Thumbs Down on Princess Trust Changes from Ag

HONOLULU, OAHU (Ben Caxton) — Proposed changes to a Hawaiian princess’ trust have earned a “thumbs-down” from the state attorney general. 92-year-old Abigail Kawananakoa suffered a stroke in 2017 and her long-time attorney stepped in to manage her $215 million trust. In September a judge, however, ruled Kawananakoa lacked the mental capacity to manage her affairs, removed the lawyer, and appointed First Hawaiian Bank to serve as trustee. Kawananakoa said she’s fine and married Veronica Gail Worth, her girlfriend of 20 years, and now proposes a change to the trust that would ensure her wife receives $40 million and all her personal property. Last week, Hawaii Attorney General Russell Suzuki argued in a court filing that Kawananakoa’s amendment to her trust is too complex and is invalid based on a prior court ruling. Suzuki said the proposed changes will substantially alter the estate plan Kawananakoa executed before her mental capacity came into question. The state represents the public interest in the protection of the trust’s charitable assets. A court hearing on the trust amendment is scheduled for next month.

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