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Ancillary Probate - Hawaii

  • When is an ancillary administration necessary in Hawaii?

An ancillary administration is necessary under Hawaii law when 1) a person who was not domiciled in Hawaii owned an interest in Hawaii real property, or has title in other assets or personal property with a Hawaii situs in his or her sole name; and 2) a probate for such person's estate has commenced in a court jurisdiction outside Hawaii and a personal representative or executor has been appointed in the outside court jurisdiction.

  • How to gain legal authority over decedent's Hawaii estate

To gain legal authority and act over the decedent's estate in Hawaii, the person named as personal representative or executor must initiate ancillary proceedings in Hawaii. The person or persons appointed as personal representative will have a Hawai'i attorney file an Application for Issuance of Acknowledgement of Authority in the circuit court where the real or personal property or assets are located. When the application is filed and approved by the registrar, the personal representative will be issued an Acknowledgment of Authority, giving the personal representative legal authority and title over all Hawaii assets held in decedent's sole name, for purposes of estate administration and distribution applicable to the decedent's estate.

  • When is an Acknowledgment of Authority required?

An Acknowledgement of Authority is necessary for a personal representative to act as to the Hawaii assets in the estate whether decedent had a valid will or if decedent died without a will and decedent's estate is undergoing an intestate administration (where decedent's estate will be distributed to those heirs entitled to the estate per the intestate statutes under Hawaii law).


The most common situation where an Acknowledgement of Authority is required is when the personal representative must sell or transfer a Hawai'i real property interest owned by decedent's probate estate. If the real property is registered in the Land Court system of the State of Hawai'i, it will be required to file the Acknowledgement of Authority in the Land Court in proper form and according to the Land Court's rules prior to the sale or transfer, or the transaction is subject to fail.

  • Is an ancillary administration proceeding in Hawai'i complicated?

The ancillary administration proceeding in Hawaii is usually not very complicated, but there are rare cases where issues arise and the proceedings become complicated. For example, if the home state of the personal representative is a jurisdiction whose court does not issue "Letters of Administration" or "Letters Testamentary," or when a personal representative has been appointed in another country, further authentication and proof of appointment may be required. In a worst case scenario, an ancillary probate proceeding must be commenced and a Petition for Appointment as Ancillary Personal Representative must be filed with the circuit court, which will require a hearing before a judge. An ancillary probate proceeding will significantly increase attorneys fees and costs. Such a situation is unlikely, however. It is much more likely that the ancillary administration can be accomplished quickly and efficiently via the registrar as described above.

KPRESS Law will give your ancillary probate case in Hawaii the priority and attention it needs so that the personal representative or executor may gain quick access to the Hawaii assets and proceed toward efficient administration and distribution to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate.

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