Having an Estate Plan is the kindest gift that you can give to support and protect your family and friends. By putting an Estate Plan in place, your end of life and after death wishes can be honored. These documents also prevent the need for probate and the State of Hawai’i making these important choices for you.

Last Will and Testament

A will is a legal document in which you name one or more persons to manage your estate, name who should be guardian of your minor children, and name who will be the beneficiaries upon your death.

Each person benefits from having a Last Will and Testament. Without one, the State of Hawai’i makes the decision on the disposition of their estate.

Advanced Healthcare Directive

The Advanced Healthcare Directive document allows someone that you trust to make your health care decisions for you in the event that you are no longer able to do so. They can determine day-to-day care decisions for you or make end-of-life decisions if necessary. The HIPAA Release document gives healthcare professionals permission to provide information about your health care to certain individuals that you trust in the event that you are incapacitated.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

The Durable Power of Attorney for Finance document allows someone other than yourself to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacity without having to be supervised by the court system. That means you’re still alive, but for whatever reason, you can’t write checks or conduct day-to-day business anymore.

If you are unable to write a check to pay a bill due to being out of the state, or if you are too ill to handle your own finances, this document gives your agent the ability to act in your place.

Revocable Transfer on Death Deed

The Revocable Transfer on Death Deed is the document that allows your home to automatically be conveyed to your chosen beneficiary without probate. Probate fees to the State of Hawai’i can be expensive, in addition to being public and can take a long time to complete.

Trusts

A trust is a contract you enter into with yourself or your spouse. It holds property usually for your own benefit while you are alive and for the benefit of others at your death or incapacity. A trust is created by a “settlor,” who transfers some or all of his property to a “trustee” who holds that trust property for the benefit of the “beneficiaries.” At first, you will play all three roles. The trust is revocable (changeable by you) during your lifetime. It is a “living” trust because it does not die like humans do, and therefore whatever assets it holds before your death do not go to probate. Probate is an expensive public court process that causes delay in your wishes being followed.

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