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March 27 2018

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Set Up a Revocable Trust to Avoid Probate

The biggest advantage of a revocable trust over a will is avoiding probate. In the State of Hawaii, according to an estate planning attorney in Honolulu, even if a will is left probate can control assets. All estates with a combined total of over one-hundred thousand dollars goes through probate, unless family and assets are protected by a revocable trust.


Probate court is an expensive and time-consuming process by which the court seizes all assets, makes sure debts are paid, and then distributes what is left over among beneficiaries. The results of probate court are a matter of public record. That fact can subject surviving family members to disgruntled heirs and lawsuits. The situation becomes a burden for friends and family in their time of grief.

Why a Trust is Not Handled by Probate Court.

A revocable trust automatically transfers all assets from the deceased and places them in the trust. While people are living they are the sole trustee which gives them total control over their assets. It is only upon death that the trust is operated by someone else. Trusts are not made public so relatives can grieve in peace and have nothing to fight over. Assets will be distributed as outlined in the trust.

Another advantage is that costs of setting up the trust is tax deductible in most cases. Contact an experienced attorney that specializes in estate planning Honolulu. A free consultation will help both attorney and client decide which form or planning is appropriate. In order to keep a trust up-to-date with life changes, income levels, and desires it is wise to review the trust with the attorney every few years. Amendments can be made for as long as the client is in control of full cognitive ability.

Other Areas of Practice

In addition to setting up trusts, other end of life legal services are offered. People with assets under the probate amount will do well with a will. It does have to be legal to be valid. A last will and testament dictates beneficiaries and what they will receive, can be used to name a guardian for minor children, identifies a power of attorney if the client is disabled or incapacitated, and can set up a trust as a financial benefit for minor children.

Probate guidance and representation is also available. The process is confusing so having an objective party to help step-by-step is comforting, and may expedite the proceedings. It is never too early to plan ahead because life is unpredictable.

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