Do I Need A Lawyer?

An experienced estate planning attorney you can trust

There are many online financial tools and downloadable documents related to estate planning, making some people wonder if they need a lawyer. It’s very important to have an estate plan. It’s even more important to have one that is well-thought out, follows all applicable laws and has proper legal documentation. Hongo Law Office, LLLC can help.

Attorney Yuka Hongo guides clients in Japan and the United States through the estate planning process every step of the way. She has the experience, legal knowledge, bilingual skills and understanding of both cultures that can help make the process of estate planning easier. There are many reasons it is in your best interests to consult a lawyer.

Estate planning laws are complex

This is especially true for Japanese nationals who own property and other assets in Hawaii. An experienced lawyer will be very familiar with the law and can guide you through the planning process. Your estate plan may also be more complicated if it involves several different types of assets and several different beneficiaries. A lawyer can also advise you on the best type of trust to protect your assets for your financial situation.

Your situation may be complicated

Situations that can complicate estate planning include owning real estate in more than one state or having money in an IRA. Family situations that can be complicated include being in a second marriage or having a family member who is disabled. You may also want to leave part of your estate to charity. An experienced lawyer can help you sort everything out and create a plan that addresses your goals.

A lawyer can ensure your plan is legally binding

Once it’s clear what you need in an estate plan, legal documents need to be drafted. A lawyer can ensure that all documentation is completed properly, that it contains all required information in clear language and that it is properly witnessed as required by law. Documentation that is not properly drafted can be challenged in court, resulting in attorney’s fees, court costs and delays for family members.

A lawyer can update your plan

Our lives change as we get older. Families can grow larger and some family members may pass away. People get married or divorced. There may also be changes in your assets – for example, you may buy another house or open a new account. A lawyer can update your estate plan to include these changes.

A lawyer can help save your beneficiaries money

Estates that go through probate are subject to creditor claims, court costs, attorney’s fees and taxes. A lawyer can help you create an appropriate and effective estate plan that protects your assets and minimizes costs for family members.

Learn more about how an experienced lawyer can help you plan for the future. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our Honolulu office. Attorney Yuka Hongo can also meet with clients in Japan, which she typically visits twice a year. She can review your financial situation, discuss your goals and help you create a plan that meets your needs.