Rafael Ruano

Rafael Ruano is the Chief Administrative Officer and Head of the Estate and Business Planning Division at Goyette & Associates, Inc.  In order to meet each client’s needs, Rafael takes an individualized approach by meeting with each client, determining each client’s goals and wishes, explaining estate planning concepts and discussing options. Each client’s estate and/or business plan is personally tailored to best meet the client’s unique legal, financial, tax and personal goals.

View Rafael’s video on Common Questions about Estate Planning.

Apart from Rafael’s expertise in estate and business planning, he has a varied background in civil litigation and corporate law representing small to mid-sized businesses in contract, real estate, employment and business planning matters. This background helps Rafael approach estate planning issues with a uniquely broad perspective that helps ensure that a client’s estate plan works well alongside any type of business entity, be it sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.

Rafael’s representative experience includes:

  • Comprehensive estate planning and personalized advice
  • Living trusts, wills, powers of attorney and healthcare directives
  • Irrevocable Trusts (ILITs, QPRTs, etc.)
  • Conservatorships and Special Needs Trusts
  • Trust administration and trust/probate litigation
  • Business entity selection and formation, buy-sell agreements
  • Small and family-owned business planning
  • Civil litigation – contracts, real estate and employment
  • Labor Law – negotiations, association governance, decertification elections

For a more detailed look at Rafael’s background, please see below.


  • Advised hundreds of California couples and individuals in over 25 California Counties with their estate planning needs; drafted comprehensive estate planning documents and offer continuing legal advice to these clients.
  • Obtained limited conservatorships for parents of special needs children.
  • Represented dozens of professionals with their estate planning concerns, specifically planning for the transfer of sole proprietorships or partnerships upon their incapacity or death.
  • Represented several couples with interests in large family-owned agricultural businesses, helping craft estate plans and a transition plan to the next generation.
  • Represented County employee discriminated against with regards to promotions and equal treatment due to Hispanic ethnicity


Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (1995 – 1999)

  • Bachelor of Arts, International Relations
  • Head Manager, Stanford University Men’s Basketball Team

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (2002 – 2005)

  • Juris Doctor (with Distinction), Tax Concentration
  • Anthony M. Kennedy Fellow (member of the second Fellowship class, and recipient of full tuition scholarship for all three years of law school)


American River Water Polo Club (2001 – Present)

  • Founded youth water polo club that is currently one of the largest and most successful USA Water Polo clubs in the country
  • President of the Board (2001-Present)
  • USA Water Polo National Youth Team Coach (2004-2006)

YMCA of Superior California (2004 – 2010)

  • Board Member, served on Northeast Branch Regional Board and Greater Sacramento Regional Board

Rio Americano High School (1998 – 2009)

  • Coach of the Girls Water Polo Team
  • Eight consecutive CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championships (2002-2009)


California State Bar

Sacramento County Bar Association

American Bar Association