Updated on March 16th, 2022
A Hawaii small estate affidavit gives a successor the ability to take possession of estate property without going through the usual court-regulated estate distribution process. If the value of a deceased person’s estate is valued at $100,000 or less, it is considered a small estate, which means that the successor can apply for summary administration and may be eligible to avoid probate altogether. The successor of a qualifying estate will need to complete and notarize the “Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of the Decedent.” If the estate includes any real property, formal administration will be required.
- Statute: § 560:3-1201
- Maximum Estate Value (§ 560:3-1201(a)(1)): $100,000 (not including vehicles)
- Mandatory Waiting Period: Not mentioned in state statutes.
- Where to File: No filing required.
How to Record (4 Steps)
- Step 1 – Qualifications
- Step 2 – Complete Affidavit
- Step 3 – Notarize Affidavit
- Step 4 – Collect Property
Step 1 – Qualifications
To qualify as a small estate that can bypass probate, the following requirements must be met:
- The estate must be valued at $100,000 or less, excluding motor vehicles.
- The estate cannot include any real property.
- The affiant must be the decedent’s successor.
- There is no pending or approved appointment of a representative for the estate in Hawaii.
Step 2 – Complete Affidavit
The affiant will need to fill out the Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of the Decedent. If more space is required to list the estate property, additional pages may be attached.
Step 3 – Notarize Affidavit
The completed affidavit will need to be taken to a notary public with a copy of the decedent’s death certificate attached thereto. The notary will need to witness and verify the affiant’s signature before applying their notary seal.
Death certificates can be requested through the mortuary that is overseeing the decedent’s funeral or directly from a vital records office.
Step 4 – Collect Property
Once the affidavit has been notarized, it can be presented as proof when taking possession of the decedent’s personal property. Any vehicles must be transferred by completing and notarizing an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property (Automobile) of Decedent and presenting it to the local DMV. If any party refuses to pay, transfer, or deliver the decedent’s property and records upon presentation of the affidavit, the affiant can take legal action against them.