightful estate planning lessons. Anne Heche, who is often known for starring in the movie “Seven Days Seven Nights” along with Harrison Ford, died without a will. As reported by Fox News, the actress died in August in a car crash, leaving behind two sons, one an adult and one a minor. Homer Lafoon, the 20 year old son, has filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court to be named as administrator to her estate. News reports indicated that the crash resulted in severe anoxic brain injury before receiving medical care as she waited for the opportunity to donate her organs. The family indicated that she was “peacefully taken off life support” on Sunday August 14, 2022, after being declared brain-dead.

Estate Planning Lessons to Be Learned from this Untimely Celebrity Passing

It’s never too early to start working on your estate plan.

  • Anne was just 53 year old and likely assumed she had many years ahead.
  • Since Anne did not have a will, her son, who is only 20, has been asked to be named as administrator of her estate. This responsibility may be burdensome for him at his age. Lafoon has also requested to be named guardian ad litem over his thirteen year old half brother.

Dying without an estate plan can lead to uncertainty.

  • For Anne Heche’s estate, the lack of a will may result in an opportunity for controversy, and it may take extra time to identify an executor. Identify the heirs-at-law can also be challenging.
  • For example, Homer Lafoon, her son, has requested to be named as administrator, but it may be that another relative, such as Heche’s mother, may request to step in.

If you have a minor child, you can request a guardian.  

  • The self-help resources at courts.ca.gov provide detailed information about guardianship.
  • You can name a guardian for your children to guide the court as to your wishes, and if both parents are dead, then the court will consider what is best for your children and ask what they want.
  • If you have an incurable illness, you can ask the court to appoint a join guardian for your child, which will give you the peace of mind to know that when you die, the joint guardian will have full custody of your child without additional hearings.

Consult the Law Office of David Knecht

Celebrity deaths provide a wake-up call for all of us that we never know when our time will come. It’s rarely an easy or convenient time to consider estate planning, but making a priority of planning for the future can lead to a greater peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones.  Contact Law Office of David Knecht at 707-451-4502. We have extensive experience in estate planning and can help you make decisions that are right for your family.

How to Calculate Child Support in a California Divorce

One of the most important questions parents face when considering separation or divorce is how to calculate child support in a California divorce.  The information provided by the California Courts and summarized in this article is a good place to start in informing yourself on the process.  Go to https://www.familieschange.ca.gov/en/parents/how-do-we-calculate-amount-child-support


  • California Child Support Calculator


California law requires courts to adhere to statewide uniform guidelines in setting child support orders. The Payment Estimator applies the statewide uniform guideline calculation to the information that you enter into the blank fields. 




  • Calculate Annual Income.  


The court bases child support on a parent’s “net disposable income.” This means the parent’s income after state and federal taxes and other required deductions. The court may order support based in part on bonuses, commissions, overtime, and other supplemental or non-wage income if the court determines that this income occurs regularly.  Certain income is NOT counted when determining a child support obligation, for example SSI (Supplemental Security Income).  



  •  The Amount of Time.


There is a wide variety of time share arrangements which have consequences for how child support is calculated.  If the children live with one parent most of the time, then the parent who has the children predominantly will typically receive child support.  However, that isn’t always the case  There are situations where the parent who has the children most of the time will still have to pay the other parent support.  An example of this is where one parent has a much larger income than the other parent.



  •  Health Insurance



Medical support is related to child support because Federal and California State Law requires that every child support order include an order for medical support, meaning that the court will order either or both parents to provide health insurance for the child as long as it is available for reasonable cost.  If you do not think you can afford the medical support order, you can file a request to ask the court to modify or terminate the order. 


Consult with the Law Office of David Knecht

For a consult with a knowledgeable and professional attorney about your questions relating to child support or any other family law issue, the attorneys at the Law Office of David Knecht, have extensive experience in family law.  Contact us at 707-451-4502 for more information.  


7 Reasons Why You Need a Vacaville Estate Attorney

Are you considering preparing a legal will soon? As many new people are entering the
workforce, middle-age workers are finding it is time to consider their future. Planning a will is
one of the most important things you can do as you take a proactive approach to future
planning. A good will and estate attorney will have the experience needed to help you draft and
prepare a legal will that gives you and your loved one’s peace of mind for any situation. Here
are 7 reasons why you need a Vacaville estate attorney:

1. Build a technical and specific will
2. Low cost to draft a legal will
3. Legal updates to the will as needed
4. Experienced attorney handling the drafting of the will
5. Prevention of mistakes that could cause problems in the future
6. Ensure assets are protected in distribution
7. Your wishes will be honored

Building a technical and specific will

When it comes to hiring someone to help with your will and estate plan, you need to find
someone with experience. A good attorney will help to draft a plan that you are comfortable
with as it meets your existing lifestyle needs and possible future updates.

