How do I transfer property from my father to my mother?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 07, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father's estate has gone into probate in Hawaii, and our family would like to transfer a property title from his name to the beneficiary's name (my mother). We were told our particular probate case would be simple, and I could handle it pro se without an attorney.

My questions: (1) How can I best accomplish this? I'm beginning to prepare a "personal representative's limited warranty deed" after some research in my college law library. Is this the appropriate action?

(2) In the personal representative's deed, the first paragraph describes the "grantor" (who is also the "personal representative" or "executor" assigned to administer the estate) and "grantee" (the person receiving the property). My mother is both the PR/executor AND the beneficiary/devisee. So can the grantor and the grantee be the same person? If not, what is the appropriate correction?

(3) Lastly, the property in question was owned by both my brother and father as "tenants in common". To my understanding, the aforementioned PR's limited warranty deed is only for my father's 25% interest in the property and leaves my brother's remaining 75% interest untouched, correct? If this is true, then the grantee would become a "tenant in severalty" for my father's 25% interest alone (since there is only 1 grantee)?

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

Expert Answers

I regret that I cannot give you specific answers to your questions. I am not experienced (at all) in Hawaii law. I do not know how you can best accomplish what you are trying to do"”transfer your father's 25% interest in a piece of real estate to your mother, who inherited that property from him. I do not know what a "tenant in severalty" is.

I commend you for handling your father's probate pro se without an attorney. I know nothing of how Hawaii probate courts handle pro se proceedings. I know that probate courts in some other states have not been sympathetic to pro se proceedings.

The best book I on doing legal research is called "Legal Research:How to Find & Understand the Law," by Stephen Elias (Nolo; Berkeley, CA.) This book should be available in your college law library. If it isn't, check out your county law library.