Law Offices of Reuben S.F. Wong
Serving Clients In Honolulu And Across The Island Of O'ahu
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Honolulu Legal Blog

A will does not cover all assets or make a complete estate plan

Understandably, many Hawaii residents may not know a substantial amount about estate planning. As a result, they may think that creating a will is all they need to do in order to create a useful plan for their loved ones to follow in the future. However, that is far from the truth.

If you have already created will, you have certainly taken a useful estate-planning step. Still, that does not mean that you have a complete estate plan. In fact, you may be among the numerous individuals who believe the myth that a will covers all remaining assets.

Are you reluctant to sign a power of attorney?

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood elements of an estate plan is the power of attorney. You may have read news stories about people whose designated agent took advantage of them at a vulnerable time, and this makes you reluctant to include a POA in your estate plan. You may be one of the many in Hawaii who hesitates to include a POA in your plan because you have negative opinions based on bad information.

Understanding the benefits of a POA and dispelling the myths may allow you to protect yourself at a time when you will need someone to act on your behalf. This is what your POA can do for you. Without designating someone for that duty, you may be at the mercy of the courts if you cannot speak for yourself.

What are CAMs in a commercial lease agreement?

If you are new to Hawaii's commercial rental market, then you may not have ever negotiated a lease. When you rent an apartment, home or condominium, you may talk about price and such, but more than likely, you just signed a standard lease agreement for the amount of rent discussed between you and the landlord.

It doesn't quite work that way with a commercial lease. Under most circumstances, your prospective landlord will assume that you want to negotiate the terms of the lease. This is because the amount quoted to you for your base rent will not be the final amount you pay. Your landlord tacks on other costs to that amount to reach your total.

You need to ask several questions before buying a home

Feeling ready to buy a home can make you feel excited. This real estate transaction may be the first you have decided to take that would allow you to buy your first home. Whether you are looking for a place for yourself or a place for your family, you certainly want to make sure that you find the best home possible.

Of course, any type of real estate transaction can have its complications. As a first-time homebuyer, you may not know exactly what aspects of a home and its surroundings you need to consider. However, buying a home goes far beyond just the look of the property, and you should ask yourself several questions before making an offer.

What kind of easements may be on the property you want to buy?

You made an offer on what you consider the perfect piece of property for you. As you began the due diligence phase of your real estate transaction, you were told that the possibility of there being at least one easement on the property was high.

An easement allows someone else to use or occupy a portion of your property. Does this mean that you won't own that portion of the property? No. You retain legal title to the land. Someone else simply has the right to use it, but only for a specified purpose and only the piece of land identified in the easement.

4 types of trusts you may consider for your estate plan

When considering your estate planning needs, you may want to review various planning options. One of the benefits of creating an estate plan is that you can customize your plan to your specific needs and desires due to the number of available tools. Of course, you may also find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the different paths you could follow in order to create your plan.

Even a single option could have various categories that you could potentially use. For instance, a variety of trusts exist that may help you meet your needs. Understanding the uses of these trusts could help you better decide which could make your plan more comprehensive and allow you to put your remaining assets to use as you wish even after your passing.

Are you sure you should sign that commercial lease agreement?

Are you looking to open a new office? You may have searched Honolulu for the perfect space, and when you found it, you got excited to get into it and start working. That excitement may serve you as you begin putting in the hard work it will take to make your business a success, but when it comes to signing a commercial lease, it could cost you.

Rushing through the leasing process could ultimately cause problems. Your lease is more than likely much more than just how much the rent will be. Without a clear understanding of all of the provisions of the lease, going too fast could come back to haunt you. For instance, many people make the following mistakes when entering into a commercial lease.

Do you understand your commercial lease terms?

As with any major transaction, leasing commercial property carries certain risks. You can minimize the risk, though, by ensuring that you have a solid lease agreement.

The terms of a commercial lease can be negotiated, and below are some basic things to consider before signing a commercial lease.

Could your child benefit from a special needs trust?

When you first learned that your child had special needs, you may have wondered how to do your best to provide care throughout his or her life. As your child grew and you learned more about his or her disability, you may have found yourself quickly falling into a routine that allowed you to meet his or her specific needs. Now that your child has gotten older -- and you as well -- you may wonder how his or her needs will be met in the event of your passing.

Though it may pain you to think of a time when you will not have the ability to care for your child, it may bring you some comfort to know that you have taken steps to ensure that he or she does not face unnecessary difficulties. One way to help with such an endeavor involves creating a trust -- specifically a special needs trust.

An Estate Planning Tool for Small Business Owners

If you are a small business owner in Hawaii, you know the effort and struggle it can require to actually make a business succeed. It takes planning, preparation, funding and a great business idea to really make a small business work, but the planning should not stop once you start making a profit. It is also beneficial to include your business as part of your estate plan.

As the owner of a small business, you may have given thought as to what will happen to your company in the future. Whether it is through your death or your retirement, something will happen to your business, and you have the right to decide what that is. A strong business succession plan is a key component in preserving the value of your assets.

Contact

Law Offices of Reuben S. F. Wong
1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1006
Honolulu, HI 96813

Toll Free: 888-567-4597
Phone: 808-531-3526
Fax: 808-531-3522
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