Hawaii's Uniform Probate Code governs the requirements for living trusts and trustee's responsibilities. Living trusts are trusts created during the grantor's/settlor's lifetime; these trusts can be irrevocable or revokable. In Hawaii, living trusts must be registered with a judicial circuit where the trust is administered. If a trust involves land, a living trust must be registered with a judicial circuit where the land is located.
Pursuant to Hawaii's Uniform Probate Code Section 560:7-201, courts in which a living trust is registered have jurisdiction over internal affairs of the trust. Internal affairs of a living trust include proceedings initiated by trustees regarding distribution of trust proceeds and proceeding initiated by third parties. Hawaii's Uniform Probate Code Section 560:7-201 (1) also gives courts in which a living trust is registered jurisdiction over proceedings involving the appointment and removal of trustees.
Duty to Register Trusts
According to Hawaii's Uniform Probate Code Section 560:7-101, trustees must register living trusts with the judicial circuit where the trustee has a usual place of business; a usual place of business is often where the trust records are kept. If a living trust concerns land, a trustee must register the trust with a judicial circuit where the land is located. If the original place of business becomes too inconvenient for the trustee, a court may order the place of administration moved to a more appropriate location.
Trustee's Standard of Care
Hawaii's Uniform Probate Code Section 560:7-302 requires trustees to administer trust assets as a "prudent person dealing with the property of another." Hawaii's Probate Code imposes a higher standard of care on trustees if she has special skills or were named trustee because of her expertise. If a trustee fails to administer the trust as a prudent person, or a person with special skills, beneficiaries may file a petition to have him removed.
Pursuant to Section 560:7-303 of Hawaii's Probate Code, a trustee must inform beneficiaries of the trust's administration and internal affairs. Trustees are required — within 30 days of accepting the position — to inform all beneficiaries named in the trust. If beneficiaries make a reasonable request, the trustee must provide beneficiaries with a copy of the trust's terms. Trustees also have a duty to provide beneficiaries with notice of a change of trustee.
- FindLaw: Hawaii Statutes: Section 560:7-201: Court; Jurisdiction of Trusts
- FindLaw: Hawaii Statutes: Section 560:7-101: Duty to Register Trusts
- FindLaw: Hawaii Statutes: Section 560:7-302: Trustee's Standard of Care and Performance
- FindLaw: Hawaii Statutes: Section 560:7-303: Duty to Inform and Account to Beneficiaries
- American Bar Association. "What Is a Revocable Living Trust?" Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
- Klenk Law. "Revocable Living Trusts: Everything You Need to Know." Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
- Fiduciary Trust Company International. "The Benefits and Shortcomings of Revocable Trusts." Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
- Fidelity Investments. "What Is a Trust?" Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
- Klenk Law. "Irrevocable Trusts: Everything You Need to Know." Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
- Kulas Law Group. "Can I Be the Trustee of My Own Revocable Living Trust?" Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
- Fidelity Investments. "Why Naming the Right Trustee is Critical." Accessed Feb. 7, 2020.
Andrine Redsteer's writing on tribal gaming has been published in "The Guardian" and she continues to write about reservation economic development. Redsteer holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts in Native American studies from Montana State University and a Juris Doctor from Seattle University School of Law.