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About me

In April of 2014, I formed Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel, with Randall Roth, of Counsel, and associate W. Kumu Belcher.  Prior to Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel, I spent six years with Hastings Laun & Roth.  I was also associated with Case Lombardi & Pettit, on Oahu.


Our firm concentrates on estate planning, which ranges from simple wills to complex tax planning.  We take the time to get to know our clients as people and to understand their goals and concerns.  This makes it possible for us to provide a personalized estate plan that provides peace of mind for each client.  Documentation is important, but equally important is the client's understanding and level of comfort with the entire estate planning process.  We have offices in Hilo, Kamuela, and Kona and regularly meet with clients in Oahu.


I grew up on Oahu where I graduated with honors from Punahou Academy.  In 2003 I earned a B.S. degree in Business Communications from the University of Kansas (Phi Beta Kappa), and, then in 2007, joint J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the William S. Richardson School of Law and Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai`i–Manoa. 


In addition to practicing estate planning, education has always been important to me.  I have taught Estate Planning as an adjunct law professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai`i–Manoa, and occasionally lecture in several other law courses there.  At the University of Hawai`i–Hilo, I periodically teach the Business Law course.  I also enjoy speaking at seminars for lawyers and other professionals in the areas of estate planning, probate administration, law firm management, and legal ethics.  My publications include co-authorship of the Hawaii State Bar Association’s Estate Planning Forms Manual (2012) and Hawaii law section of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Report, Comparison of Domestic Asset Protection Trust Statutes (2014). 


I have served as president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Hawaii State Bar Association and am currently an officer of the HSBA’s Estate Planning Section.  I am a past president of the Rotary Club of North Hawaii and currently serve on the boards of the Parker School and North Hawaii Hospice; and on the advisory board for the West Hawaii Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 100%

Attorney endorsements

4 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Diane C. Haar

    I am a lawyer in Hawaii, but more important, I am part of a military family and if we military families know anything, it is how important it is to keep our estate planning documents in order. It's hard to know when JAG is no longer an option where to go. John is that guy. He is not only incredibly knowledgeable in this area of law, but I trust him. With him, I would never worry if the worst were to happen if my paperwork was in order. I know it would be. So for all the folks who ask me where to go, this is the guy.


    Diane Haar Social Security Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Jeremy Andrew Grad

    John is smart, patient, friendly, responsive, and easy to communicate with. His depth of knowledge and level of professionalism are top-notch. I highly recommend him for all estate planning matters.


    Jeremy Grad Real Estate Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel

Carter Professional Center, 65-1230 Mamalahoa Hwy.
Suite F-102
Kamuela, HI, 96743


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
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Legal answers
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyHawaii Trust & Estate Counsel2014 - Present
AttorneyHastings Laun & Roth2008 - 2014
AttorneyCase Lombardi & Pettit2007 - 2008
Association namePosition nameDuration
Hawaii State Bar Association, Young Lawyer DivisionPresident2011 - 2012
Publication nameTitleDate
Hawaii State Bar Association’s Estate Planning Forms ManualCo-Author2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Hawaii at Manoa - William S. Richardson School of LawN/AJD/MBA - Juris Doctorate and MBA2007
University of Kansas School of LawN/ABS - Bachelor of Science2003
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Hawaii chapter) SeminarPortability2015