Hawaii Intestacy Laws
Hawaii Intestacy Laws
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Hawaii's Intestacy Laws

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Hawaii, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Hawaii has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Hawaii intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

  [Applies only to the estates of decedents dying after January 1, 1997;
for other effect and transition provisions, see §560:8-201 .
]

Intestate estate

(a)  Any part of a decedent's estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent's heirs as prescribed in this chapter, except as modified by the decedent's will.

(b)  A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession.  If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent's intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed the intestate share.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-101

 

Share of spouse or reciprocal beneficiary

The intestate share of a decedent's surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary is:

     (1)  The entire intestate estate if:

         (A)  No descendant or parent of the decedent survives the decedent; or

         (B)  All of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary who survives the decedent;

     (2)  The first $200,000, plus three-fourths of any balance of the intestate estate, if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent, but a parent of the decedent survives the decedent;

     (3)  The first $150,000, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the decedent's surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary and the surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary has one or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent; or

     (4)  The first $100,000, plus one-half of any balance of the intestate estate, if one or more of the decedent's surviving descendants are not descendants of the surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-102

 

Share of heirs other than surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary

Any part of the intestate estate not passing to the decedent's surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary under section 560:2-102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary, passes in the following order to the individuals designated below who survive the decedent:

     (1)  To the decedent's descendants by representation;

     (2)  If there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent's parents equally if both survive, or to the surviving parent; provided, however, if the decedent is a minor, and if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that any parent has:

         (A)  Deserted the child without affording means of identification for a period of at least ninety days;

         (B)  Failed to communicate with the child when able to do so for a period of at least one year when the child is in the custody of another; or

         (C)  Failed to provide for care and support of the child when able to do so for a period of at least one year when the child is in the custody of another despite a child support order requiring such support;

          such parent shall be deemed to have predeceased the decedent;

     (3)  If there is no surviving descendant or parent entitled to inherit, to the descendants of the decedent's parents or either of them by representation; and

     (4)  If there is no surviving descendant, parent entitled to take, or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the decedent's paternal grandparents equally if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the descendants of the decedent's paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, the descendants taking by representation; and the other half passes to the decedent's maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent or descendant of a grandparent on either the paternal or the maternal side, the entire estate passes to the decedent's relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-103

 

Requirement that heir survive decedent for one hundred twenty hours

An individual who fails to survive the decedent by one hundred twenty hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property, and intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly.  If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual who would otherwise be an heir survived the decedent by one hundred twenty hours, it is deemed that the individual failed to survive for the required period.  This section is not to be applied if its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the State under section 560:2-105.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-104

 

No taker

If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to the State.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-105

 

Escheat of kuleana lands

Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, if the owner of an inheritable interest in kuleana land dies intestate, or dies partially intestate and that partial intestacy includes the decedent's interest in the kuleana land, and if there is no taker under article II, such inheritable interest shall pass to the department of land and natural resources to be held in trust until the office of Hawaiian affairs develops a land management plan for the use and management of such kuleana properties, and such plan is approved by the department of land and natural resources.  Upon approval, the department of land and natural resources shall transfer such kuleana properties to the office of Hawaiian affairs.  For the purposes of this section, "kuleana lands" means those lands granted to native tenants pursuant to L. 1850, p. 202, entitled "An Act Confirming Certain Resolutions of the King and Privy Council Passed on the 21st Day of December, A.D. 1849, Granting to the Common People Allodial Titles for Their Own Lands and House Lots, and Certain Other Privileges", as originally enacted and as amended.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-105.5

 

Representation

(a)  Definitions.  In this section:

     "Deceased descendant", "deceased parent", or "deceased grandparent" means a descendant, parent, or grandparent who either predeceased the decedent or is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under section 560:2-104.

     "Surviving descendant" means a descendant who neither predeceased the decedent nor is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under section 560:2-104.

     (b)  Decedent's descendants.  If, under section 560:2-103(1), a decedent's intestate estate or a part thereof passes "by representation" to the decedent's descendants, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are:

     (1)  Surviving descendants in the generation nearest to the decedent which contains one or more surviving descendants; and

     (2)  Deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any.

Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share.  The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

     (c)  Descendants of parents or grandparents.  If, under section 560:2-103(3) or (4), a decedent's intestate estate or a part thereof passes "by representation" to the descendants of the decedent's deceased parents or either of them or to the descendants of the decedent's deceased paternal or maternal grandparents or either of them, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are:

     (1)  Surviving descendants in the generation nearest the deceased parents or either of them, or the deceased grandparents or either of them, that contains one or more surviving descendants; and

     (2)  Deceased descendants in the same generation who left surviving descendants, if any.

Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share.  The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-106

 

Kindred of half blood

Relatives of the half blood inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-107

 

Afterborn heirs

An individual in gestation at a particular time is treated as living at that time if the individual lives one hundred twenty hours or more after birth.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-108

 

Advancements

(a)  If an individual dies intestate as to all or a portion of the individual's estate, property the decedent gave during the decedent's lifetime to an individual who, at the decedent's death, is an heir is treated as an advancement against the heir's intestate share only if:

     (1)  The decedent declared in a contemporaneous writing or the heir acknowledged in writing that the gift is an advancement; or

     (2)  The decedent's contemporaneous writing or the heir's written acknowledgment otherwise indicates that the gift is to be taken into account in computing the division and distribution of the decedent's intestate estate.

     (b)  For purposes of subsection (a), property advanced is valued as of the time the heir came into possession or enjoyment of the property or as of the time of the decedent's death, whichever first occurs.

     (c)  If the recipient of the property fails to survive the decedent, the property is not taken into account in computing the division and distribution of the decedent's intestate estate, unless the decedent's contemporaneous writing provides otherwise.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-109

 

Debts to decedent

A debt owed to a decedent is not charged against the intestate share of any individual except the debtor.  If the debtor fails to survive the decedent, the debt is not taken into account in computing the intestate share of the debtor's descendants.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-110

 

Alienage

No individual is disqualified to take as an heir because the individual or an individual through whom the individual claims is or has been an alien.

Hawaii Code, §560:2-111

 

[Reference - Hawaii's Intestacy laws]

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