What is Hawaii Probate

April 26, 2022    |    Sage Capone

Probate occurs when a decedent passes away and their estate and personal property was not entrusted in a Living Trust. This isn’t the case for all cases. Most times it happens when the decedent encompasses personal property valued over $100,000.00 and beneficiaries have not been assigned into a Living Trust. Probate is a public process making it uncomfortable, expensive and lengthy for all parties. So, what is probate? Here are some key steps on the probate process.


The Hawaii Probate Process


  • A Will and Testament was established by the decedent but not a Living Trust. Under interstate succession laws natural heirs and creditors need to be notified of the estate administration.
  • An Appointee or personal representative needs to be appointed for the oversee of distribution of assets. All assets need to be collected and appraised for the value at date of death. This also includes all income, wages, bank accounts and dividends.
  • A notice should be published in which creditors have four months to file a claim or 18 months if notice is not published.
  • A final federal and state tax return needs to filed for any and all income, estate and gift taxes. Once all debt and tax obligations have been fulfilled the assigned representative can finally distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries and close the estate.

As you can see, probate is a long-time consuming process involving a lot of executor fees, administrative and legal fees. And the one reason why most people want to avoid probate is for privacy reasons. So here are strategies to avoid the pressure and cost of probate for your loved ones.


Key Factors in Avoiding Probate

  • The number one thing you can do while you are alive is establish a Living Trust. This creates the Trust to be the owner of your assets and when you pass the Trustee manages your assets and distribution.
  • Give assets to loved ones while you are alive. This will drastically simplify the probate process and have positive tax advantages.
  • Title all assets properly from bank accounts to estates. When you own a property jointly, the estate will transfer from one person to another without having to go through a probate process.


As you can see, the probate process is arduous, costly and lengthy. At Estate Planning Consultants of Hawaii, we help our customer’s plan ahead and prepare for the future. We work with local attorneys and help you establish a Living Trust. We help you make the process of passing down your inheritance to your loved ones easy while lifting the burden off your beneficiaries.