Hawaii Probate Rules

Authored By: Hawaii State Judiciary


"Probate" is a legal process that deals with the assets and debts left behind after someone dies. By default, probate is supervised by a court, called the probate court. Note that the term "probate" can be used to describe the legal process, the court in which the process takes place, or the distribution of assets. The probate process can include all aspects of estate administration, such as:

  • Proving the validity of a will, if it exists,

  • Choosing an estate administrator, executor, or representative,

  • Totaling all assets both in and out of the estate,

  • Paying all applicable estate taxes and other debts,

  • Identifying all heirs and other relatives,

  • Distributing any remaining assets to the heirs as described in the will or intestacy statutes.

Probate typically begins when the deceased's representative files a petition along with the death certificate in the probate court. The process generally ends when the court formally closes the estate.


- Definition from:

Last Review and Update: Sep 04, 2018