Guiding You Through the Hawaii Probate Process
If you have been named the Personal Representative or Executor of another person's estate in a will, you should feel honored by the trust that person has placed in you. You may also be wondering what is required of you as the Personal Representative.
At Peter K. Kubota, Attorney at Law, we guide Personal Representatives through the Hawaii probate process. Contact me online or call 808-935-2422 to schedule an appointment at my office in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.
What Is Probate?
Probate is a court proceeding used to distribute a decedent's property to the persons who are entitled to receive it under the terms of a will — or by Hawaii's law of intestate succession if the person died without a will. Probate consists of several steps:
- Submitting the will to the probate court for approval
- Publishing a legal notice so that creditors can file claims against the estate
- Collecting the assets of the estate. In some cases, you may have to wait until the January following the person's death to determine what 1099 forms arrive in the mail from banks and investments.
- Paying legitimate bills
- Paying taxes
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
- Filing a final accounting with the court
Probate is a public process, so everyone will know what the decedent owned and who received it. The process takes about nine to 12 months and costs about $3,000. You will need a lawyer to guide you through the process.
The probate process often can be avoided if you plan your estate using a trust instead of a will. While a trust costs more money than a will at the outset, it is more economical in the long run since it allows your beneficiaries to avoid the time and cost of probate.
To Schedule a Consultation
To schedule your initial consultation with a trusted Hilo probate attorney who will protect your interests, contact me online or call my firm at 808-935-2422.