Estate Planning, Trust Administration and Probate

Attorneys in our Estate Planning, Trust Administration and Probate practice group are experienced in all aspects of estate planning, trust and estate administration, wealth preservation and asset protection, charitable planning, conservatorship and guardianship proceedings, and trust and probate litigation.  Our goal is to help clients with their needs during their lifetime and with the transfer of their assets from one generation to another.

Basic and Advanced Estate Planning
We meet with and counsel a variety of clients and provide a full range of estate planning services.  We assist clients in drafting wills, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, and advance health-care directives.  Our attorneys also have experience in advising clients with respect to more advanced planning techniques, including but not limited to generation skipping “dynasty” trusts, irrevocable gift trusts, and charitable planning.  We work with attorneys in our corporate and tax departments on business succession, family limited partnerships, and other vehicles to protect family assets.

Trust and Estate Administration
We counsel individual and corporate fiduciaries—trustees and personal representatives—in all aspects of trust and estate administration.  Our attorneys provide advice about the interpretation of trust and will provisions and fiduciary duties and responsibilities throughout administration.  We also provide advice to ensure fiduciary compliance with estate and income tax requirements.

Trust and Probate Dispute Resolution and Litigation
When questions or concerns arise regarding an estate plan or during the course of administration, we are frequently asked to help resolve such disputes.  While we try to resolve disputes informally through negotiation and mediation, we are prepared to go to court with necessary.  We have represented clients regarding contested trust, estate, conservatorship and guardianship matters.

Wealth Preservation and Asset Protection
Our attorneys are also experienced in more sophisticated and complex planning and in assisting clients with the preservation of wealth from one generation to another.  Such strategies can include estate and gift tax planning and creating business entities such as family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, asset protection trusts, and other wealth preservation techniques that are best suited to the client’s specific goals.

Conservatorship and Guardianship Proceedings
Our attorneys can assist in conservatorship and guardianship proceedings for incapacitated adults whose assets need protection.

We recognize that clients have a variety of needs when it comes to planning for their life and after their death.  We strive to provide personalized services in a cost effective and efficient manner.

  • Estate and Gift Tax
  • Probate
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Wills and Trusts

Representative Cases

  • In re Elizabeth J. K. L. Lucas Charitable Gift, 125 Haw. 351 (2011) (clarifying cy pres doctrine in Hawai`i).
  • In re Robinson Trust, 110 Haw. 181 (2006) (trust interpretation case).
  • In re Medeiros Testamentary Trust & Life Insurance Trust, 105 Haw. 284 (2004) (trust interpretation case).
  • In re Estate of Ferdinand Marcos, 88 Haw. 148 (1998) (finding no Hawai`i domicile in probate proceeding).
  • Who Gets It When You Go? Wills, Probate and Inheritance Taxes for the Hawai`i Resident (Third Edition) Includes Information on 1997 Changes in Hawai`i’s Probate Laws (Random House and also UH Press)
  • You can’t take it with you. A Guide for Planning Your Will, Protecting Your Family’s Financial Future, Minimizing Inheritance Taxes, and Avoiding Probate (Random House)
  • Death and Taxes (UH Press)

Practice Chair