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  • Ryan O. and Kendrick S. Chang

Prep Now


Dealing with the death of a loved one is always difficult.

I recently met with a friend who had a meeting with her Uncle. Her Uncle, who is elderly, recently shared his will and trust with my friend.

I must commend my friend's Uncle for sharing this information. When you think about, it seems like most people avoid this topic. By discussing his Uncle's will and trust, my friend was able to get a deep understanding on what his Uncle wanted to achieve after he passed away or if he became incapacitated.

If my friend's Uncle were to pass away today, my friend would know what to do and who to contact. After speaking to my friend, I could sense she was confident in her abilities to be a trustee for her Uncle's trust.

It is never too early to have these conservations with your loved ones. These conversations might be sensitive, however, everyone can benefit by relieving their concerns and hopes.

For example, one of the worst things that can happen is if you pass away and your house is not in a trust. Since your house isn't held into a trust, it would be subject to probate court. Probate court could take months or even years. In addition, it's costly and emotionally draining.

On the other hand, if a home is held in a trust, the trustor ("grantor"), can make his or her intentions or wishes clear to the trustees. For example, the trustees can properly execute the trustor's wishes via a will. Without a trust or a will, the homeowner's relatives won't know what to do with that person's assets.

-RO and Kendrick S. Chang

About the guest author:

Kendrick is an intern at Forward Realty Hawaii. He is a graduate of Kaiser High School and is a junior at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. You can find Kendrick's commentary on community issues facing Hawaii on Honolulu Civil Beat.

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Ryan Oda (RB-23073) is a Real Estate Advisor with Forward Realty (RB-19423) in Honolulu, HI.