Most often, people equate estate planning with death, but what happens if you become incapacitated or disabled? A properly drafted estate plan will allow you to designate someone you trust to manage your affairs by following your specific written instructions. On your death, an estate plan can protect inherited assets from lawsuits, divorce, creditors and other claims.
What happens if, after your death, your spouse gets remarried to someone who already has children? By planning properly, you can protect your children’s inheritance while still providing for your spouse after your death. An estate plan can help inexperienced beneficiaries do the right thing with their inheritance, such as getting a good education, purchasing a home, getting a safe car and making wise investments.
Probate can be a long and expensive court process and is avoided if the owners had set up a property written revocable living trust. Probate is required when you die without a will or a trust. Probate can be a public process that can invite family members, friends, relatives to make a claim against the estate’s assets.
After our Plan Attorney completes your trust, it is critical that we help you fund the Trust. In order to complete trust funding, we require a current copy of all your financial statements at the meeting. This includes your insurance, 401(k), ira accounts, annuity’s, savings accounts, and checking accounts.
Schedule a Free Consultation
A FREE one-hour meeting will put you well on your way to making the proper provisions for protecting your family’s assets. You will discover that most, if not all, of a person’s assets are potentially at risk – even joint bank accounts.
Estate Planning Questions
Have you ever stopped and wondered what will happen to your home and property if you pass away?
If you die without a trust in the state of Hawaii and you have assets that exceed $100,000, you would have to go through and informal or formal probate process.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process in which Hawaii court proceedings determine whether the testators executed a valid will. The process is public and may bring potential challenges to the will that was created. Many clients prefer privacy over a public disposition of a clients assets. A trust will accomplish that with the disposition of assets to their intended beneficiaries. Why do we have Probate? One main reason is to prevent fraud. Fraud could occur if a person’s assets are taken from whom they are intended for. Probate could happen to anyone.
How can I Protect my Spouse and Children when I Pass Away?
Create a Trust. A trust is a legal entity in which one person or organization controls property that is given by another person for the benefit of a third party. The person that is giving the property is referred to as the grantor, the person in control of the property is referred to as the trustee, and the person that the trust benefits is referred to as the beneficiary. In some trusts, you can be named as the grantor, trustee, and the beneficiary. Keep in mind, some estates may benefit from an independent trustee who is subject to strict legal requirements when administering the trust.
The most common trust is a living trust, which takes effect while you are alive. Setting up a living trust, you transfer title of your assets you want to protect in the trust from you as an individual to the trust. Living trusts can be setup as revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be amended while the grantor is alive. An irrevocable trust, generally is more difficult to modify but has its benefits.
Why is Trust Funding Critical?
After our Plan Attorney completes your trust, it is critical that we help you fund the Trust. If the Trust is not properly funded, all your financial assets will go through Probate (a long drawn out and expensive court process). In order to complete trust funding, we require a current copy of all your financial statements at the meeting. This includes your insurance, 401(k), ira accounts, stock accounts, annuity’s, savings accounts, and checking accounts.
After your assets are properly funded in the trust, your trust will distribute your assets free of probate. Insuring only your intended beneficiaries receive your assets and not anyone outside your bloodline.
Can I change My Revocable Living Trust?
Did you know that an estate planning revocable living trust can be amended at any time by an attorney? Each year, we experience changes in life that can alter your true intent of your estate plan. Have you purchased additional real property? Did you want to change your intended beneficiaries? Has your marital status changed? What about your successor trustee, health care agent and power of attorney?
Call for a Free Trust Review to meet with one of our plan attorneys, to review the estate plan and ensure that your estate plan was written how you intended. Please note, new laws can be amended in your trust to provide you and your family with a form of asset protection.
How Much Do You Charge?
No fee is due until the work is complete. Our plan attorney works under a flat fee arrangement. No billable hours. Our attorney’s will never charge you extra for meetings in-person or on the phone.
After the first meeting, the plan attorney will determine the flat fee cost. All charges are determined by the complexity of the client case.
Father Son Team
Stephen is the founder and president of Estate Planning Consultants of Hawaii, Inc., established in 1997. Providing estate, financial, and tax planning services, EPCH has successfully served over 2,000 Hawaii families.
Stephen co-authored the 2011 book edition titled, “How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs” with EPCH Senior Attorney Reed Rohrer. His hobbies include traveling, reading, eating out with his wife and spending time with his family. For more information on Stephen, visit his LinkedIn.
Sage serves clients as a Financial Advisor and Tax Efficient Retirement Income Planner. A Fiduciary Approach is the priority when counseling and advising my clients in the areas of Retirement Income Planning, Mitigating Investment Risk, Tax Planning, as well as Legacy and Estate Planning.
He is dedicated in ensuring his clients along with their ohana secure their families’ financial futures. His goal and passion is to help assist in ending financial illiteracy by passing on a few tools of advice which will enable you to make smarter and lifelong decisions for your families future. For more information on Sage, visit his business website or LinkedIn.
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EPCH Plan Attorney's, Stephen & Sage Capone
Tenancy By The Entirety
Asset Protection Planning
In 2012, Tenancy By The Entirety (TBE) was passed by Hawaii Legislature, allowing married couples to have joint ownership of their home. Why is this important? It prevents a creditor from one of the spouses, from attaching a lien on the home to please the spouse’s debt.