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Cost of Probate in Hawaii

Curious about the cost of probate in Hawaii? Read our guide that covers everything about Hawaii probate fees.

Byron Ricardo Batres

Byron Ricardo Batres, @ByronBatres

General Manager, Probate, Trust & Will

When an estate owner dies in Hawaii, it is not uncommon for the court proceeding known as probate to be required to settle the estate. Probate allows for a personal representative to be appointed so he or she can oversee the administration of the estate.

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There are instances in Hawaii when probate can be avoided (or at least the process can be drastically minimized). The majority of probate proceedings are informal in a state of Hawaii. More on how the process works and the costs associated with it below. 

Filing an application to appoint the Personal Representative is the first step in opening probate in Hawaii. 

Keep in mind, the average cost of probate in Hawaii can widely vary. Probate fees in Hawaii may differ depending on several things, including: 

  • The size of the estate

  • How complicated it is

  • Whether or not anyone is contesting the Will

  • What Estate Plans are valid

  • Whether or not a probate attorney is retained

  • Etc. 

All the fees and the final, total cost can average anywhere between three to seven percent of the estate’s value for a basic, simple probate. This price can swing drastically upwards if an estate is extremely complex, or if there are extenuating circumstances or delays of any kind.  

Common Probate Fees in Hawaii

There are a number of factors that could come into play in regards to the cost of probate in Hawaii. Some of them could include:

  • Filing fee to start the probate process

  • Miscellaneous court fees

  • Probate attorney fees

  • Probate Bond (if required)

  • Personal Representative (Executor) compensation costs - Hawaii is a reasonable compensation state

  • Etc.

Common Questions About Probate in Hawaii

How Long Does Probate Take in Hawaii?

How long probate will take in Hawaii depends on several factors, but it can often be completed in around 7 to 15 months.

What is UPC in Hawaii?

The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) was adopted by Hawaii in an attempt to make probate an easier process for those going through it. Unfortunately, since only 18 states in the country follow the UPC, it’s not as effective as it could be. Under the code, there are three types of probate proceedings:

  • Informal

  • Unsupervised

  • Supervised formal 

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Hawaii?

As you might guess, probate attorney fees in Hawaii can vary based on the details of the estate and how complicated the proceedings will be. 

How Can You Avoid Probate in Hawaii?

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid probate in Hawaii.

  • Establish a Revocable Living Trust

  • Ensure your beneficiary designations are up to date, and that you have contingent beneficiaries in place

  • Title property with Joint Ownership

  • Gift property while you are alive

Finally, small estates that don’t meet a certain threshold can also avoid probate. 

What is Considered a Small Estate in Hawaii?

Any estate that’s below a certain threshold in Hawaii can avoid probate. Even if there’s no Will, a simplified probate procedure known as “a summary probate” is possible if any estate is valued at $100,000 or less. You may also be able to use an Affidavit, which would allow you to transfer assets directly to beneficiaries and inheritors if an estate is worth less than $100,000 in value.

Who Pays Probate Fees in Hawaii?

Many people wonder about how the costs associated with probate are paid. The good news is that all the fees and costs, including even probate lawyer fees in Hawaii, can be covered using funds from the estate.