Having experienced the unexpected death of her father at the age of 12, Michelle understood at an early age the importance of planning for the loss of a loved one.  For Michelle’s mother, losing her husband was tragic, but at the age of 39, having to raise two young children with no planning and little guidance made it even harder.  From her mid-teens and on, Michelle attended meetings with her mother and her mother’s estate planning attorney.  She knew that the type of planning her mother did was there to protect her and her sister, and to ensure that things went smoothly should something happen to her mother.  Michelle may not have fully understood her mother’s estate plan, but she knew it gave her mother peace of mind.  This was the foundation of Michelle’s desire to be an estate planning attorney.

Michelle’s interest in elder law came a little later in life.  During Michelle’s undergraduate studies, Michelle’s grandmother needed nursing care.  Grandma lived in a nursing home for the last 6 years of her life, and Michelle not only experienced the emotional hardship it put on their family, but she also watched as Grandma’s assets diminished paying for her care.  Thankfully, Grandma aged with dignity and with her family working together to care for and support her.  Many obstacles, such as privacy laws, costly court proceedings, and fighting family members could have diverted attention from what was most important – caring for Grandma.  Planning for Hawaii’s aging and beloved seniors has become an important part of Michelle’s practice.

What started during her childhood, Michelle’s interest and desire to help clients prepare for incapacity and death, continues in her practice at Estate Planning Partners.  Michelle believes that no matter how grand or humble the estate, proper planning can make life simpler and preserve your assets for both you and the loved ones you leave behind.  At Estate Planning Partners, she focuses on Estate Planning, and Trust and Estate Administration.  Michelle believes that every estate plan should fit the client, and she works closely with her clients in learning about their goals, health, family situation, personalities of their beneficiaries, nature of their assets, and other important factors.  From there, Michelle counsels and provides recommendations for her clients using various types of trusts or other estate planning tools that will meet her clients’ goals.  Michelle has assisted thousands of Hawai`i residents in these areas and she loves it.  As a proud mother and wife, Michelle brings compassion to her work with an understanding of family values and the importance of caring for loved ones.

Michelle attended the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Finance, and earned her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law.  Following law school, Michelle served as a law clerk for the Honorable Eden Elizabeth Hifo of the First Circuit Court.  Thereafter, Michelle was an associate at the law firm Bays Deaver Lung Rose & Baba, where her practice included real estate litigation, construction litigation, and insurance disputes.  Feeling the need to pursue her passion for estate planning, Michelle changed her focus to estate planning and administration.  Michelle is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Hawaii.  She is also a member of the Probate and Estate Planning Section and the Elder Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association.

Outside the office, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, her big-hearted and outgoing daughter, and her inquisitive and playful son.  During her “mommy time,” Michelle relaxes through jogging and golfing.

Diane was born and raised in Ewa Beach on the island of Oahu. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Diane knew from an early age that she desired a career which involved helping people. After much deliberation she decided to attend law school as she believed it was a perfect means to help her achieve her personal and professional goals. In her career, Diane has represented corporations (large and small), government agencies, high level management personnel, and individuals. It has been Diane’s work with everyday people that has brought her the most personal satisfaction. She is proud to have assisted individuals fight for their legal rights against large companies trying to take advantage of them.

Having practiced for many years in the area of civil litigation, Diane understands the importance of carefully and precisely drafting legal documents. Many disputes end up in court because legal documents were not carefully drafted, did not address all reasonably anticipated situations, and/or the language in the documents did not accurately reflect the true intentions of the parties. Diane believes it is important to fully understand her client’s financial, family and health situation, as well as her client’s ultimate goals, in order to best assist her client in addressing his/her estate planning needs.

After completing her studies at the University of Hawaii, Diane attended Whittier Law School in California where she earned her Juris Doctor and graduated Magna Cum Laude. At Whittier Law School she served as a member of the Whittier Law Review, was a Fellow in the Center for Children’s Rights, received the Dean’s Merit Scholarship for each of her three years in law school, and also received an American Jurisprudence Award. As well, Diane had the honor of being chosen by one of her law school professors as his Research Assistant, and was chosen by Whittier Law School as a tutor to her fellow students.

After returning to Hawaii, Diane served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marcia J. Waldorf (Ret.) where she gained invaluable experience and knowledge about Hawaii’s court system. After her clerkship, she worked for various law firms in Honolulu practicing civil litigation, including appeals before Hawaii’s appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In conjunction with Diane’s civil litigation cases, she practiced in Probate Court assisting clients in establishing a legal structure which would allow them, or their beneficiaries, to receive the proceeds of financial settlements they obtained. As well, Diane has served as Kokua Kanawai to the Probate Court, assisting the court in its investigation of petitions to establish guardianships and conservatorships.

Diane loves nothing more than spending time with her beautiful children who keep her quite busy with their school, social and sporting events. When Diane manages to find some time to herself she enjoys hiking and simply being outdoors and in nature. She absolutely treasures the time she spends with her children and amazingly loving and supportive family and friends.

Stacy was born on Oahu and raised in Kailua. Stacy grew up in a household with her grandparents and understands what a priceless experience that was and how it has helped to shape the person she has become. During Stacy’s first year of law school she was living at home with her family when her grandfather began to significantly decline while suffering from vascular dementia. Stacy experienced first-hand what it is like to watch a loved one decline and the toll that took on the rest of her family. Grandpa was able to live out the remainder of his life in the home he had lived in since the 1960s. Stacy has seen the dramatic difference a person’s environment during their end-of-life care can have on their overall well-being, and she is grateful that her family was prepared enough to allow Grandpa and Grandma to remain in their home. Stacy is hopeful that through her practice she can assist clients with their estate planning to facilitate an easier transition through incapacity and death so that their families can spend their time and energy focusing on their loved ones.

