Rosemarie S.J. Sam
Rosemarie S.J. Sam
  • Partner

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Rosemarie S. J. Sam concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration, and trust and estate litigation. She has represented clients in establishing wills and trusts, implementing sophisticated estate planning techniques, planning for incapacity, administering and terminating trusts and estates, and resolving will and trust controversies. She has been elected to the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America as 2022 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Trusts and Estates.  .

Examples of her work include:

  • Basic Estate Planning: Prepared estate planning documents, such as wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, durable powers of attorney for asset management, advance health-care directives, digital asset authorizations, designations to control disposition of remains, deeds and other conveyance documents.
  • Advanced Estate Planning: Prepared documents to implement sophisticated estate planning techniques such as generation skipping trusts, leveraged gifting through the use of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, charitable remainder trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, qualified domestic trusts, asset protection trusts, and installment sales to “intentionally defective grantor trusts.”
  • Probate and Trust Administration: Counseled fiduciaries (personal representatives of probate estates and trustees of trusts) on proper administration and termination of estates.
  • Trusts and Estates Disputes: Defended fiduciaries and advocated for beneficiaries in contested proceedings, including breach of fiduciary duties, will contests, and challenges to validity of trust instruments.
  • Conservatorship/Guardianship: Represented clients to establish and administer conservatorships and guardianships of incapacitated adults.

Rosemarie is the Editor-in-Chief of the Hawai’i Probate Forms Manual (4th ed.), co-author of the Hawai’i Conservatorship and Guardianship Forms Manual (2nd ed.), and co-author of “Trusts and Estate Primer”, Hawai’i Bar Journal (Nov. 2010). She is also a court appointed member of the Committee on Uniform Probate Code and Probate Court Practices and a former Lecturer of Finance Estate Planning at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i. She has lectured on a range of topics, including trust and estate administration, estate planning, conservatorships, preventing estate litigation through estate planning, planning for and administering digital assets, and asset protection planning. Rosemarie was selected as a member of Pacific Business News’ “Forty Under 40” Class of 2011.


  • University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, Honolulu, Hawaii
    • J.D. - 2005
    • Honors: cum laude
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • B.B.A. - 2000
    • Major: Business
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • B.A. - 2000
    • Major: International Studies

Published Works

  • Editor-in-Chief, Hawaii Probate Forms Manual (4th ed.)
  • Co-Author, Hawaii Conservatorship and Guardianship Forms Manual (2nd ed.)
  • Co-Author, "Trusts and Estate Primer", Hawaii Bar Journal (Nov. 2010)

Bar Admissions

  • Hawaii
  • U.S. District Court District of Hawaii

Professional Associations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow)
  • Hawaii State Bar Association (Past Chair, Elder Law Section)
  • Hawaii Tax Institute (Advisory Committee)
  • Hawaii Estate Planning Council (Past President)
  • Hawaii State Bar Foundation (Director)
  • Committee on Uniform Probate Code and Probate Court Practices, Appointed Member

Practice Areas:

  • Trust and Estate Litigation and Controversy
  • Trust and Estates


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2022
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2014-2017
  • "Forty Under 40", Pacific Business News, Class of 2011

Classes & Seminars

  • Former Lecturer, Finance Estate Planning at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i

Past Positions

  • United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, Extern
  • Honorable Colleen K. Hirai at the First Circuit Court of Hawaii, Clerk