Wills and Trusts For Estate Planning in Hawaii

by | Aug 1, 2013 | Law

If you own something that has value and you plan on passing it to someone else after your death, it’s important to consider Estate Planning in Hawaii. Although the state has one for you if you haven’t designed your own, it’s best to think about a few factors personally, to ensure the financial security of those close to you.

There are certain documents that act as a central component to all estate plans. The two most important are the will and the trust.

The will is a legal document that allows a person to make decisions on how his or her estate will be distributed and managed upon their death. It is a personal declaration of your intentions, and without a will, the property will be distributed according to what state laws govern. Having a will personally designates the benefits of one’s estates, selects a personal representative to manage the estate on behalf of the deceased person, and selects guardians for any children if necessary.

A will does not become legally enforced until after your death, so it can be changed at any time. A proper will includes instructions for an executor to administer portions of your estate. It lets you control a large portion of what happens following your passing, as well as gives you a peace of mind knowing that your property will be in good hands.

Without a will, a person who has died is considered “intestate”. This can result in costs for your family or other heirs as you will have no control over who receives your assets or how it will be distributed.

Although the price varies depending on the specifications of the will, such as the size and location of the estate, typically, a will is fairly inexpensive. It usually costs a mere few hundred dollars. It’s important that you know a will can only transfer estate that you possess under your name alone; anything owned as a joint estate cannot be passed on.

A trust is known as a complement to a will. It involves transferring your estate to an individual or trustee who manages the assets for beneficiaries. Trusts help with management and investment of property, minimize estate taxes, distribute assets accordingly, and place certain conditions on how and when those assets are to be distributed.

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