WHAT IS A WILL?
A properly executed Will is a document that determines the distribution of real and personal property at death and names a person to administer the estate. Jointly owned property will pass automatically to the surviving owner(s) and will not be affected by your Will. Every State has different laws regarding Wills, so usually an attorney licensed in the State you reside in drafts your Will.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MY PROPERTY IF I DIED WITHOUT A WILL?
Many people die without having designated in a will who should take their property, but that does not necessarily mean that their goals are not accomplished. So-called “will-substitutes” sometimes do the work of a will. The most common will-substitutes are funded trusts, joint tenancies, tenancies by the entirety, and various kinds of pay-on-death or transfer-on-death accounts, contracts, and deeds...MORE
HOW DOES A LIVING WILL DIFFER FROM A NORMAL WILL?
A properly drafted Will ensures that your assets passes in accordance with your wishes when you die. Living Wills are completely different. They provide instructions regarding end-of-life medical care, while you are still alive. A person would not need a Living Will, also known as an Advance Health-care Directive, if she knew that she would always be able to communicate her own medical decisions. Unfortunately, none of us can be sure of that...MORE
MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION
Estate Planning is necessary because, as the old expression goes, "You can't take it with you." People need a will or will substitute, such as a revocable living trust, if they want to control who inherits their property and how and when that inheritance is received, to minimize administration costs, and to avoid unnecessary taxes. A well-planned estate is a gift to your loved ones and provides you peace of mind. It is part of your legacy.
Everyone has a different story and should have a unique estate plan. In most cases, the first meeting with one of our attorneys is complementary and serves the purpose of understanding your goals and educating you on your options. Depending on the option that is right for you, we will give you a price quote at the first meeting, before moving forward with your plan. Feel free to explore the basic information on our website.
This blog does not contain legal advice. You should not rely on this to determine what is in your own best interest. For legal advice, specific to your situation, you must meet with an attorney. All posts are based on hypothetical scenarios, not the actual circumstances of real clients.
is the founder of Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel, a statewide Hawaii estate planning law firm with offices in Waimea, Hilo, Kona, and Honolulu. He has taught Estate Planning at the Richardson School of Law, and business law courses at the University of Hawaii—Hilo. He has resided in North Hawaii since 2008....MORE