Hawaiʻi Intestacy Laws

The following are excerpts from Hawaiʻi’s intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of the Uniform Probate Code of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.

HAWAIʻI INTESTACY EVALUATOR℠

You can also open the Hawaiʻi Intestacy Evaluator℠ to see the distribution of a Hawaiʻi intestate estate based upon any person’s unique family and financial circumstances.
 

Hawaiʻi Intestate Laws

560:1-101 Short title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Uniform Probate Code.

560:1-201 General definitions. Subject to additional definitions contained in the subsequent articles that are applicable to specific articles, parts, or sections, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this chapter:
“Child” includes an individual entitled to take as a child under this chapter by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes a person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild, or any more remote descendant.

“Descendant” of an individual means all of the individual’s descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definition of child and parent contained in this chapter.

“Estate” includes the property of the decedent, trust, or other person whose affairs are subject to this chapter as originally constituted and as it exists from time to time during administration.

“Heirs”, except as controlled by section 560:2-711, means persons, including the surviving spouse or reciprocal beneficiary and the State, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.

“Issue” of a person means descendant as defined in this section.

“Parent” includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child died without a will, as a parent under this chapter by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent.

“Property” includes both real and personal property or any interest therein and means anything that may be the subject of ownership.

“Survive” means that an individual has neither predeceased an event, including the death of another individual, nor is deemed to have predeceased an event under section 560:2-104 or 560:2-702. The term includes its derivatives, such as “survives”, “survived”, “survivor”, “surviving”.

560:2-101 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.

560:2-102 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.

560:2-103 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.

560:2-104 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.

560:2-105 No taker. If there is no taker under the provisions of this article, the intestate estate passes to the State.

560:2-105.5 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.

560:2-106 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.

560:2-107 Kindred of half blood. Relatives of the half blood inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.

560:2-108 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.

560:2-112 Dower and curtesy abolished. The estates of dower and curtesy are abolished.

560:2-113 Individuals related to decedent through two lines. An individual who is related to the decedent through two lines of relationship is entitled to only a single share based on the relationship that would entitle the individual to the larger share.

560:2-114 Parent and child relationship. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), for purposes of intestate succession by, through, or from a person, an individual is the child of the child’s natural parents, regardless of their marital status. The parent and child relationship may be established under chapter 584.
(b) An adopted individual is the child of the child’s adopting parent or parents and not of the child’s natural parents, except that:
(1) Adoption of a child by the spouse or reciprocal beneficiary of either natural parent has no effect on:
(A) The relationship between the child and that natural parent; or
(B) The right of the child or a descendant of the child to inherit from or through the other natural parent; and
(2) Adoption of a child during such child’s minority by the spouse or reciprocal beneficiary of a natural parent of the child, by a natural grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of the child or the spouse or reciprocal beneficiary of a natural grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of the child has no effect on the relationship between the child and either natural parent, for the limited purpose of interpretation or construction of a disposition in any will, trust, or other lifetime instrument, whether executed before or after the order of adoption, and for the purposes of determining the heirs at law of a natural family member of the child.
(c) Inheritance from or through a child by either natural parent or the parent’s kindred is precluded unless that natural parent has openly treated the child as the natural parent’s, and has not refused to support the child.
(d) For the purposes of this section, if a person has been adopted more than once, the term “natural parent” includes an adopting parent by an earlier adoption.