Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a “Grantor” and a “Grantee”?
The Grantor is the person that is going off title and is giving their interest to someone else.

The Grantee is the person who is going on title and is receiving the Grantor’s interest.

What is the difference between a Quitclaim Deed and a Warranty Deed?
A Quitclaim Deed transfers whatever interest the Grantor may have in the property. It makes no guarantees, whatsoever. For example, anyone could Quitclaim their interest in any property whether they owned it or not. The Grantee would own whatever interest the Grantor had, which could turn out to be nothing. Quitclaim Deeds are used in certain cases where an owner wants to convey the property but makes no guarantees as to the current status of title. Quitclaim Deeds are more often used when an ex-spouse is going off title.

A Warranty Deed gives some guarantees to the Grantee, such as guarantying that the Grantor owns the property being conveyed and that the Grantor guarantees the title to the property, subject only to the encumbrances set forth in Exhibit “A”. A Warranty Deed is usually considered a better way of transferring property.

Does a Quitclaim Deed cost less?
No. The type of Deed used makes no difference in the price because of the fact that the same amount of work is involved in conveying the property.
Why is Hawaii conveyancing so different from other states?
Hawaii has one central State agency that records all Deeds for all Islands. The Bureau of Conveyances has requirements that must be met in order for a Deed to be accepted for recording. Even getting a Deed recorded does not guarantee that the property was properly conveyed. The Bureau will record a document as long as it meets their requirements, but they make no judgment as to whether the Deed has been prepared properly and conveys the title without creating a title problem. Also, Hawaii has 2 systems of recording; regular and land court, with very different requirements. Using the services of a Hawaii licensed attorney, experienced in conveyancing, is recommended due to the complexities of conveyancing and the legal descriptions for properties, which can vary from property to property.
What if someone on title has died?
If an owner of Hawaii property dies without having a joint tenant with the right of survivorship on title with the deceased, or if the property is not deeded into the deceased’s Trust, then a Hawaii probate is needed, whether or not a probate in another State has been done. There are some exceptions. See our Probate section for more details.
I’ve had my Deed signed and notarized, now what do I do?
If Hawaii Document Service prepared the Deed, you need to mail the entire original Deed and other forms mentioned in your letter of instructions to our office.

If Hawaii Document Service did NOT prepare the Deed for you: The Bureau Conveyances of the State of Hawaii is responsible for recording documents. Our office does not review and record documents not prepared by our office, for liability issues. There are potential risks involved in trying to get a Deed recorded that was not prepared by an experienced, licensed Hawaii attorney. Out of state attorneys may be experienced in conveyancing in the State they practice in, but we don’t recommend they prepare Deeds for Hawaii property. Even if the Bureau accepts the Deed, it may have created a title problem that does not get discovered for years, and then may not be fixable.

Can I transfer my timeshare online?
No. Every deeded property (including timeshares) must have the proper Deed prepared, signed and notarized and then the original recorded with the Bureau of Conveyances.
How much does it cost to transfer my timeshare?
It depends on the resort the timeshare is located in. We must comply with all of the individual resort requirements, which can be extensive, in order for the resort to accept the transfer. Please contact our office, either by phone or email, for a free quote.
How long does it take to transfer my timeshare?
There are many factors to consider when transferring the timeshare. It mostly depends on how fast a client is in getting us the required information. Once we open a file, we usually have the documents drafted and sent out within 7 – 10 business days. Once we receive the properly executed documents, we normally record within 2 – 3 days and then distribute recorded copies within 2 – 3 business days. How long it takes each resort to update their records can be from a few days to many months.
If I send my resort a copy of my trust, will they automatically transfer my timeshare into it?

No.  Any transfer, even to a Trust, must be accomplished by the preparation and recording of the proper Deed or conveyance document.  Stating in your Trust that you are transferring your timeshare into your Trust is insufficient.

If my timeshare is mentioned in my will, does that protect my heirs from a Hawaii probate?
No. A Will only directs the Personal Representative appointed by the Court as to how you want the property distributed. A Hawaii probate is still needed. See our section on Probate for more information.
Can I transfer my timeshare simply by filling out a form with the resort?

No.  The resort may allow you to pay the maintenance fees and use the timeshare, but a proper Deed must be drafted and recorded with the Bureau of Conveyances to convey title, or else you will never be able to sell or convey the timeshare. Some resorts have memberships which are not controlled by recorded deeds/documents.

Do I need a new Deed if my name has changed?
Until such time as you want to make a change in title, such as removing an ex-spouse, adding a new spouse, transferring to your Trust, or selling the property, you do not do a new Deed. Generally, in Hawaii, you don’t convey to yourself. If a timeshare is involved, the resort can be notified of the change. Then, at such time as a new Deed is needed, the name change is noted.
My spouse and I divorced and now my spouse has passed away. Now what happens?
It depends on how the tenancy was stated in the Deed by which you and your ex-spouse took title. If you took title as Tenants by the Entirety, then the tenancy changed to Tenants in Common upon the divorce, which does not carry the right of survivorship. A Hawaii probate would be needed to transfer the deceased’s interest. If you took title as Joint Tenants, then the property is automatically yours upon the Joint Tenants’ death. A divorce does not affect a joint tenancy, which carries the right of survivorship.
We divorced and I was awarded the timeshare, does the title automatically transfer to me?
No. A divorce decree does not transfer title in Hawaii. A Deed must be prepared removing the ex-spouse.
Can I get my Timeshare Deed done cheaper somewhere else?

You may be able to get a Timeshare Deed done cheaper, but that often is because you are either not using the services of an experienced Hawaii Law Office, or the service may be incomplete.  Getting the Timeshare Deed drafted and recorded, is only a part of the total services required in successfully transferring the timeshare.  We are often notified by resorts that they were not informed of a transfer when it was done by another office, which ends up creating difficulties.  Also, a recorded Deed does not guarantee that it was prepared properly and transferred the property free of defects.  Price should not be the primary concern when it comes to dealing with transferring any Hawaii property, including timeshares.

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