A Hawaii probate attorney can help you and your loved ones navigate the difficult process of closing out a loved one’s estate. Although you might assume at first that this process is relatively straightforward, far too many family members appointed as personal representative or executor of the estate realize the complexities after they have already taken on this role.
The support of an experienced Hawaii probate lawyer can be instrumental in clarifying things for you as the personal representative as well as any other involved family members so that you minimize the possibility of making mistakes. If a person died with a will created while also owning property in the state of Hawaii that is titled in their individual name, probate is likely required to transfer ownership of these assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
Furthermore, if the person owned real or personal property in Hawaii but did not have a will, the state must determine what happens to the belongings of this individual. This is accomplished through the probate process. In all of these circumstances, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused but want to do the right thing to keep these projects on track.
In these circumstances, hiring an experienced probate attorney in Hawaii is strongly recommended as your next step to minimize potential mistakes or emotional arguments between family members. Hawaii has different kinds of probate procedures that will apply based on the specifics of the estate. These include informal probate proceedings and formal probate proceedings. In an informal probate proceeding, documents need to be filed with the register of the probate court and a personal representative of the estate needs to be appointed.
In these cases, court hearings are not required. For most simple matters, these cases can be opened and closed within a period of several months so long as no disputes arise that delay estate administration.
Other circumstances can make the estate administration more complicated, however. In supervised or formal probate proceedings, documents are submitted to the court and the probate court oversees those proceedings for the decedent’s estate.
If this is required, the court will appoint the personal representative at a hearing.
Under federal tax law, estate taxes or death taxes are determined based on the assets inside the estate owned by the decedent. An estate tax return is due 9 months from the time the decedent passed away. There are no estate taxes due, however. Typically there is no requirement to settle the estate within a certain period of time. This will, however, raise problems with family members who are looking for closure that can be provided by ending the formal probate process in Hawaii. As a personal representative, it is your responsibility to take action quickly if you realize you have been appointed in the role of estate executor or administrator. This is because there are many different tasks that must be completed in the process of closing out probate and you’ll also want to be prepared for some of the possible pitfalls and questions raised by beneficiaries. A person who is entitled to receive an inheritance can step forward to be appointed as executor or personal representative. Intestacy laws managed by the state of Hawaii will specify who is eligible to serve as a personal representative of an estate and to settle it out.
It can cost money to probate an estate with the support of a lawyer but it can also greatly speed up the process and make things easier to understand for the involved family members. In these circumstances, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting with a probate lawyer in Hawaii as soon as possible after you realize that you have been appointed to serve or will need to serve in the role of estate executor.