Our practice is focused on estate planning and administration only

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ~ Shannon L. Adler


Practice AreasProbate Administration

Often times, after a person passes away, a court proceeding known as “probate” is required to determine who may receive the deceased person’s assets.  There are Hawaii laws in place that determine when a probate proceeding can be initiated, who has to be notified of the probate proceeding, who may be appointed to manage the deceased person’s estate, and who the beneficiaries of the estate are.

People often think that a Will is all that you need in order to ensure that your assets will go to your loved ones, not realizing that a Will is required to go through probate before it is valid and enforceable.  If a deceased person had a Will and their estate has to go through probate, then their Will is reviewed to determine its validity and authenticity.  If a person passes away without a Will, then probate refers to the legal proceeding for determining who the beneficiaries of the deceased person’s estate are (legally referred to as “heirs”).  When there is no Will, the beneficiaries are determined by Hawaii’s intestacy law.

In all probate proceedings, a Personal Representative is appointed by a court to be legally responsible for managing and administering the deceased person’s estate.  The Personal Representative is responsible for collecting the deceased person’s assets, paying the debts and creditors of the deceased person’s estate, and keeping the beneficiaries informed of the administration.  There are many laws governing what a Personal Representative is required to do, and also what a Personal Representative is not allowed to do.

Most people want to prevent their estate from ending up in probate because they don’t want their loved ones to have to go through the hassle and headache that can accompany a probate proceeding.  Some of the challenging aspects of probate can be the attorneys’ fees and costs, the court filing fees, the public nature of the proceeding, the requirement that notice be given to certain individuals related to the deceased person, and the amount of time the entire probate process can take to complete.  At Estate Planning Partners, we can help you to understand and navigate the probate process to avoid any unnecessary cost or delay.