TN 15 (12-14)
GN 02315.049 Hawaii Small Estates
Section 560:3-1201(a) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, HAW. REV.STAT. §560:3-1201(a) (2014) provides:
“Any person indebted to the decedent or having possession of tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock, chose in action, or other tangible property belonging to the decedent shall make payment of the indebtedness or deliver the tangible personal property or an instrument evidencing the debt, obligation, stock, chose in action, or other intangible property to a person or persons claimed to be the successor or successors of the decedent or to the department of human services where the department has a claim against the estate pursuant to section 346-15 or 346-37, upon being presented a death certificate for the decedent and an affidavit made by or on behalf of the claimed successor or successors stating that:
The gross value of the decedent’s estate in this State does not exceed $100,000…;
No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in this State; and
The claimed successor or successors are entitled to the property and explaining the relationship of the claimed successor or successors to the decedent; or the department of human services has a claim against the estate pursuant to section 346-15 or 346-37.
The affidavit of the department of human services shall have priority over any other claim presented pursuant to the section.”
HAW. REV. STAT. §560:3-1202(2014) provides that the payment pursuant to affidavit discharges and releases the payor to the same extent as if dealing with a personal representative of the decedent. SSA need not inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit. Once payment of the underpayment is made, the payee-affiant is accountable therefore to any personal representative of the estate or to any other person having a superior right.