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Judge appoints new trustee for Hawaiian estate

First Hawaiian Bank is now the new trustee of Abigail Kawananakoa’s estate. A Hawaiian judge found the 92-year-old sugar cane heiress incapable of overseeing the $220 million trust.

The judge – along with Los Angeles psychiatrist, David Trader – agreed that Kawananakoa lacked the mental capacity to make financial decisions, such as changes to the trust. Last year, Kawananakoa suffered a stroke and parties are focusing on her wellbeing. Her attorneys are disappointed that she cannot choose her own trustees.

Overshadowing the entire case, Kawananakoa’s wife is being accused of trying to control her assets. The bank is now in charge of protecting the Hawaiian princess’s legacy.

Kawananakoa still intends to leave the bulk of her estate to Native Hawaiians.

Choosing trustees with careful consideration

Deciding on trustees is one of the most important decisions a person can make when protecting their estate. Sometimes a trustee needs to be removed, just like some of Kawananakoa’s trustees. Trust documents do not always plan for the worst. Certain situations can come up during unexpected times, and court proceedings are necessary.

It is difficult to determine when a loved one has lost the mental capacity to make decisions. There are a few things you can check, which includes:

  • Their ability to weigh pros and cons of a money decision
  • Their understanding of the decisions at-hand
  • Their ability to make decisions clear

Trustees have many responsibilities. Disbursement of stocks, investments, real property and money are just a few. Therefore, it’s important that trustees closely follow the guidelines of a trust.

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