Bank agrees to oversee trust of Native Hawaiian heiress

HONOLULU — A Hawaii bank has agreed to supervise the trust of a 93-year-old Native Hawaiian heiress considered the last living Hawaiian princess, a report said.

First Hawaiian Bank has conditionally agreed in a court filing to take over as trustee of the Kawananakoa Trust, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

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Lawyers representing the $215 million estate of the heiress and her wife, Veronica Gail Worth, are expected to object to conditions set by the bank.

A hearing on the trustee appointment is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Abigail Kawananakoa is a descendent of the family that ruled the islands before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893.

Kawananakoa is trying to regain control of her estate after suffering a stroke in 2017. A judge ruled last year that she lacks the mental capacithanny to manage the trust.

First Hawaiian Bank said it would cap its annual fees at $1.5 million and waive a settlement fee estimated at more than $2 million.

Yet the bank insists on the appointment of an independent guardian for Kawananakoa and an independent conservator to oversee her financial affairs outside the trust.

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Kawananakoa’s nontrust assets include her ranching and quarter horse operations, including a ranch in California and another in Washington state. Her horse operations are losing $4 million annually, officials said.

Kawananakoa is the industry’s all-time leading female breeder of quarter horses and has produced racing earners of more than $10 million, according to the American Quarter Horse Association.

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