Honolulu Trust Attorney
Delivering Peace of Mind to Clients Throughout Hawaii
Trusts are powerful tools that allow you to shelter assets and decide how they will be distributed once you have passed away. Our Honolulu trust lawyer has over a decade of legal experience and is deeply familiar with how to effectively implement and maintain these instruments.
How Does a Trust Work?
It can sometimes be difficult to wrap your head around what a trust actually consists of. When you establish a trust, a trustor (the trust’s creator) appoints a trustee to manage assets for chosen beneficiaries.
The trust in practice “holds” assets until the trust agreement directs the trustee to distribute the assets to beneficiaries.
What Is a Revocable Living Trust?
Revocable living trusts are very popular and allow the trustor to modify the terms of the trust throughout their lifetime. In these cases, a trustor serves as their own trustee.
How Does a Revocable Living Trust Work:
- The trustor can place new assets in and remove assets from the trust until they pass away or become incapacitated
- They can also change who benefits from the trust and the language of the trust agreement
- A trustor acting as their own trustee will need to name a successor trustee
The successor trustee, typically a trusted loved one or legal professional, will take over administration of the trust once the trustor passes away, becomes incapacitated, or no longer wishes to act as trustee.
What Is an Irrevocable Trust?
Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed once they have been created and are often used to achieve asset protection. A trustor of an irrevocable trust cannot serve as their own trustee. Any assets placed in an irrevocable trust cannot be retrieved, and the trust agreement’s language cannot be amended.
This Has the Benefit of Shielding Irrevocable Trust Assets From:
- Predatory litigation
- Creditor claims
- And, in some cases, divorce
Additional types of trusts can be useful in various types of situations. For example, a special needs trust can be designed to provide for a disabled family member without jeopardizing their eligibility for public benefits. Regardless of the type of trust chosen, our trust attorney in Honolulu can evaluate your needs and walk you through all available tools.
Do You Have to Register a Trust in Hawaii?
Yes, in the state of Hawaii a living trust has to be registered. This simply allows for the court to intervene in the event that there is a dispute or objection in relation to the trust. However, it does not mean the court is responsible for taking over administration of the trust.
A revocable living trust can function similarly to a will. Both wills and revocable living trusts allow you to name beneficiaries to your assets once you have passed away. Your successor trustee will be responsible for maintaining trust assets and distributing them in accordance with the final wishes contained in the trust agreement.
What Are the Advantages of a Trust Over a Will?
- Avoidance of Probate - You ideally want to avoid a situation where your grieving loved ones are forced to spend months navigating endless paperwork and contentious court proceedings. Probate is the often-burdensome, court-supervised process through which an estate is closed. Will contests, creditor claims, and other issues can cause substantial delays that prevent your beneficiaries from receiving their inheritances in a timely manner. Trust assets are not subject to probate and thus do not generally face the same possibility of delays. In most cases, your successor trustee can immediately begin distributing assets in accordance with trust instructions.
- Privacy - Probate proceedings are a matter of Hawaii public record. This means that the contents of your will and inheritors of your assets can be reviewed by anyone. Trusts are entirely private, and the details of their activities will in most cases only be known to you, the trustee, and the trust’s beneficiaries.
- Flexibility and Customization - A will can only specify who will receive your assets once the probate of your Honolulu estate is completed, while trusts can be tailored to your unique needs. With a trust, you can define conditions that must be met before certain assets can be dispersed or how they must be utilized. For example, you might require your child to use a portion of their inheritance on their college education. You can also choose to disperse assets in installments over a specified period of time. Wills do not fundamentally enable this level of control.
However, it is often wise to finalize a will and establish a revocable living trust. A trust cannot request a guardian for your minor children, and it is possible you will not necessarily place every single asset you own in your trust before you pass away. Your last will and testament can be designed to “catch” assets not placed in the trust at the time of your passing. For more information, contact our skilled Honolulu trust attorney to answer any questions you may have.
What Assets Can Be Put in a Trust?
The type of assets you put in your trust may include financial accounts (such as bonds or stocks), real estate, personal property items (such as art, furniture, jewelry, or other collectibles) , and even life insurance. Our qualified trust lawyer in Honolulu can assist you in this process to best set up your trust.
We understand your legacy is at stake and can provide the comprehensive guidance you need to sleep easier. We are ready to help you use trusts to accomplish your goals and protect your loved ones.
Let Our Honolulu Trust Lawyers Help You
At Abrell Law, our goal is to help you build an estate plan that provides you with peace of mind. We can walk you through how these tools can accomplish your planning goals. No matter the complexity of your needs, we are prepared to draft all necessary legal documents. Our Honolulu elder law lawyer can also assist with trust administration or serve as your trustee.
We Are Committed to Helping You Build a Robust Estate Plan & Can Walk You Through:
- How a customized trust can be designed to avoid probate
- How to achieve asset protection
- How to facilitate planned inheritances
Extensive Experience in LawPrior to opening up his own firm, Justin had years of legal experience working in the Prosecutor's office in Honolulu and as corporate counsel for a private business. This wide variety of settings help provide perspective on creative solutions to legal obstacles.
Culture of Compassion & TransparencyWe take your legal matter seriously. Until we resolve your case, you can expect us to listen to your needs and honestly provide solutions that are always in your best interests.
Direct Access to Your AttorneyYou won't be passed off to legal staff at any point when you work with Abrell Law. From the very beginning, you will speak with Justin so he can have a good understanding of your unique case.
Over Two Decades in HawaiiWith over 20 years living in Hawaii, serving the local community and fostering meaningful relationships is one of Justin's top priorities.
Contact us online or call us to discuss your situation, evaluate your case, and discuss your options.