Estate Planning Wills and Trusts
What is a Will?
A Will is the legal document that communicates a person’s wishes as to the distribution of his or her property after death. This legal document is revocable during the person’s lifetime. Therefore, the conditions do not become effective until the individual has died.
Do It Yourself Is Not Always the Best Choice
There are numerous ‘do-it-yourself’ will software programs and internet created services that provide individuals with the help of creating wills.
Even though, this can be affordable and appealing, we have seen countless wills that the State of Hawaii deemed invalid. Leaving their family with an expensive and long probate process.
Make sure it is done properly with one of our experienced plan attorneys.
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 Happens with an Invalid Will?
A staggering number of Americans die each year without a valid will. For these families, the departed is said to have died intestate.
When this happens, the State of Hawaii divides the estate according to the laws of intestacy. In this situation, under the laws of intestacy, the decisions and arrangements are made by the court not the family.
Do you want the court to decide for your family?
In the situation of minor children, if you become incapacitated or both parents die, the State of Hawaii is left to decide on a guardian. The court appointed person for your child is left to decide on the support, care, and distribution of your funds in your child’s interest.
A will can be deemed invalid and the court is left to decide in a public court process.
Make the hard decisions today, so your loved ones do not have to in a time of grief!
What is 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.