A will is one of the most basic estate planning documents in Honolulu or in Hawaii in general, and everyone should have one to make sure that there is no question about what would happen to your assets and kids if something happens to you. But there are some cases when having a trust in addition to a will is more beneficial; here are six of them:
1. Avoiding probate or conservatorship.
A trust will bypass the probate process, saving the people you love time and money. To carry out instructions in a will, a probate must be opened in Circuit Court in Honolulu or another county if you’re from another island and that means your family is stuck dealing with the Court after you die. If you become incapacitated, your family would likewise have to deal with the Court by petitioning the Court for conservatorship or guardianship.
2. Providing for a person with special needs.
If you have a child or another dependent with special needs, a trust commonly known as a Special Needs Trust can protect assets for a special needs person without jeopardizing their qualification for government benefits. A will allows you to transfer assets to a special needs person, but will not protect those assets.
Since a will undergoes probate in Honolulu or other county in Hawaii, it becomes public record. A trust is private.
4. Blended families.
If you are part of a blended family, a trust can give you the flexibility you will want to make sure that children from prior marriages are provided for in the way you want.
5. Out-of-state property.
If you own property in another state besides in Hawaii, you can more easily transfer ownership via a trust than a will. Transferring out-of-state property in a will usually means additional legal expenses because you could have probate in multiple states and that is no fun for the people you love.
6. Asset protection.
If you want to protect the assets you leave your loved ones from creditors (including bankruptcy and divorce) a trust is the way to do it. It’s a gift you can give your loved ones that they could not easily (or at all) give themselves.
If you would like to learn more about the use of trusts in Honolulu or in another Hawaii county in order to pass on what you care about to the people you love, contact our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
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