If you have never been involved in the process of handling probate administration in Hawaii, you might wish to retain a Hawaii executor duties lawyer to advise you and to get clarity on the tasks that you must undertake and complete as accurately as possible when managing the affairs of the deceased. Probate is the process for each state to structure estate administration and to gather all of the necessary assets inside an estate for payment to creditors and then to beneficiaries of the estate. Hawaii is no different and those people who are serving in the role of estate executor for the very first time might turn to a Hawaii executor duties lawyer to get peace of mind about the role they are playing in this process. The provisions for the administration process in Hawaii are found in HI Rev Stat § 560:3-102
As an executor duties lawyer in Hawaii can tell you, there are many different things to think about when closing out a loved one’s estate. Avoiding common missteps and mistakes can decrease the possibility of the executor being accused of breach of fiduciary duty and facing legal actions as a result. Most executors have good intentions, but might not be familiar with the legal requirements of a loved one’s estate. These good intentions can backfire when other beneficiaries of the estate who were not appointed in the role of executor argue that the executor has breached their duties or has even broken the law. In those circumstances, the executor must be prepared to respond and to show what issues they have handled in the estate administration.
Improper accounting or illegal actions could lead to legal claims filed directly against the estate executor but hiring a Hawaii executor duties lawyer can assist those people who have never served in this role before or those who want an additional feeling of support throughout this entire process. If this applies to you, and you have recently been named as an executor or if no executor was named in a loved one’s will and you suspect that you will be appointed to this role, you need to retain the services of an attorney immediately.
All too often, family conflict and disagreements can derail and otherwise streamlined probate and, in these circumstances, having an executor duties lawyer in Hawaii who is familiar with the rights and responsibilities can make a world of difference in avoiding further drain of estate assets in handling things, such as legal disputes. An executor duties lawyer provides guidance to an executor from the outset of the case and can help an executor to complete proper accounting and paperwork to support the actions they may have taken on the beneficiary’s or the estate’s behalf.
Once an executor is appointed, they need to gather all assets that belong inside the probated Hawaii estate. These are those assets that do not otherwise have a beneficiary designation.
Beneficiary designation assets include those things, such as 401(k) or other retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds, and certain other things with a transfer on death or payable on death designation. Once these items have been gathered, creditors must be notified about the existence of the estate so that they can come forward and lay claim to portions of estate assets. Taxes must be paid and creditors must be paid out before beneficiaries are given access to assets named to them in a will or through intestate succession.
If you are not sure what is required of you or you want to have the confidence that comes with the clarity of your role, a lawyer can assist you from the very beginning of a probate case.