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Kona (Kailua) and Kamuela (Waimea) Probate Attorneys

Probate Lawyers Helping Hawaii Residents through the Probate Process

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. In addition to your grief, there are numerous other considerations to manage – notifying the rest of the family, making funeral arrangements, perhaps even helping with travel arrangements. After all of that, there remains the overwhelming task of figuring out what to do with everything the decedent left behind.

At Olson & Sons, Attorneys at Law, our seasoned probate lawyers can help you get through this difficult process. If you’re overwhelmed and not sure what to do next, give us a call at 808-331-3113 for our Kona (Kailua) office or 808-885-8533 for our Kamuela (Waimea) office to speak with one of our probate attorneys today.

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Kona Office

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What is the Probate Process?

The probate process is a legal proceeding by which a decedent’s assets are distributed to their heirs or other people designated in their estate documents. The probate process begins with notifying any potentially interested parties of the decedent’s death. A Personal Representative is then appointed (traditionally referred to as the “Executor”), who is then responsible for administering the estate. In addition to distributing the assets to the heirs and other designated persons, the Personal Representative will also pay any outstanding debts, taxes, and expenses of administering the estate.

Informal Probate vs. Formal Probate

Most estates are settled through what is referred to as the informal probate process, thanks to the new probate laws that were adopted in 1998. There are no court hearings in front of a judge, and so the informal probate process allows estates to be settled much more quickly and less expensively.

However, there are times when an estate needs to be settled by way of a formal probate process. The formal probate process is used when there are disputes among the heirs, creditors, or other parties, or there are other legal issues, such as questions concerning the validity of the estate documents. Although more expensive and time-consuming than an informal probate process, it is, unfortunately, a necessary step in some cases.

What if There is No Will?

If there is no will or other legal document directing how the estate is to be administered, the assets of the estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. The intestacy laws direct who will inherit the decedent’s property and other assets.

How a Probate Lawyer Can Help

Many estates require a fairly high-level of management, financial, and legal experience that many non-lawyers do not possess. Personal representatives are tasked with handling sophisticated financial matters on top of their day-to-day life, and they either lack the expertise or the time to properly administer the estate. A probate attorney can help you administer the estate more efficiently, and avoid the pitfalls and disputes that can occur when mistakes are made.

Contact a Hawaii Probate Attorney Today

The probate lawyers at Olson & Sons know how challenging it can be to get through the probate process. If you need some peace of mind, call us at 808-331-3113 for our Kona (Kailua) office or 808-885-8533 for our Kamuela (Waimea) office to speak with one of our probate lawyers.