Attorney Cheryl Takabayashi's Areas or Expertise in Honolulu

Cheryl Takabayashi focuses primarily on Estate Planning which includes establishing Wills, Trusts, Durable General Power of Attorneys and Advance Health Care Directives, as well as Probate, and title transfers, in addition to representation with Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings.


‘A Will is a document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of their estate after their death.’
A Will is a legal instrument that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how his/her estate will be managed and distributed after their death. If a person does not leave a Will, or the Will is declared invalid, the person will have died intestate, resulting in the distribution of the estate according to state laws in which the person resided. A Will serves a variety of important purposes including:

  • Designating beneficiaries of one’s estate.
  • Choosing a Personal Representative to administer or manage the estate after one’s passing.
  • Selecting who will be the legal guardian(s) for any minor children.
It is important to note that simply having a Will does NOT always avoid probate. Thus, it is important to speak with an attorney so that you can properly plan your estate.


Although there are many types of trusts used in planning one’s estate, the most common is the “revocable living trust” (“Trust”). The person who sets up the Trust is usually called a “settlor”. The person who manages the Trust is called the “trustee”. When setting up the Trust, the settlor and the trustee are usually the same person until death or disability of either the settlor or the trustee.

A revocable living trust usually plans for your death and your disability in the following ways:
  1. Specifies beneficiaries of one’s estate;
  2. Appoints a “trustee” to manage one’s estate upon death or disability of the settlor;
  3. Avoids probate of the estate provided that assets are properly transferred into the Trust;
  4. May minimize estate taxes depending upon the size of your estate;
  5. Preserves confidentiality of your estate; and
  6. Allows the settlor and trustee to have more control over the disposition and management of assets.

Advanced Health Care Directive

An Advance Health Care Directive (“AHCD”) is a legal document that allows you to specify your wishes concerning various health care issues and medical decisions. You appoint someone that you trust as “agent” to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so.

Your AHCD allows you to also make decisions regarding: i) whether you wish to prolong your life in the event you are unable to participate actively in decisions about your medical care and treatment due to a terminal condition or a permanent loss of the ability to communicate concerning medical treatment decisions, with no reasonable chance of regaining this ability; ii) whether you wish to be kept alive by artificial feeding, tubes, etc.; iii) whether you wish to receive pain medication; iv) organ and body part(s) donation; and v) whom you wish to appoint as your primary physician.

An AHCD essentially takes the burden off of your family having to make some difficult end of life decisions regarding your medical care and treatment.

Power of Attorney

A Durable General Power of Attorney (“DGPA”) is a legal document which appoints a person whom you trust to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs. The person appointed is named as the “attorney-in-fact” and can act as your “agent” and thus sign various documents for you. A DGPA can become effective immediately or only upon incapacity. However, upon your demise, your power of attorney will no longer be effective, which is why additional estate planning becomes necessary for when you pass away.



‘Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a valid will or the laws of intestacy.'
A Will does not avoid probate! Many people are misinformed and believe that having a will avoids a probate. This is not always the case. It is important to look at the type of assets and the value of the assets to determine whether a probate may be necessary. Often times, setting up a trust is the solution to avoiding a probate upon one’s passing.

“Cheryl Takabayashi provided legal representation during probate proceedings for my deceased daughter. She made this difficult transition less complicated. Her competency is unquestionable, but her compassion and caring is what impressed me the most. If I ever need legal aid again, Cheryl is my attorney of choice.”

-Paul A. Sloke, Kaneohe, HI


“When I approached Cheryl about seeking a guardianship for my “special needs” son, I was very nervous because I didn’t want to take any chances of losing him. Cheryl explained everything to me and helped me understand the process of the steps that needed to be taken in order to obtain guardianship. I felt very comfortable working with Cheryl because of her kind and down to earth personality. She is very professional, respects the law, and has very good work ethics. I loved the fact that she too is a mom, who was very understanding and compassionate to me and my needs. I did receive a guardianship for my son with Cheryl’s guidance and excellent quality of service! I’m now seeking her services to help me set up a trust. I highly recommend Cheryl.”

-B. Timoteo, Ewa Beach, Hawaii


A conservatorship becomes necessary in circumstances where there is a minor or an incapacitated person who requires a person appointed by the court to be responsible for the financial affairs of the minor or incapacitated person. A conservatorship is sought in the probate court. 

In the case of a minor, the court must determine that: 1) the minor owns money or property requiring management or protection that cannot otherwise be provided; 2) the minor has, or may have, business affairs that may be put at risk or prevented because of the minor’s age; and 3) money is needed for support and education and that protection is necessary or desirable to obtain or provide money for the minor. 

In the case of an incapacitated person, the court must determine that: 1) the person is “incapacitated”, meaning that the person’s ability to receive and evaluate information or to make or communicate decisions (even with the use of appropriate and reasonable available technological assistance) is impaired; and 2) the person has property that will be wasted or depleted unless management is provided, or money is needed for the support, care, education, health, and welfare of the individual or of individuals who are entitled to the individual’s support and that protection is necessary or desirable to obtain or provide money.

Other Areas

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