Low cost to draft a legal will

Some people will try and say a legal will is expensive, when in fact, it is not. It is wise to work
with an attorney to ensure your legal will is well-documented and accurate. Unlike what you
may have heard, it is not as expensive as most people claim when you hire an attorney for a
legal will. Attorney fees vary, so it is wise to have everything together prior to calling some
Vacaville attorneys.

Legal updates to the will

Throughout your life you will have different changes and updates. It is important to have an
attorney on your side to provide assistance when you have legal updates that need to be done.
Circumstances change, so hire someone who will help!

Experienced attorney

As the law is always changing, it is important to know that you need someone who understands
these changes! An experienced attorney is the best way to ensure your will is accurate and will
be honored per your wishes after your death.

Prevention of mistakes

An attorney will review the will to ensure it is going to hold up and it is accurate. A will can be
written quickly, and people that do them online often make several mistakes and forget things
to do. Everyone has different circumstances and changes, so it pays to make sure you have an
attorney to double check the will and ensure those mistakes do not happen!

Assets are protected in distribution

Another vital reason to hire an attorney is to ensure your assets are protected. We all have the
need to ensure our legal rights are protected and everything is distributed as you planned, not
as the courts tear apart.

Wishes will be honored

When you are planning your will and estate, you deserve to have peace of mind that your legal
rights are protected. A solid living will ensure this will happen if it is drafted in the appropriate manner. Call David Knecht Law Firm in Vacaville to ensure your wishes will be honored!

The Importance of Probate Attorneys and Real Estate

The probate process is time-confusing, stressful, and often overwhelming for many people.
Working with the right probate attorneys can make a world of difference pertaining to your
case. If real estate is involved, it helps to have access to a real estate agent with experience in
estate property listings. The agent will work closely with the attorney to ensure the listing is in
order and the paperwork is accurate and correct. What most people do not realize is how things
are filed when a loved one dies. Who files the death certificate? Does anyone check on liens on
the property? All of these things are normally discussed and reviewed with a good attorney
prior to moving forward with the sale of property. Here are some things to know when you
want to sell property as part of the estate.

All the heirs need to agree

One of the biggest frustrations we run into is families that do not get along and disagree about
the sale of the property. A good attorney will see the situation for what it is and will make sure
all the siblings are informed and on the same page. It is imperative that everyone has their legal
rights protected, even when dealing with delicate situations.

Getting started

If you are all in agreeance of the property being sold, we recommend you start by having a
professional company come out and properly clean the home prior to it being listed. A lot of
families want to sell the homes as-is so they don’t have to deal with the pain of sifting through
the assets and memories left behind in the home. Contact your attorney and ask for help! Our
job is to help make this process easier and we do have connections and people we can
recommend in these times.

Probate attorneys are here to help

Probate can last several years; it depends on the value of the estate and some additional
factors. It is important to have an attorney working with you who understands the importance
of honoring everyone’s wishes as much as possible. A probate attorney has a special role as
they work with the executor of an estate to make sure everything goes off properly. Are the
taxes paid? Are there outstanding debts? Are there concerns with distribution of assets?
David Knecht Law has been proudly serving Vacaville and surrounding communities. Our goal
has always been to help serve the people. We focus on making sure your wills and estate plans
are laid out according to your wishes. Our experts work hard to make sure family members are
able to come to mutual agreements when there is a tense situation about probate. We are here
to help! Contact our office today to discuss your probate needs, 707.451.4502!

Why You Need to Hire a Skilled Vacaville DUI Attorney

One of the most challenging things to face in a courtroom is a DUI charge. Why? In California,
and many other states in the nation, a DUI is a serious charge. Often the individuals face years
in prison and expensive fines. Hiring a Vacaville DUI attorney can assist in reducing the charges,
and decreasing the risk of imprisonment, and more. Dealing with the law is challenging, trust an
expert attorney to take on this case for you! There are multiple things that go into
consideration with a DUI charge:
 Blood-alcohol concentration
 Criminal history
 Whether there was an accident or an injury

Hire an Attorney for a DUI Plea Bargain

An attorney can work out a DUI plea bargain for certain cases. Trials are time-consuming, and
expensive and most attorneys work hard to keep your case from heading to court. A good DUI
attorney will already have experience with the prosecution, so they know if it is possible to
work out a good plea bargain. Prosecutors with weak cases often try to embellish information
to try and induce a guilty plea. A good attorney will be able to read between the lines and know
if they have a good case against you or not.
A plea bargain will normally consist of having a “wet reckless” charge, which is a lesser charge.
This charge acknowledges there was an impairment, but it is a lighter sentence than a DUI, and
does not include jail time. However, your driver’s license will be suspended if you have a BAC
level high than .08 percent. If you are being charged with a second offense, your wet reckless
prior charge can end up being considered a prior DUI offense.

