Statutes on Living Trusts & Trustee Requirements in Hawaii

by Andrine Redsteer ; Updated July 27, 2017

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.

Jurisdiction

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.

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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.

Trustee's Responsibilities

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.

About the Author

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.

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