John M. Goralka

Top rated Tax attorney in Sacramento, California

The Goralka Law Firm
John M. Goralka
The Goralka Law Firm

Practice Areas: Tax, Estate Planning & Probate, Business & Corporate; view more

Licensed in California since: 1988

Education: University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2023

The Goralka Law Firm

4470 Duckhorn Drive
Sacramento, CA 95834 Visit website


John M. Goralka, the founder and lead attorney of The Goralka Law Firm assists business owners, real estate owners and successful families to achieve their enlightened dreams by better protecting their assets, minimizing income and estate tax and resolving messes and transitions to preserve, protect and enhance their legacy.

John dedicates his time to helping individuals and families navigate the complexities and legal aspects of business income tax and estate planning. He has 30+ years of experience and deep knowledge in the areas of business tax planning, tax litigation, asset protection planning and implementation, business and corporate law, shareholder and business buy/sell agreements for estate planning and business continuation, sales of business and real property, estate planning, trusts, probate and trust administration. 

John is professionally licensed to practice law in the State of California and is one of few California attorneys certified as a Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in both Taxation and Estate Planning, Trust and Probate. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, Sacramento and then went on to attend the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he obtained both his Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) and his Juris Doctor (J.D.). As a member of the State Bar of California and the Sacramento County Bar Association, John is also actively involved with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Sacramento Estate Planning Council’s Board of Directors.

In addition to be being named a Super Lawyer in estate planning and probate, tax and business law every year since 2016, John's high ethical standards and long list of successful results earned him the highest peer rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.  Martindale-Hubbell also awarded John its Distinguished Client Service Award yearly since 2014. He is recognized in Sacramento Magazine's "Top Lawyer" list for business and corporate law in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

John is a Blue Star Wealth Professional and approved educator for the California Department of Insurance and the California Certified Financial Planner Board, is recognized as a top attorney in the United States by US News and World Reports for Taxation and Estate Planning and as a top taxation attorney in the United States by Premier Tax Planners. Since 2020, John has been recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the best in the country in the area of tax law and trusts and estates, and in 2022, because of his expertise and excellent reputation in the legal community, earned Tier 1 status in tax law. 

Over the course of his practice, John has represented many clients in cases with varying degrees of complexity and challenges, & because of his care and dedication to the needs of his clients, he now has many families that he's represented for over 20 years. John represents multiple generations including grandparents, children, and then grandchildren from the same family. He also helps administer their estates and businesses and continues to assist their future generations for years to come. 

As an estate planning, asset protection, tax, and business attorney, John's goal is to help his clients to make a transformative change in their lives for the better. By transformative, he means making a substantial improvement that will benefit the client family for generations into the future. At his firm, John Goralka seeks to identify and apply uncommon knowledge and unique solutions to the challenges, risks, and opportunities faced by his clients.

 * AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Tax: Business, Estate Planning & Probate, Business/Corporate, Elder Law, Real Estate: Consumer

Focus areas

Business Formation and Planning, Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Living Wills, Probate & Estate Administration, Tax Law, Trusts, Wills

  • 30% Tax: Business
  • 30% Estate Planning & Probate
  • 20% Business/Corporate
  • 10% Elder Law
  • 10% Real Estate: Consumer

First Admitted: 1988, California

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Author, California Tax Lawyer, "Can the Service Partner Finally Go Back To Work?," 1992
  • Co-Author, Family Limited Partnerships in Estate Planning and Asset Protection, "Maximize the Use of Family Limited Partnerships in Estate Planning" and "Sort Through the Complex Rules Regarding the taxation of Family Limited Partnerships," 2008
  • Co-Author, Estate Planning Basics, "Estate and Gift Taxes" and "Charitable Planning," 2008
  • Co-Author, Fundamental Probate Procedures and Practices, "Inventory & Appraisal," 2008
  • Co-Author, Estate and Gift Taxes, "Estate, Gift and GST Taxes," 2008
  • Co-Author, Estate Planning Basics, "Basic Taxes You Need to be Aware Of," 2008
  • Co-Author, The Probate Process for California Paralegals: From Start to Finish, 2003 - 2004
  • Co-Author, A Practical Guide to Estate Administration in California, 1992
  • Prentice-Hall Outstanding Tax Student Award
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer for Business and Corporate Law, 2016
  • Class Rank – 4th, McGeorge School of Law
  • 10.0 Rating with
  • Northern California Super Lawyer for Estate Planning and Probate, Tax, and Business Law, 2016 
  • American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts and Business Planning
  • Traynor Society Award for Academic Achievement
  • Corpus Juris Secundum Award For Making the Most Outstanding Contribution to Legal Scholarship (1985 and 1988)
  • AV-Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Distinguished Client Service Award, Martindale-Hubbell, 2014
  • Order of the Coif
Educational Background:
  • McGeorge School of Law, L.L.M. in Taxation
  • California State University of Sacramento, B.S. in Accounting
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Sacramento County and California Bar Associations
  • Elder Counsel, National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
  • Wealth Counsel, National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
  • Former Education Chair, National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
  • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR)
  • Board of Directors, Sacramento Estate Planning Council
  • National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Specialist in Taxation Law by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
  • Approved Educator - California Department of Insurance
  • Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate Law by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
  • Passed the California Certified Public Accountants' Exam
  • Blue Star Wealth Professional
  • Former Hearing Officer and Income Tax Auditor, Franchise Tax Board, California
  • Approved Educator - California Certificated Financial Planning Board

Office location for John M. Goralka

4470 Duckhorn Drive
Sacramento, CA 95834

Phone: 916-312-6579


8 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2023

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