Plan For The Future Through Trusts
An experienced lawyer who can help you control your assets
Trusts can be a very important part of your estate plan and give you more control over the distribution of your assets after you have passed away. Establishing trusts can be complicated, however. That’s why you need an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the legal process every step of the way.
Hongo Law Office, LLLC can help you set up a trust to protect your family’s future. Attorney Yuka Hongo works with clients in Japan and Hawaii to develop estate plans that protect their assets. Fluent in both English and Japanese, she is ready to talk with you about your financial goals and how a trust can meet your needs.
What is a trust?
It is a legally binding contract that explains how you would like to have your assets distributed after you die. These assets may include real estate, businesses or business property, bank accounts, investments, life insurance policies and other personal property such as cars, jewelry or antiques.
When you set up a trust, you set the rules for what will happen with these assets, not a court. There are many different types of trusts. Living trusts go into effect during your lifetime. Some are revocable and can be changed at any time. Others are irrevocable and can’t be changed. Testamentary trusts go into effect after you die.
Is a trust right for me?
There are several advantages to having a trust. It puts you in control over how your assets are distributed. You decide who gets your property, how much of it and when. Your family can avoid going through probate, saving time and court fees. Certain types of trusts also allow for flexibility in estate planning.
Setting up trusts can be complicated. There is a lot of paperwork involved to arrange for the transfer of certain property to the trust. It’s important to keep accurate and up-to-date records – for example, of any income you receive from assets in the trust. And there are costs involved. An experienced attorney can go over all of the details with you.
How do trusts work?
You, as a grantor, set up a trust that holds your assets. A third party known as a trustee maintains the trust and will distribute the assets. A trustee can be a person, an accountant or other professional, or a bank or a trust company. You also choose beneficiaries – people or organizations that will receive your property.
When a trust is set up, you may also name a successor trustee. This is the person who will be responsible for the distribution of assets in the trust after the grantor dies. A successor trustee can be an adult relative, a friend or a representative of a bank or trust company. The trust will continue to exist until all property has been distributed.
Let’s talk about your plans for the future
What happens when someone dies and there is no trust in place? Property must go through probate before it can be distributed according to state law. Probate can be a lengthy and costly process. Creditors can make claims on the property to collect money they are owed. There can be disagreement among family members over how the property should be distributed.
Having a will can make the process go easier, but there are certain disadvantages to a will. It must still go through the probate process, costing time and money. Wills are also a matter of public record, so anyone can see its contents. Wills can also be legally challenged, resulting in further delays. There may also be tax concerns.
Trusts can help you avoid many of these problems and give you more control over what happens to your property. Attorney Hongo is ready to meet with you to discuss your options. She can go over the different types of trusts and help you determine which one would be most appropriate and effective for your needs.
Our firm serves residents and non-residents of the United States. Attorney Hongo meets with clients at her Honolulu office and also in Japan during her annual visits, typically twice a year. She can answer your questions and address your concerns about trusts. Contact us to schedule a consultation at a time that works for you.