When a person dies without having made a will, the person is said to have died "intestate". So, what happens to the property of a person who has died intestate? In Hawaii, the law provides a default distribution scheme by which the estate will be distributed. Specifically, Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 560:2-101 to 103 governs intestate succession. It is also important not to forget that the estate of a person who died intestate will have to go through probate.
That being said, the fate of a decedent's assets depends on the decedent's familial situation at the time of his or her death. Did the decedent leave a surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary? Children from another marriage? No children? Are his or her parents still alive? Below is a brief summary outlining the intestacy statute, which provides for a variety of situations. For brevity and simplicity's sake, "reciprocal beneficiary" is omitted from the examples below, but can be interchanged with "surviving spouse".
A decedent's entire estate will go to the surviving spouse in these situations:
Samuel K.L. Suen is an attorney based in Honolulu, Hawaii specializing in estate planning, probate, conservatorship and guardianship matters.
DISCLAIMER: All content and information is provided by The Law Office of Samuel K.L. Suen, LLLC and is for general informational and discussion purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a formation of an attorney-client relationship. The information presented at this site is believed to be accurate when made, but may not be complete, is not updated, reviewed or revised on a regular basis. No representations or warranties whatsoever, express or implied, are given as to the accuracy, applicability or validity of the information contained herein. The information may be modified or rendered incorrect by future legislative or judicial developments and may not be applicable to any individual reader's facts and circumstances. You should not act or rely on this information without consulting with a licensed attorney.
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please note that any U.S. federal tax advice contained herein is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter that is contained herein.
Copyright © 2018 Law Office of Samuel K.L. Suen, A Limited Liability Law Company. All Rights Reserved.