Lawyer disputes allegation he's trying to take control of $200M Kawananakoa estate

Heiress Kawananakoa: Lawyer is trying to take control of $200M estate
Published: Aug. 13, 2017 at 2:44 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 14, 2017 at 2:29 PM HST
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MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In an explosive letter sent to Hawaii News Now, Abigail Kawananakoa says her longtime attorney is improperly trying to take control of her fortune.

The 92-year-old is heir to the Campbell Estate and after an illness in June, a probate court judge appointed her attorney, Jim Wright, trustee over her estate. He said two doctors found she was no longer able to manage her personal life or finances.

In a handwritten letter sent to Hawaii News Now on Saturday, Kawananakoa disputes that.

"I am alive and well after suffering a minor attack," said the descendant of Hawaiian royalty.

She said had decided to fire Wright "because I felt he was not following my personal wishes and he was mismanaging my affairs."

Former Hawaii Attorney General Mike Lilly confirmed that the letter is genuine and that he is now representing Kawananakoa in her effort to reclaim control of her assets, estimated at more than $200 million.

Kawananakoa also expressed her appreciation to her longtime partner Veronica Worth, who sent out Kawananakoa's letter Saturday.

She said without Worth "this egregious breach might have never been righted, leaving me unable to complete my lifelong mission of supporting the Hawaiian People and my many other charitable causes."

Meanwhile, Wright issued the following statement on Saturday defending his actions:

A Queen's neurologist and Miss Kawananakoa's personal physician of 15 years have both concluded she is unable to manage her financial affairs.  In light of that, I acted exactly in accordance with her written instructions in her Trust document to prevent her money from being misused.  Miss Kawananakoa is being exploited by opportunists and interlopers.  More than ever she needs the protection of the probate court.

The dispute will be argued out in probate court.

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