Hawaii Living Trust Form – Irrevocable & Revocable

Updated June 01, 2022

The Hawaii living trust is a document that allows you (the Grantor) to set aside certain assets for your heirs. While a Will serves a similar function, a trust bypasses the probate process and enables the Beneficiaries to collect your assets immediately after your death. It’s entirely possible for you to retain control over your assets during your lifetime by electing yourself as Trustee (with a Revocable Trust only). The main advantage of a Revocable Trust is that you are still able to benefit from any income that your property and/or real estate generates. An Irrevocable Trust has no such advantage, but instead offers you protection from estate tax as ownership of your assets will be in the name of the trust.

LawsArticle VII (Trust Administration) of the Hawaii Probate Code.

Registration (§ 560:7-101) – All trusts must be registered in accordance with § 560:7-102 and submitted to the Circuit Court Location of the Trustee.

Will (Last Will and Testament) – Any provision unspecified in a Living Trust may be established within a Will (e.g. name guardians for children, care for pets, instructions for debt payments, etc.). A Will is subject to the probate process.


Irrevocable Living Trust – The Grantor may not modify the trust once it has been established. Advantages of an Irrevocable Trust include tax benefits and protection of assets from creditors.

Revocable Living Trust – Alterations to a Revocable Trust can be made at any point by the Grantor. In addition, the Grantor may act as Trustee and have full control over their real estate and property.

Individual Roles

The following roles are essential in a Living Trust:

Grantor (or “Settlor”) – Initial creator of the trust.

Trustee – Often the same person as the Grantor (with a Revocable Trust), the Trustee is in charge of managing the trust during the Grantor’s lifetime. An Irrevocable Trust does not permit the Grantor to be the Trustee.

Successor Trustee – If the Trustee dies or becomes incapacitated, the Successor Trustee will assume control of the trust.

Beneficiaries – The individual(s) who will benefit from the Grantor’s real estate and personal property.

How to Make a Living Trust in Hawaii

In order to make a trust, an individual, known as the “Grantor,” will be required to choose from one of the two types of trusts and describe all provisions regarding their property and other assets. Afterward, the details of the Trustee, the individual who will oversee the property and assets, should be completed in addition to the Beneficiaries who are the persons that will receive the property and assets upon the death of the Grantor. Once the form has been completed, it is recommended that it be signed in the presence of a Notary Public and registered in accordance with § 560:7-102 in the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction of the Trustee.

Motor Vehicles – A Hawaii Bill of Sale will act as a receipt for the transfer of ownership. The vehicle must also be registered with the DMV office in your country (DMV Locator).

Real Estate – Fill out a Hawaii Deed and have it filed with the Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances along with the required Recording Fees.

Websites – You will need to change the contact and administration information currently on file with ICANN / WHOIS. To do this, speak to your domain provider and update them with the new ownership information.

Do I Need a Living Trust?

In the State of Hawaii, a Living Trust is only needed to bypass probate if an individual has more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) excluding vehicles (per § 560:3-1201). Otherwise, the heirs may opt to file a Small Estate Affidavit after the death of the individual and will not be forced to undergo the probate process. An individual may still complete a Living Trust if they do not have property valued above $100,000 and if he or she would like to transfer certain possessions to specific heirs.