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Types of Probate are Available - Hawaii Estate And Trust Fiduciary Services Back to the top

What Types of Probate are there?

There are two (2) types of probate available: Informal Probate and Formal Probate.

What is Informal Probate?

An informal probate allows an estate to be probated without any court involvement and court hearings. An attorney who is hired to take care of the probate will file the decedent's death certificate and other documents needed to be filed for the probate, with a clerk at the probate court. The probate can be completed by filing all necessary documents with the probate court, without the probate judge having to step in to make any decisions for the probate. An informal probate works well in situations where the decedent dies in the United States and a death certificate is issued within the same country.

What is Formal Probate?

A formal probate is one in which an attorney who is hired to take care of the probate will file a petition for a hearing with the judge and the attorney will appear before a judge on a hearing date prescribed by the court. Formal probate is necessary when there is, for example, some type of dispute over the validity of the will, etc., that needs to be resolved by a probate judge. Formal probate works well for Japanese clients who pass away in Japan and their death is noted in the "Koseki," or "Family Register." A probate judge in Hawaii can exercise his/her own discretion in accepting death certificates from countries other than the United States and will often accept an English translation of the "Family Register" without requiring any documents to be apostilled.


It is good to understand the different types of probate that are available to know which one should be used for the death of your loved one.

Article Source/Courtesy of: Yuka Hongo, Esq. (Hongo Law Office, LLLC)
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or estate planning advice as individual situations will vary. nor its registered representatives or employees, offer tax or legal advice. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, you should consult with your tax or legal counsel for advice.

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