Hawaii Guardianship Attorney
One of the most important reasons to plan your estate is to avoid a situation where someone else will decide what happens to your property and your children. By drafting an estate plan, you can decide. The foundation of an estate plan is a will or a trust.
I am Hilo lawyer Peter K. Kubota. I have more than 20 years of experience drafting wills, trusts and other estate planning documents for families in Hawaii. Contact me online or call 808-935-2422 to schedule an appointment at my office in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Who Do You Want to Receive Your Property?
When you pass away, some assets are distributed to beneficiaries automatically. For example, if you own your property and it is titled by joint tenancy with right of survivorship, it will be transferred to your joint tenant — typically your spouse or your children — when you die. Life insurance and investment accounts are also distributed automatically to the people you name as your beneficiaries upon your death. These assets transfer automatically upon death, without need for a will or trust.
Other assets are distributed by the directions you provide in a will or trust. If you die without a will or trust, the state of Hawaii will find someone to give your property to — first your spouse, then children, then siblings, cousins and grandparents. However, the people who receive your property may not be the people you would have wanted to receive it. Also, if you have "his, her or our" children or are remarried, the distribution may get complicated.
When you draft a will, you name a Personal Representative (sometimes called an Executor) — someone you trust who will handle the administration of your estate after you die. If you die without a will, the probate court will select someone to handle your affairs. This may not be the person you would want in charge.
Who Would You Want to Raise Your Children?
In you have minor children, one of the most important reasons to have a will is to name a guardian for your children if you and your spouse should both die before your children reach age 18. You should also name a backup if the first person cannot serve. Naming a guardian is an important decision that you need to take some time in deciding. If you do not name a guardian in your will, the probate court will decide this for you. You want someone who loves your children and would raise them with similar values.
To Schedule a Consultation
To schedule your initial consultation with a trusted Hilo wills and estates attorney who will protect your interests, contact me online or call my firm at 808-935-2422.