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Probate Law FAQ February 1, 2019

Honolulu, Honolulu
Probate Law FAQ, Honolulu, Hawaii

Whether you are in the process of drafting your estate planning documents or you recently lost a loved one, it’s natural to have a lot of questions about probate law. For legal advice pertaining to your particular situation, it’s wise to consult with an attorney. In the meantime, here are the answers to some common questions about probate law.

FAQ About Probate Law

Are all estates subject to probate?

In the state of Hawaii, estates valued at less than $100,000 do not have to go through probate. Likewise, estates comprised solely of assets that transfer automatically upon death can be settled without probate. Examples include assets with beneficiary designations and property owned by joint tenancy. 

What happens during probate?

During probate, the personal representative of the estate is responsible for a number of tasks. After the will has been authenticated, the PR will locate all assets, determine their value, notify any creditors, pay applicable debts, file the final tax return, then distribute what remains to the beneficiaries. 

How long does the entire probate process take?

probate lawIn Hawaii, the entire probate process can be completed in as little as six months. In most cases, though, it takes a bit longer. Barring any contentious disputes or complicated issues, estates are usually settled within nine to 18 months. 

How much does it cost to settle an estate?

The cost of settling an estate can vary immensely. Most families can expect to spend several hundred dollars on filing fees and a few thousand dollars on legal fees. Typically, larger estates cost more to pass through probate because they take longer and have added expenses like appraisals. 


Whether you’re trying to protect future beneficiaries or have been named a beneficiary and need help navigating probate, turn to the Law Offices of Neil T. Nakamura & Associates in Honolulu. For more than 43 years, they have helped families prepare for all eventualities. Visit their website to explore all of the services they provide. To schedule a free initial consultation with a probate law attorney on their team, call (808) 945-7645.

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