Meet Attorney Peter Kubota
I was born and raised in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. I returned here 20 years ago to practice law in my beautiful hometown, and I am here to stay.
Other attorneys may fly in and out of Hilo, but I believe it is important to have a lawyer who lives and works in your hometown. Especially for estate planning clients, the legal relationship only begins when the documents are drafted and signed. In five, ten, or 20 years when you really need help or have questions or changes, it is important to know that your lawyer is available and accessible right here in your hometown.
I will share with you some of my philosophies, so you can have a better idea of who I am as a lawyer and as a citizen of our community:
On Being an Effective Lawyer:
My goal in estate planning and in general business matters, is to take care of all of your legal needs, in the simplest, most practical, and cost-effective manner that accomplishes your goals. I will not "oversell" you more than you need by convincing you that you need a big, fancy Mercedes-like estate plan when you really need a good, reliable Toyota to take care of your needs.
Every client's situation is different, and having the ability to meet one-on-one, not in a large seminar with a high-pressure "closing room" setting, allows me to focus in and help you to customize your plan to be exactly what you need. No more, and no less. A good lawyer is a practical, honest lawyer that can explain things in a way that you can understand. We don't need to speak in fancy language or draft really long and complicated documents to show you how smart we are. We need to give you the confidence that we have taken your issues off of your shoulders, made sensible recommendations to take care of them, and give you back a sound estate plan in good order.
We pledge to give you personal attention in a relaxed, friendly setting, and to provide effective and practical legal advice which is tailored to your individual needs.
On Being Charitable:
We are blessed with so much. We are fortunate to live with wonderful people on the most beautiful island, in the nicest State in the country, in the greatest country in the world. How lucky we are! We have a duty to take care of our community, to help others while we are here, and to make a difference while we live on this Earth.
I speak with each client about the importance of charitable giving. Throughout our lives, we all help out different charities and organizations, whether it is a non-profit, church, school or sports club. When it is time to raise funds, we all know how difficult it is to ask your family, friends and neighbors to buy tickets or to make a contribution. Raising $20...$50... or $100 from someone is asking for a lot, knowing that they have to support many other very worthy causes in our community. Hawaii is filled with very generous people who give to charities in time and money throughout their lives. For some reason though, Hawaii people are not as charitable in leaving gifts in their Wills or Trusts.
When drafting your Will and Trust, please consider making a charitable gift. If you think about it, when you give your entire estate to your children or other beneficiaries, no matter what your estate is worth, it will be a large gift to them; likely the largest gift your children have ever received. Whether they receive 100% of your estate or 98%, it is all a big gift, much more than they should ever expect to receive. If you gave the other 2% to charity, your children would not suffer for it, but just think of what that gift can do! If that gift amounted someday to $2,000 or $20,000, imagine how many lives this can help... Charitable organizations, schools, churches will be around, doing the same kind of good work in our hometown for the next 20 and 50 years. Someday, when your gift is realized, they will gladly accept it as a bonus to help the charitable work they are doing. Imagine if many people did this... what a difference we can make in our own hometown!
The best part of providing for a charitable gift in your will or trust, is that you will feel the blessing of charitable giving from the day you sign the documents, and every day for the rest of your lives, but it did not cost you a penny! The gift only gets paid after you pass away, but you feel like a "big spender" for the rest of your life for having made such a substantial gift to your favorite charity. Your children will also see your generosity as a last remembrance of you and the values you hold dearly. See a wonderful movie entitled "The Ultimate Gift" www.theultimategift.com about the values of charity and generosity.
It really does not matter what organization you choose, there are so many charitable organizations that are making a difference in Hawaii. Just support any organization that does the kind of work that you believe in. You can even customize a small scholarship or endowment through community trust organizations like the Hawaii Community Foundation (www.hcf-hawaii.org).
Because the gift is being made through your will or revocable living trust, you can delete or change beneficiaries of your gift if you wish, at any time. Nothing is binding until you become disabled or pass away. Upon making the gift, your estate will be able to deduct the gift amount from your taxable estate, thus reducing estate taxes. If you are interested in charitable giving, let's talk about it when we meet.
On Leaving a Legacy:
We were all born on this Earth with a purpose. Sometimes it is difficult to find that purpose, but if you seek it out, you will find it. During our time here on Earth, we are just caretakers of this land, shepherds to our children. Find some way to leave this Earth a little better place than when you arrived. It may be through raising wonderful children and sending them off to carry on your legacy, or by helping others, or by volunteering in an organization to make a difference. Charitable giving may be one way of leaving your legacy.
Buddhists have a philosophy of thinking for the next ten thousand years. With such a long view, it is easier to think globally and not get as caught up in the day-to-day issues of life. There is a charitable organization called Ten Thousand Villages. www.tenthousandvillages.com Its mission is to provide fair trade opportunities to artisans in developing countries, so that they can earn good wages to provide food, clothing, shelter and education to those around them. I suppose their mission is to reach people in ten thousand villages to make differences in each of their lives.
One of my missions is to plant ten thousand trees. A wise elder gentleman once shared his philosophy with his granddaughter while walking among old-growth trees. These trees were planted long before my friend walked on this Earth. He said "Plant trees that you will never see to maturity... if everyone did this, it will be an even more beautiful world...take care of the trees, and one day the trees will thank you..." Our lives will come and go on this Earth. After a few generations, we will largely be forgotten by our descendants. We may be at most, just a name on a headstone. I have planted about 6,000 trees, and will get to 10,000 within a couple of years. After that, I will start on the next 10,000. These trees will live long beyond my lifetime and will be one of my legacies to my children and future generations. Maybe they will remember me as that crazy old grandpa lawyer who planted 10,000 trees in his lifetime. Whatever... The point is...find your purpose, and start on your legacy now...
For more information about my background and credentials, click on the following link.
To schedule your initial consultation with a trusted Hilo attorney, and a friendly, down-to-earth staff, contact me online or call my firm at 808-935-2422. My office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.