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

2 answers | Last updated: Apr 04, 2017
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.

Community Answers

Geo2015 answered...

Well, remaining in compliance with probate law and estate law in Hawaii is certainly not so simple when you are dealing with Hawaii and you apparently reside in another state, and you are trying to get through this process without a lawyer. But you should not have a problem with your mother being the executrix, as well as receiving an inheritance, as one of the rightful heirs to the estate. Moreover, you also shouldn't have an issue transferring the house to the surviving spouse, i.e., your mother. On the other hand, just to be sure, it would be smart to chat with a decent estate lawyer for 30--45 minutes... even if you still prefer to go it alone, without an attorney of record along for the ride, from start to finish. People have probate attorneys, or estate attorneys, on board, throughout the probate process, for a reason you know.

All those other rather complex estate items and filings you referenced, in terms of transferring the house from your dad, who is the decedent, to your mom, who is alive and functioning as executrix... are far from simple, in my view...and jumping in and out of complicated law books, and snatching up pieces of conversation with friendly, helpful people -- is all the way around not really terrific policy if you want to make sure all your decisions are correct and in line with Hawaii estate law, and state probate law. I'd say anyone in your position should at least have a sit-down for an hour with an experienced Hawaii estate attorney, who is also experienced with probate real estate in Hawaii, and all the ramifications of shifting inherited property from decedent to surviving spouse.

I'm not sure what you plan to do, but most heirs of estates in probate, who are inheriting probate real estate, list their inherited property for sale as soon as possible... Most want to avoid yearly real estate taxes, and the cost of upkeep, and existing repairs. On the other hand -- most heirs aren't inheriting a lovely home in Hawaii, possibly in view of the ocean. Most are inheriting an old home requiring numerous repairs, with no ocean view, and typically without a pool or other redeeming features that justify yearly taxes and upkeep costs.

Another thing many heirs of probates do with an inherited house, is to borrow money against inheritance... or a probate real estate inheritance -- they get a very speedy loan on their inheritance, often deciding right away to apply for one of the many popular probate loans, inheritance loans, estate loans or super fast probate advance & inheritance advance assignments -- fast, secure probate cash advance and inheritance cash advance windfall assignments.

By the time those especially proactive heirs are approved by inheritance loan company for a probate real estate loan... a probate loan or inheritance advance, after getting inheritance advance rates and inheritance loan fees, to get good real estate loan, probate loan or inheritance advance terms – most of these heirs are looking at hiring their own legal support with a fairly large inheritance loan, probate loan, 72 hour loan on inheritance, or 48 hour inheritance loan advance or probate cash advance, or whatever useful inheritance advance or small advance inheritance or probate loan, estate loan or inheritance advance assignment they do get approved for by the inheritance loan, probate cash advance or probate loan firm they prefer… which is typically an established probate loan company such as or, or maybe the team, all with very similar probate loans, inheritance advance, and inheritance loans terms and conditions. Fast, secure inheritance money, or probate cash, like this from loans while waiting for inheritance, loans against an inheritance or loans based on inheritance, seem to help a lot of heirs feel a lot more confident and a lot less worried, about the estate, their inherited property and/or liquid assets. That advance probate cash windfall generally cheers people up and usually creates a more positive atmosphere among the heirs, all the way around.