Maui News

Ruling Established for Kawānanakoa Trust

September 13, 2018, 7:33 AM HST
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A Circuit Judge in Honolulu issued a long awaited ruling in the battle over control of the Abigail K. K. Kawānanakoa Trust, heir to the Hawaiian Monarchy and great grand niece of Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Judge R. Mark Browning determined Abigail K. K. Kawānanakoa unfit to manage her complex financial affairs, unable to serve as Trustee, and unable to appoint new trustees or make any other changes to her trust.

The Abigail K. K. Kawānanakoa Foundation found the new ruling favorable and extended its aloha to Judge Browning for acknowledging the Court’s kuleana to protect Ms. Kawananakoa and all vulnerable kūpuna.

Foundation Board Chair Oswald Stender said, “The Kawānanakoa Foundation is heartened to know the court will protect Ms. Kawananakoa and all members of Hawai‘i’s communities from those who would actively work to dismantle their known estate plans. The Probate Court’s decision today honors and protects the legacy Ms. Kawānanakoa long envisioned for her people and culture. We mahalo Successor Trustee James Wrightfor acting quickly in seeking the court’s oversight to protect Ms. Kawānanakoa and fiercely defending her trust over the past year.”

Kawānanakoa and her foundation’s philanthropic work have helped preserve and promote the Hawaiian people, culture, and historical & cultural sites. These include the restoration of ʻIolani Palace, the establishment of Hawaiian language immersion programs, and the renovation of The Hawaiian Hall at Bishop Museum.


Trust and estate attorney Rosanne Goo, who represents the Foundation along with attorneys Summer Kupau-Odo and Camille Kalama of Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, said, “The Court today rendered a pono decision that protects Ms. Kawānanakoa and her known estate plan. The Court’s decision honors the deliberate choices she made for herself before she was incapacitated and shows the judicial system will protect vulnerable kūpuna when they can no longer protect themselves. E ‘onipa‘a kākou e nā Hawai‘i!”

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