Hawaii Wills, Trusts, Estate Litigation & Planning, & Taxation Attorneys

For over two decades, the Wills, Trusts, Estates & Taxation Department of MacDonald Rudy O'Neill & Yamauchi, a Limited Liability Law Partnership, LLP, has provided legal representation involving complex probate, will, trust and estate litigation disputes, as well as routine estate and trust administration, estate planning, and taxation.

More recently, the Wills, Trusts, Estates & Taxation Department has handled many of the largest, most high profile trust litigation cases in the State of Hawaii over the last decade and a half.

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Attorney Services

Wills, Estates & Trust Litigation

Our department has experienced attorneys that have successfully litigated issues of improperly procured wills, codicils, trusts and amendments to trusts. Our litigation team has also successfully set aside powers of attorney and an array of improper transactions that include transfers of personal or real property that were the result of fraud, undue influence or other improper acts of third parties.

Our department has also defended fiduciaries against allegations of asset mismanagement, breaches of fiduciary duties, as well as a variety of other improper actions.

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Trust Administration

We are experienced in counseling fiduciaries on issues related to their administrative duties established by statute, common law, and the governing trust document. Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to assist and instruct fiduciaries to follow the law in administering the trust. We assist with accountings, trust termination, and final distributions, including assisting with the liquidation and monetizing of trust assets, which may include the sale of real estate and winding up other business assets of the trust.

In certain circumstances, a trust may be drafted in such a manner where the course of conduct for a trustee may be unclear or there may be a gray area in how the trust may be interpreted. Our department has then requested that the court intervene and provide instructions as to appropriate course of action for our trustee client.

We are also experienced in filing petitions with the court for reformation or deviation. If a trust document contains errors in drafting, we request that the court reform the trust. In the event that there is a change in circumstances that prevents or hinders to proper administration of a trust, we file petitions for modification or deviation, requesting permission to administer the trust differently than what is provided for in the trust document.

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Simple & Complex Probate

Our department has experience in representing personal representatives and other interested persons, including creditors of estates in the probate process. The probate process involves the winding up of decedent's affairs according to statutory rules. We are able to assist in the administration of probate estates ranging from small, simple estates to large, complex estates.

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Estate Planning

Our estate planning department provides estate planning for people with varying needs, from relatively simple and basic needs to individuals with high net worth and extensive estate planning needs, including estate and gift tax issues, generation skipping tax issues, and asset protection. Our estate planning attorneys assist in tax planning as well as the preparation of revocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney, advance health care directives and funding as well.

Our wills and trust department also assists in setting up limited liability companies, family limited partnerships and other basic estate planning tools to help design basic estate planning and asset protection programs, including preserving tenancy by the entirety characteristics of real property.

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Contested Conservatorships & Guardianships

One of the growing areas in the probate court is contested conservatorships and guardianships. Often this occurs when people do not have prior estate planning. In certain instances, due to physical, mental or health impairment of an individual, the individual is not able to manage his or her own affairs. We represent individuals in disputes over proper conservatorships and defending existing conservators from improper removal, as well as litigating improper administration of conservatorships. We involve ourselves in all aspects of conservatorship including budgeting, accounting and court approval of guardianship appointments and interim and final accountings.

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