What is Hawaii Probate?

Probate is required when you pass without a Will or a Trust

Probate is a long and expensive legal process that is made available to the public with Hawaii court proceedings determining whether the testators executed a valid will. The process is public and may bring potential challenges to the will that was created. Many clients prefer privacy over a public disposition of a clients assets. A trust will accomplish that with the disposition of assets to their intended beneficiaries.  

Why do we have Probate?

One main reason is to prevent fraud. Fraud could occur if a person’s assets are taken from who they are intended for. Probate could happen to anyone. 

If you die without a trust in the State of Hawaii and you have assets that exceed $100,000, you would have to go through an informal probate process. 

The court assigns a personal representative whose job is to gather and protect the estate property and pay all outstanding debts and taxes.

The personal representative will distribute all remaining assets to the descendant’s heirs. 

Probate is avoided if the owners had set up a properly written revocable living trust. Probate is required when you pass without a will or trust. Probate can be a public process that can invite family members, friends, relatives to make a claim against the estate’s assets. 

Some Probate cases can take years, if the beneficiaries are disputing how the assets will be distributed. In those situations, the cost of court fees and attorney fees can be substantially drain the estate value. 

Individuals who own property or assets that exceed $100,000 should not hesitate to set up a free consultation to discuss the benefits of setting up a Hawaii Revocable Living Trust.