Hawaii Revocable Living Trusts
A Revocable Living Trust is a document that controls the disposition of your assets when you pass away and avoids probate.
Benefits of a Will
If you fail to draft a Will then the State of Hawaii will distribute your assets under the Intestate statute.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Honolulu, HI
Call Attorney, Michael J. Madison at (808) 594-9917 for a free consultation.
Many people ask me why it is important to draft an estate plan. There are many reasons, but here are the most important. First, a properly drafted estate plan can prevent your family from having to go through probate. Probate can be very expensive and very time consuming. The process is controlled by the state. There is no guarantee that your wishes will be followed. In the State of Hawaii, if you own a home or condominium, or if you own more than $100,000 in assets, your estate will have to go through probate. However, you can avoid probate if your property is placed into a revocable trust.
A second important reason to draft an estate plan is to save on taxes. Drafting a proper trust can help married couples save on estate taxes by taking advantage of the estate tax exemption for each spouse. In addition, property left through an estate receives a basis adjustment that allows families to save on capital gains taxes.
Finally, a proper estate plan includes a power of attorney document and a health care directive. These documents are extremely important. A power of attorney allows an agent to pay expenses if you are incapacitated. A health care directive outlines your medical choices so that your family members don’t have to make those choices for you. If a person fails to draft these documents and they become incapacitated, the family will have to go through a guardianship and conservatorship proceeding that is very time consuming and can cost thousands of dollars.
As you can see, it is very important to draft an estate plan. However, more than 60% of adults do not have an estate plan. Their failure to plan will likely result in their family paying thousands of dollars in probate fees and taxes. It can also result in needless expenses and red tape if they become incapacitated. It’s crucial that you design a plan to save your family from these unnecessary expenses.
Nevertheless, I encounter a lot of people who don’t think they need an estate plan and fail to sit down with an estate planning attorney. I often hear the same reasons for failing to draft an estate plan. Some people think they don’t need an estate plan. They think only rich people have “estates.” However, as mentioned above, if you live in Hawaii and you have a house, a condominium or cumulative assets over $100,000, you have an estate that will have to be probated unless it’s in a Trust. Many people think that it is too expensive to draft an estate plan. However, probate is much more expensive than drafting a revocable living trust. And the time it takes to probate an estate is much greater and involves more headaches than settling a trust. Some people assume that their situation is too complicated for an estate plan. They think that it is impossible to draft a plan that meets all of their needs. This is not true. An experienced estate planning attorney can design a plan that meets all of your needs. Whether it is dealing with a beneficiary who has a disability, or a substance abuse problem, or how their primary home should be distributed, an experienced estate planning attorney can design a plan to meet any needs.
One of the biggest mistakes I see in my practice, besides the failure to draft an estate plan, are people trying to draft an estate plan without the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. I often come across clients who tried to draft their own trust through an on-line service and end up with a trust that is worthless because they didn’t know how to fund it. Or, they execute a deed by themselves that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes!
All of these problems can be eliminated by scheduling a free consultation with Estate Panning of Honolulu, LLLC. During that free consultation, I will ask several questions about your finances, property, and family. Then I will answer any questions or concerns you might have about your particular situation. After all of the information is gathered, I will propose a plan to meet all of your estate planning needs. I will also quote your fee at that time. No fee is due until the work is complete. I always work under a flat fee arrangement. I avoid charging clients by the billable hour because I believe it improves communication between attorney and client if they know that their attorney is not charging them every time he picks up the phone. If the client agrees, I usually complete the work in two to three weeks. I find that my clients experience a great sense of peace and relief when their plan is complete. They feel a great comfort when they know they have a plan that will protect their family and save them from endless fees and headaches.
So, call me at Estate Planning of Honolulu today and see how an Estate Plan can save your family money and stress. Experience the relief from all of your fears by drafting a plan that will give you and your family peace of mind!
Would you like a free consultation with an estate attorney?
Attorney, Michael J. Madison is available for complimentary consultations.