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Estate Planning of Honolulu Blog

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Hawaii Estate Planning: Work your Plan!

By Chris Wall | May 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
Hawaii estate planning can be utilized to reserve family values and safeguard most of your assets. In fact, just taking a few moments today to establish an estate plan will save you a lot of time and a great deal of heartache. As well, estate planning will benefit all future generations of your ohana (family). Some of the benefits include asset protection from lawsuits and creditors, simple transfer of ownership and avoiding probate that can linger on for years.

Eye on The Prize: Are You a Big Picture Thinker?

As most of us know, nothing in life is guaranteed. For that reason, it is highly important that you keep an eye on the prize – an easy transfer of estate valuables to your family or named beneficiaries if something were to happen. The grand picture involves thinking ahead and no longer procrastinating. After all, your family’s future is in your hands – there is no room for postponement. Plus, if your Hawaii estate planning is in set up now, it will release a lot of worry you and also help your ohana. Once your estate plan is in place, the benefits will be overflowing.

Plan your Work, and Work your Plan

Although life insurance is both valuable and very necessary, it does not secure your estate. In fact, quite the contrary, insurance generally will not even cover all your costs. Oftentimes an estate plan can not only cover the remaining “hidden” costs but it adds to the families assets. Without a plan, the estate is in jeopardy. As well, an estate plan needs to be carefully thought out. How the plan is implemented depends on many variables like net worth, family dynamics, transfer of assets and certain individual preferences. Yet to plan your work now and also work your plan you need to be wise by devising a smart Hawaii estate planning as soon as possible. Your actions of making a trust now are a fortuitous way to help your immediate family and future generations to come.

EVERYONE NEEDS IT BUT NOBODY WANTS TO THINK ABOUT IT

By postponing the small amount of work in doing an estate plan, you have the potential of affecting your family for generations. Like insurance, you should always have an estate plan made. Likewise, it should always be updated to ensure all assets are included. If you are concerned about the future of your family but have not set up an estate plan, then now is time to secure your family’s’ tomorrow.

3 Rainy Day Family Activities in Hawaii

By Michael Madison | April 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
3 Rainy Day Family Activities in Hawaii
Hawaii families know that sometimes it rains and families need to find indoor activities. The sunshine that is popular does have a break during the state’s rainy season from November to March. When the beaches are too soggy to enjoy, and hiking trails are impassable, there are many available family activities for Hawaii families. We have listed three adventures that accommodate kids and parents rainy days.

1.The Bishop Museum is a Cultural and Educational MUST For Kids and Adults. 
This is a must for Hawaii families. It is an educational and fun experience. The Bishop museum was built in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his deceased wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The museum has many events and exhibits that are fun and educational. A trip to the Bishop Museum is a must on the list of family activities for Hawaii families. Exploring the history and timeless treasure of Hawaii is a great way to spend a rainy day with the kids.

2. Too Rainy To Go To the Beach? Let’s Ice Skate!
Building a sand castle or outdoor swimming may be cancelled, so why not go ice skating? The Ice Palace opened in 1982 is the only ice rink available in Hawaii. There are public hours available for free skating, a hockey league, and skate school for those just learning. The Ice Palace is also available for special events such as birthday parties. There are several party packages available. Hawaii families can enjoy an afternoon of skating and spending time together. The Palace, as it is known to locals, has been visited by people from all over the world. The Ice Palace has attracted countless crowds, and has been visited by Olympian skater, Kristy Yamaguchi. Some adults who grew up in the 80’s probably have memories of their visits at the Ice Palace. Why not create a memory for your kids?

3. Lunch and a Visit To the Waikiki Aquarium
The Waikiki Aquarium opened in 1904 and has been showing the wonders of the Hawaii reefs ever since. There is much to see in the exhibits which offer viewings of corals, marine communities, jellyfish, natural predators, and much more. The Waikiki Aquarium also has a full calendar of events and offers programs for schools, activities and classes for the family, and the opportunity to plan your own private celebration. However, if you are just there to experience family activities for Hawaii families on a rainy day, then a self-guided tour is always allowed. Your kids can enjoy learning about their natural environment. There are lots of delicious places to eat, but remember that the parking is metered, so be sure to bring lots of quarters.

Families in Hawaii have lots of options when it comes to finding family friendly activities on a rainy day. Instead of keeping the kids inside, why not build some memories by treating them to an outing to one of the wonderful, historical, and educational options listed?

Things Change. We’ve got You Covered

By Chris Wall | February 1, 2018 | 0 Comments
If you think you might need to consider Hawaii estate planning, you might believe that a trust is something for multi-millionaires. However, a good trust can help you allocate your assets and property. When you establish a trust, you ensure that your assets get distributed after your death in the way that you want it to happen.

Trusts operate as legal documents that get established that is called a grantor. Your trust will hold your property and assets for specific people. These people get called beneficiaries. A person known as the trustee controls the trust. Sometimes, the grantor can act as the trustee. Other times, the grantor can hand trustee duties to a family member, friend, or Hawaii estate planning professional.

Did You Create a Revocable Trust In The Past?

If you did make a revocable trust in the past, you might want to take some time to do a short and simple review. Sometimes, circumstances can change in the time since you last did your trust. As the grantor, you want to ensure that your trust reflects your current wishes.

If you haven’t completed the estate planning process yet, you will want to start as soon as possible. We never know when unexpected events could occur. By creating a trust in the present, we can make sure that our loved ones get looked after in the event of a tragedy.

