Under Hawaii’s “Collection of Personal Property By Affidavit” statute, any person indebted to a decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, chose in action or other tangible personal property belonging to a decedent is required to make payment of the indebtedness or deliver such property to a person or persons claiming to be the successor or successors of the decedent or to the department of human services, upon being presented:
- A death certificate for the decedent and
- An affidavit made by or on behalf of the claimed successor or successors or the department of human services.
Upon the presentation of the (1) death certificate of the decedent and (2) affidavit meeting statutory requirements, any person having legal authority to issue a certificate or other evidence of tangible personal property or a debt, obligation, stock, chose in action, or other intangible personal property belonging to the decedent is required to change the registered ownership of the decedent’s interest in the property from the decedent to the decedent’s claimed successor or successors and shall issue a certificate or other document evidencing the ownership of the property by the decedent’s claimed successor or successors.
It should also be noted that the person paying, delivering, transferring, or issuing personal property or the evidence thereof pursuant to such affidavit is discharged and released to the same extent as if that person dealt with a personal representative of the decedent.
Such person is not required to see to the application of the personal property or evidence thereof or to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit. Any person to whom payment, delivery, transfer or issuance is made is answerable and accountable therefore to any personal representative of the estate or to any other person having a superior right.
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