Many people think that estate planning is simply a way to distribute assets after death and protect them against the Internal Revenue Service. While this is part of it, a well-designed and properly implemented estate plan can help you accomplish much more. In essence, it is about planning for life, not just planning for what happens after you are gone. An estate plan should help ensure the financial, emotional and physical well-being of you, your spouse and the people you love for years to come. It should take into account how you will be cared for in the event of serious illness or incapacity. It should give you complete control over your financial and personal affairs. And, it must allow you to give what you want, when you want, to the people you want.
Basic Estate Planning in Maui
Another misconception about estate planning is that it is only for the very rich. In fact, every family can benefit from an estate plan. Even a basic plan can prevent the State of Hawaii and the IRS from determining how your assets will be distributed after you pass away, streamline the distribution process, and ensure your wishes are carried out. It can also give you control over your financial and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. Without a plan, someone you might not want to make decisions for you could petition the court for control over your finances and medical care. Avoiding this will benefit both you and your loved ones.
Our basic estate planning services include:
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directives
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Revocable Living Trusts
Advanced estate planning
While estate planning can benefit any family, it is particularly important for families of means. Why? Wealthy families have more to lose if they do not have a plan. Likewise, they have significantly more to gain. If you are wealthy, you must concern yourself with issues such as:
- Protecting hard-earned assets
- Assuring the continuance of your lifestyle
- Passing your values, sense of responsibility and work ethic to heirs
- Significantly reducing income, estate, excise, and generation skipping taxes
- Ensuring your affairs are kept private
- Protecting your heirs’ inheritances if they are not yet mature enough to make responsible decisions on their own
- Making sure your heirs’ inheritances are protected if they divorce, remarry, or succumb to the influence of predators
- Ensuring your impact on society and legacy endures
We help high net worth families accomplish these goals and more. Our services in this area include:
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Dynasty Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Limited Liability Companies
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
- Gift Programs
- Retirement Trusts
- Generation-Skipping Trusts
- Minors’ Trusts
- Tax Planning
Planning for Children
Your children depend on you. And if something happens to you, their well-being could very well depend on your estate plan.
Without a properly designed and implemented plan in place, your children could:
- Be placed into the care of Child Welfare Services. While this might “only be for a short while,” and a more permanent solution may be found, your children could be put into the custody of someone you would never have chosen yourself
- Be subjected to a long, stressful custody fight
- Lose some of the assets you have left to them through court costs and fees
- Be vulnerable to predators when they reach adulthood and receive their inheritances
Traditional estate planning lawyers often fail to take matters such as these into account because they do not focus on planning for children. We do. We offer all of our estate planning clients with minor children our proprietary keiki protection planning.
The keiki protection planning is a set of instructions and legal documents capable of providing for your children according to your wishes in the event you pass away while they are still minors. With this plan, your children will never be taken into the custody of Child Welfare Services, or anyone else you would not want, simply because the police lack clear instructions or a judge you have never even met has authority to make decisions on your behalf. You choose the person who will raise your children in the event something happens to you, not the government or the court.
Contact us today to learn more about the keiki protection planning.
We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with you and any of your existing advisors. Contact us today for an initial consultation, so we can begin the process of designing and implementing a sophisticated estate plan capable of meeting all of your needs and achieving your goals.