Attorneys Help In Reducing Your Sentence

The courts can work to bargain down a DUI sentence for a guilty plea exchange. If this is a
second or third DUI, there is concern over prison time that could last several months, or
possibly years. The prosecution can work with an attorney to reduce the amount of time
needing to be served in prison in exchange for a guilty plea. When there are drugs and other
things present, the charges could be even higher. Trust an attorney to assist with a case in this
manner as most of them already have the experience dealing with negotiations, but also have
the relationships needed to deal with various prosecutors in the Vacaville area.

Hire a California DUI Attorney

As some people know, the DUI laws in California are different from other states. If you have
been arrested and charged with a DUI in California, it is vital to hire an experienced attorney
who has practiced DUI law here. Failure to have state experience could leave someone
vulnerable to opening the case up to the prosecution, preventing the defendant from receiving
a fair sentence.
A DUI charge is one of the most stressful situations you can find yourself in. It pays to hire
someone you know is capable of handling cases similar to yours. Contact the Law Offices of
David Knecht in Vacaville to work with an experienced, trustworthy DUI attorney.

3 Differences Between Top Notch & Mediocre Family Attorneys

With the number of attorneys in the Vacaville area, how do you know if you are hiring the right one? Here are three key differences that will help you identify a top-notch attorney from a mediocre family attorney.


A big indicator of a good attorney is how much time they spend with their clients. If you struggle to get them on the phone, or even to get a response to an email, they may not have the dedication to you that you desire. A good attorney is focused on spending time with you and focusing on your case. The attorney should have one of their paralegals send you updates on the case so you do stay informed, even if nothing changes.

A top-notch attorney will spend time studying the facts of the case and looking at the case from all angles. Attorneys will also consult with experts and other attorneys to ensure they have identified all problems and possible issues that could arise with your case. Speak to your attorney and find out how many other cases they are currently working so you know how much attention they will provide to you.


Family law is a personal matter, leading to many emotions for clients. You need to have an attorney that understands the sensitive nature of your case and wants to help. A good attorney will know how the decisions they make with you can impact your children and your future. Here are some of the signs that show the signs of a good attorney from a mediocre one:

  • The attorney gives you the confidence to talk candidly.
  • The attorney will listen to you.
  • The attorney makes you feel comfortable with everything that you are facing.
  • The attorney will answer questions you ask.
  • The attorney will be honest about your case including fees, timeframe, and how the process will work.

A good attorney has a heart and they understand how difficult this entire process will be for you. If you do not feel good about the attorney when you meet with them, contact a new attorney to find one that shows empathy for your situation and your case.


A good attorney is understandable and wants to help you through your case. If you ask questions and the attorney cannot give you clear answers, it may be wise to look for a different attorney. Everything you provide to the attorney is in confidence with them. Your attorney will listen and take the information and will not share it with other people. Trust is critical when it comes to family law case and you deserve an attorney that cares about you and will not break your trust.

After you meet with multiple attorneys, go over the pros and cons of the attorneys and determine which one checks all the boxes you need. David Knecht Law in Vacaville is here to help with all your family law needs. Our professional team has extensive family law experience, and our goal is to ensure the best outcome for you and your case. Contact our office to schedule a consultation today.

How to Find the Best Vacaville Family Attorney 

When you deal with a divorce case, it’s hard to know who to trust and has your best interests at heart. No divorce is as simple as a cut and dry method. There are several things to handle like the division of assets, boundaries, custody, etc. A good child custody lawyer can help with this case as they have experience in similar cases. Finding the right one can come down to selecting through several Vacaville family attorneys. Here are a few tips to help you get started. 

Experience With Similar Cases

Family law cases will work with a variety of areas in family law that include custody. There is a difference when you find an attorney who truly cares about their clients, and wants to help them individually versus an attorney who is in it for money. Focus on finding a lawyer who wants to help everyone in your family including your children as they will make decisions that are in their best interest. 


If you are going across state lines, you need an attorney who is in proximity to you and your region. Having a working knowledge of the case’s jurisdiction is important. Another thing to consider is where you live and how close it is for you to get to. 


The personality of the attorney can make a difference in your case as well. You need to be able to find someone you can connect with. The attorney needs to be someone you can trust. If you feel like you cannot tell the attorney about your experiences and things that might help your case, you could end up with an unfair deal in whatever family law situation you are dealing with. You need an attorney that is kind, understanding, level-headed, and has your best interests in mind. 


A good attorney will be prompt in the way they communicate with their clients. A good attorney will make sure they return phone calls from clients. Attorneys will send regular emails and updates to clients so they don’t end up feeling like they are not aware of what is happening with the case. 