Have Your Circumstances Changed Since The Trust Was Originally Drafted?

Changing circumstances can often happen to many people with a Hawaii trust. For example, your financial picture may have undergone drastic changes. Or you might want to add or take off a beneficiary from the original draft of your estate. By drafting a revocable trust, you can quickly make changes as the grantor whenever the need arises.

Review Your Trust Every Few Years

Lives change in the blink of an eye. So do family dynamics and financial circumstances. Ensure that your Hawaii trust reflects your current life circumstances by doing a trust review every few years. Doing this can go a long way towards preventing nasty court battles after you’re gone.

Ensure That Your Trust Gets Distributed According To Your Intent

Every few years, you should take the time to review your revocable trust and make any desired changes. If you don’t take the time to perform trust reviews while you’re alive and of sound mind, an unwanted beneficiary could receive money or property from your estate. While revocable trusts remain harder to contest in court than wills, it’s not impossible to challenge them. By stating your intent now, you can make it much more likely that all approved beneficiaries will get their rightful share of your assets and property.

If you would like to learn more about Hawaii estate planning, trust reviews, or creating a new trust from scratch, you can send an email to our offices. You can also call our offices directly. Either way, a member of our staff will answer any question or concern you may have.

Tis the Season to Lighten Your Family’s Load

By Michael Madison | December 7, 2017 | 0 Comments
Hawaii estate planning sounds morbid and boring especially this time of year. You might not think it warrants a place on your holiday to-do list either. You’re likely busy buying presents, cleaning the house and socializing with people you try to avoid the rest of the year. However, one of the best gifts you can bestow on your loved ones is protection from a potential financial nightmare in the case of passing.
Obtain Enough Life InsuranceIf you have dependents, you should obtain life insurance to provide for lost income after you pass. You want to have enough coverage to equal 10 times your yearly wages. People most commonly opt for term life insurance. You can also get permanent life insurance with a savings component.

Make a Will

You needs a will, regardless of income level. You should name an executor and assign a guardian for each child under 18. In the case of young children, you also need to have a minor’s trust created by an attorney. This means that any assets left to them will be held in said trust until the recipient reaches the age of majority. You should review your will with each life event, or at least every three years.

Know When to Create Trusts

If you own property especially if you want to keep terms private, establish a living trust is critical. This bypasses probate and the associated costs. Otherwise, generate a trust within the will, especially when:

  • You don’t want to leave any assets directly to minor children.
  • You want to protect you property from falling into the hands of a child’s ex-spouse or a creditor.
  • You feel that your adult children lack responsibility in handling an inheritance.

Properly planning and protecting your estate is important now more than ever. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

Hawaii’s First-Time Homeowners are Safeguarding their Futures

By Michael Madison | October 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

While buying a home is a time spent looking forward to a better life, one should also view the process as an opportunity to plan for the end of one’s life. Considering what you leave behind for your loved ones is as important as building your own future, so even first time homeowners in Hawaii should be considering ways to make that time easier for your family. That means doing what you can now to limit the grueling process of probate, years from now.

Revocable Trusts Can Make Life Easier For Your Survivors

When meeting with an attorney for the purposes of their estate planning in Hawaii, many individuals and couples opt for a revocable trust instead of a will. The reasoning behind this move is that trusts spend far less time in probate, making it possible for heirs to receive their inheritance in a more timely manner. In addition to shaving months off of the probate process, a trust could end up saving families thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Another advantage to establishing a trust of which many people are unaware is that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance limit is higher than it is on individual bank accounts. Where the FDIC only insures individual accounts up to $250,000 in many banks, trusts are granted a higher limit, usually an additional $250,000 per beneficiary.

Widely Unknown Facts About Revocable Trusts

There’s an undeniable advantage to first time homeowners in Hawaii by including their real estate in a revocable trust. By doing so, the property can avoid forced sale by the state to cover debts in probate. Instead, the trust will pass the home on directly to your beneficiaries upon your death, avoiding court interference. The trust can also detail your wishes for how any existing lien on the property should be handled. For instance, you may want other assets in the trust to be used to pay off that debt, or you can leave that decision up to your trustee. In any case, the revocable trust allows you to decide what will be done with your home, confident that your last wishes will be respected.

Another benefits of establishing a revocable trust, when conducting your estate planning in Hawaii, is that the trust is a private document. Unlike a standard will, the trust doesn’t go through probate and, therefore, doesn’t fall under public domain. Copies of any will can be obtained by requesting it from the court, but trusts are not available in this way.

Unfortunately, if litigation occurs, such as a disinherited heir contesting the terms of the trust, the trust will become a part of public records. Copies of the trust will be made available during the litigation process, causing the details of the trust to become publicly available.

Finally, it should be noted that a will is still necessary, or, at least, advised in setting up your final wishes. When a will is left behind, the court uses that document to open up the estate to probate, allowing creditors to make claims against the decedent’s assets for a limited period of time. Usually, that term is no longer than three months. 

Why is that good? Without probate, creditors have up to two years to make claims against an estate. For that reason alone, it’s better to have a will in place. 

There are many more advantages to setting up a revocable in addition to a will. By discussing the option with an experienced probate lawyer, you can decide if this is the best route for your circumstances.

Welcome to Estate Planning of Honolulu!

By estateusr | September 4, 2017 | 1 Comment

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