Hawaiian Princess, 92, Alters Trust to Give Wife $40M

She also wants to give her the key to King Kalakaua's crypt
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2018 5:43 AM CST
Updated Nov 29, 2018 6:46 AM CST
In this March 15, 2018 photo, Abigail Kawananakoa, a 91-year-old Hawaiian heiress, is wheeled from a Honolulu courtroom.   (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, File)
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(Newser) – A 92-year-old Native Hawaiian princess has changed her trust to ensure her wife receives $40 million and all her personal property, including her Chihuahua "Girlie Girl," according to court records. Abigail Kawananakoa inherited her wealth as the great-granddaughter of James Campbell, an Irish businessman who made his fortune as a sugar plantation owner. Native Hawaiians, who consider her a princess because she's a descendant of the family that ruled the islands before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893, have been closely watching the ongoing legal wrangling over her trust because they are concerned about the fate of the foundation she set up to benefit Hawaiian causes, the AP reports. Kawananakoa's lawyers have asked a judge to approve the changes.

In September, a judge ruled Kawananakoa lacks the mental capacity to manage her $215 million trust, appointed First Hawaiian Bank to serve as trustee, and removed Jim Wright, her longtime attorney who stepped in as trustee after last year's stroke. After the stroke, Kawananakoa said she was fine, fired Wright, and then married Veronica Gail Worth, her girlfriend of 20 years. She attempted to amend her trust to remove Wright and replace him with three others, including Worth. She now wants to create a new foundation that will benefit Hawaiians and exclude board members appointed by Wright. The current foundation is asking a judge to appoint a guardian for Kawananakoa. It says it is concerned about artifacts—including a key to King Kalakaua's crypt—that the amended trust says will be given to Worth; the foundation says Kawananakoa had originally intended for them to end up in a museum.

(Read more Hawaii stories.)

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