One of the important things to consider when working with an attorney is to review their experience. What do their other clients say about them? Read online reviews to learn more about the attorney and how their reputation is in the industry. 

It’s not uncommon for people to have three or four different family law attorneys over time. It can be hard for people to find a person they feel does have their best interests at heart. Working with the right family law attorney doesn’t have to be hard. Contact David Knecht Law today!

3 Secrets to Finding the Perfect DUI Attorney 


One person dies every 48 minutes in America due to drunk driving. Each year, more than 1.28 million people are arrested for DUIs. Unfortunately individuals involved in an DUI car crash have a serious issue they need to face. Hiring the right DUI attorney can assist in ensuring their clients are giving a fair outcome for their trial. Here are 3 secrets that will help you find the perfect DUI attorney. 

Experience and Skillset

The number one thing you want to search for is someone who has plenty of trial experience with DUI cases similar to yours. A DUI conviction can cost upwards of 20K a year! Search for an attorney based on their skills and their overall qualifications. Put together a list of attorneys in your area with the experience in cases similar to yours and start setting up interviews with them. 

Online reviews are helpful to find out what other people think about their experience with the attorney. Read through the good reviews and the bad reviews to know what type of person the attorney is, and how hard they worked for their previous clients. In addition to online reviews, spend some time looking over their website to learn more about the attorneys and the team that will be assisting with your legal case. 

Meet With Attorneys 

When you set up the interviews with multiple DUI attorney’s, you will want to have several different questions set up to discuss with them. A few of the things you need to cover in that initial consultation include:

  • Discuss the facts of your case. Be upfront with what happened so they can assess your situation and come up with a strategy.
  • Bring documentation. Another thing you need to do is bring in the DMV letters, police report, and other documents related to your case. 
  • Discuss the attorney’s experience. During the meeting, you need to ask the attorney about their experience. How many cases have they handled similar to yours, and how many cases have brought a successful outcome?
  • Who will handle your case? Will you work with the attorney you are meeting with, or will they pass you off to another person?
  • Comfort level. How comfortable do you feel with the attorney? If you do not feel like you can talk to them and be up-front with them, consider meeting with another attorney. 

DUI Attorney Fees

When it comes to a DUI, you need to expect you will pay a lot of money for your case and for penalties. The cost for a non-injury, non-property damage DUI can cost $5,000 to $12,000. Some DUI attorneys will charge more based on their experience and expertise in winning difficult DUI cases. 

David Knecht Law in Vacaville has years of experience in criminal law. Our job is to represent your legal rights and provide you with the best outcome. Contact our legal team to set up a consultation and let us help you navigate through this difficult time in your life. 


Should I Stay or Should I Go:  Thinking About Divorce

If you are thinking about getting a divorce, you are not alone.  The decision to pull the trigger can have consequences for your finances, your family, and your freedom to move or make decision.  This article will help walk you through questions to ask an experienced divorce attorney if you are on the fence about whether you should get a divorce at all or if you are deciding when you should get a divorce.

What will be the effect on my time with children?

If you have children, your time and decision-making power for them are likely to be two of your top concerns.  Discuss with your attorney some of the typical parenting plan arrangements so that you can get an idea ahead of the divorce of the options that are best for you.

How will a divorce impact my ability to move out of state?

If you have children, a divorce can impact the ease with which you can move out of state.  Consider your long terms plans for yourself and your children, and if you prefer to settle outside the state you are currently in, then that’s definitely a topic you should discuss with your attorney.

How will divorce impact my standard of living?

Think about the property/assets that you had prior to marriage and those that were acquired during marriage.  Discuss how these will be divided.  Consider timing.  Are you or your spouse eligible for a raise or bonus in the near future.  Is now a good time or would a short wait be more or less advantageous to you?  It’s important to think in advance about the optimal timing.

What are the tax consequences?

Evaluate how taxes will likely play into the mix.  Will keeping or selling property have tax consequences?  How do the retirement accounts play in?  How will claiming the children on taxes factor in?

How adversarial is my spouse likely to be?

Planning ahead includes thinking through your spouse’s reaction to divorce and preparing to manage his or her reaction.  If you can find a fair middle ground with your and your spouse, you will both save on legal fees that come with an adversarial posture.

What would be the consequences of losing at trial?

Be sure to understand all the consequences of a plea and all the consequences of losing at trial so that you can make an informed choice.  Get the whole picture of counseling, probation, and fines.

The choice of whether to call it quits on the marriage or keep trying to work things out is a difficult one with many unknown consequences.  If you can get an idea of what you would be entitled to and how you will be impacted overall, you can make a better decision about the right way and time to end the marriage.