Charting a Course for Family Security

Revocable Living Trust

DEFINITION / ADVANTAGES

Estate Planning using revocable living trusts has become an increasingly popular topic of conversation.  Particularly as people see the unnecessary taxes, expense, delay, confusion and hardship caused to the family of a person who dies without proper planning.  In fact, the revocable living trust has replaced the Will as the centerpiece of most properly managed estate plans.

You could set up a revocable living trust as part of your estate planning in which you serve as your own Trustee, retain complete control and have the right to amend or cancel.  You transfer all of your assets (including bank accounts, investments, real estate) into the name of the trust.

You might think of a trust as being like a bucket into which you place your various assets. You continue to own all of the assets in the bucket and can remove them at anytime.  Another analogy might be to compare the trust with a house.  The assets which you place into the trust are similar to the furniture that you place in the house.  While you are alive, you are the owner of the house and are free to put items in and take items out at will.   Another analogy might be to compare the trust to a company in which you own all the stock and serve as president.

Many of our clients are amazed at how simple and inexpensive it is to achieve dramatic savings for their families by use of proper estate planning using revocable living trusts.

Following are good reasons to consider a Revocable Living Trust as an alternative to a simple Will:

  1. ELIMINATE GUARDIANSHIP.  If you become unable to manage your own affairs, the successor trustee named by you in your trust agreement steps in to pay your bills and keeps things going for you.
  2. AVOID PROBATE.  Not having to probate the trust assets can save thousands of dollars as well as avoiding lengthy delays and protecting your privacy.  
  3. CONTROL.  You retain full and complete  control over your assets.  
  4. FLEXIBILITY.  Each trust can be designed to meet the particular needs of you and your family.  You can amend or even revoke the trust at any time as these needs may change.  
  5. CONTINUITY.  As a "legal entity" the trust can continue even after your death to fulfill your wishes and meet your family's ongoing needs.  
  6. PROTECTION.  You can continue your trust after you die to provide management and creditor protection for your spouse and children.  
  7. PRIVACY.  Unlike a Will which requires probate, your financial affairs do not become publicly recorded.  
  8. PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT.  If you wish, you may select a bank or trust company to serve as trustee or successor trustee.  
  9. EFFECTIVE IN OTHER STATES.  If you own property in other states, your Trust can avoid probate proceedings there.  If you move to another state, your trust will still be valid.
  10.  ESTATE TAX SAVINGS.  If you hold title to all of your assets in joint names with your spouse or children, you may cost your heirs hundreds of thousands of dollars.  With proper planning using revocable trusts, you can avoid probate and achieve substantial tax savings.  
  11. NON-RESIDENT TRUSTEE.  Regardless of their place of residence, any person may serve as trustee or successor trustee.  
  12. PEACE OF MIND.  It should be comforting to know that you have spared your family the expense, time and stress related to handling your affairs through the Hawaii court system.

Downtown Office

Pacific Guardian Center
733 Bishop Street
Suite 2357
Honolulu, HI 96813

Kahala Office

Kahala
1215 Hunakai St
Suite 209
Honolulu, HI 96816

Leeward Office

Newton Square
98-1247 Kaahumanu Street
Suite 221
Aiea, HI 96701

Windward Office

Kailua
1247 Kailua Road
Suite D
Kailua, HI 96734