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Woman and former attorney at odds over interpretation of trust

Trusts are tools that many in Miami are encouraged to involve in their estate planning due to the control that they offer over a person’s assets. Not only do they allow an estate to avoid having to go to probate upon one’s death, but they also permit one to stipulate who will handle their financial affairs and medical decision-making should they lose the ability to do so. Granting a trustee or another party such authority empowers that individual to assume control of one’s property in predetermined circumstances. Knowing this, one should think carefully about what stipulations he or she chooses to include in a trust instrument

A Hawaiian women could be contemplating that exact point right now as she works to gain back control of her estate. Her former attorney assumed the role of trustee after a neurologist confirmed the conclusion of her personal physician that she was no longer fit to manage her financial affairs. In response to her claims of him trying to wrest control of her fortune away from her, the attorney cited her own instructions in a trust that stipulated that action be taken to prevent her money from being misused. The woman, who is descended from Hawaiian royalty and holds assets believed to be in excess of $200 million, has retained the services of a former state attorney general to help reclaim her assets. 

A trust can be a valuable resource in helping one to manage his or her assets, but only when the trust itself is created and managed properly. Those who hope to avoid mistakes in establishing such an instrument may want to secure the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. 

Source: Hawaii News Now “Lawyer disputes allegation that he’s trying to take control of $200M Kawananakoa estate,”Daryl Huff, Aug. 14, 2017

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