Stacy spent a year following law school clerking for the probate judge on Oahu and relies on this experience when counseling clients. During her clerkship she encountered countless examples of the devastating toll that either poor planning or no planning can have on families and friends following the death of a loved one. Stacy’s experience has shown her how unpredictable life can be, and that proper estate planning is crucial to avoiding unnecessary, costly, and lengthy court proceedings.

A wise old sailor once said, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” Stacy believes that proper preparation can make any experience more enjoyable—whether it be traveling, participating in a sport or activity, or transitioning from life to incapacity and death. Stacy enjoys meeting with clients to discuss their goals, concerns, assets, and other important factors in order to create an estate plan that works for the client and helps them prepare for the future. Stacy counsels clients to give them peace of mind that they have done all they can to make future transitions easier for themselves and for their loved ones.

Stacy attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Rhetoric and Film Studies. Stacy lived in the Pacific Northwest for a couple of years before returning home to Hawaii where she earned her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. As a law student, Stacy clerked for the Hawaii State Department of Education’s Civil Rights Compliance Office and the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland, Oregon. Stacy was also the President and Founder of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter at Richardson. Following law school, Stacy served as a law clerk for the Honorable Derrick H.M. Chan of the First Circuit Court. Thereafter, Stacy was an associate at the law firm Cades Schutte in the Trusts and Estates Department. Stacy’s practice focused on estate planning, trust administration and litigation, estate administration and probate, and conservatorship and guardianship proceedings. Stacy is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Hawaii. Stacy is a member of the Probate and Estate Planning and Elder Law Sections of the Hawaii State Bar Association.

Stacy enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs. She also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, walking the beach with her dogs, and golfing.

Shirley was born and raised on Oahu and is the youngest of four children.  After graduating from college, she had the fortunate opportunity to pursue her interest in law by joining an estate planning law firm in Honolulu.  During her time there, Shirley had seen numerous families fight over inheritance, determining a loved one’s incapacity, and who should be appointed as the loved one’s guardian or conservator.  In the end and regardless of the outcome, sadly, the relationships of these families were never the same.  While it was truly heartbreaking for Shirley to watch these situations arise as a result of not having a proper estate plan in place, her passion for estate planning developed, as it allowed her to see first-hand its immense value and the peace of mind that it brings to our clients.

Someone once said, “It’s not the number of family or friends, but the quality of relationships that sustains us.”  Building and fostering positive relationships has always been a value of Shirley’s.  Accordingly, she is passionate about her role in assisting our clients with not only preserving their assets, but their family ties and values as well.  Shirley believes that the sensitive issues addressed in estate planning are very personal, and treating our clients with care and compassion is a priority.

Shirley attended Hawaii Pacific University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Advertising.  Thereafter, she joined Est8Planning Counsel, where she was mentored by Michelle M. M. Ogata, and simultaneously earned her Associate of Science degree through the Paralegal Program at Kapiolani Community College.  Shirley has always admired Michelle’s work ethic, compassion towards others, and the personal bond she creates with every one of her clients.  Because she has always taken a paralleled approach to her work, Shirley gladly welcomed the opportunity to work with Michelle again as the first member of her team.

Shirley loves spending quality time with her family and friends, walks with her wife and dog, and enjoys traveling, surfing, and golfing in her spare time.

Irene was born at Kuakini Medical Center and raised in Kaneohe where she enjoyed sewing flower leis during her high school years. After graduating from Castle High School, she worked at Kuakini Medical Center for over 25 years as a kidney center ward clerk and at the credit union as a loan officer. She started her legal career as a receptionist at Stubenberg and Durrett in 2000, and later moved to Est8Planning Counsel LLLC as a legal secretary.  For several years thereafter, she worked in the medical field, before returning to the legal field at Estate Planning Partners.

Irene enjoys spending time with family and friends and watching Korean dramas.


Wendy was born in Honolulu and raised in Windward Oahu. She attended Honolulu Community College and graduated with an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. Since 2007, Wendy worked in the legal field as a legal assistant/paralegal in estate planning, probate and trust administration.  She left the legal field in late 2017 to work at a local non-profit where she honed her passion for helping others, especially seniors.  Wendy returned to the legal field when she was given the opportunity to work with Michelle, whom she worked with previously.

Wendy enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as volunteering for local nonprofits. She particularly enjoys bonding with her husband over early morning workouts, evening runs, and golfing with friends.

Aaron is accomplished in the fields of business development and sales and marketing and over the years he has found success in various business ventures. His true passion has always been helping others and servicing the needs of his partners in a creative goal driven fashion. When the opportunity arose to share in his wife’s dream of starting her own estate planning law practice, Aaron was excited to lend his skill set to her business, whose primary focus is to help local families achieve a sense of peace of mind through personalized estate planning.

Aaron believes that in these tumultuous times, “control” is a commodity that is becoming increasing difficult to obtain. Estate planning is one of the few mediums that enable us to regain control of our lives and more importantly, the future of our families. Estate Planning, if done properly, helps to fosters genuine peace of mind, allowing us to enjoy the time that we have with our loved ones without the uncertainties of what will happen after our passing. It is our goal at Estate Planning Group to assist as many local families as possible in achieving this sense of control, and in turn peace of mind.

Aaron attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Marketing. Aaron has had the privilege of bringing new media products to market, has owned and operated a chain of local retail stores, and has consulted for a number of local businesses, providing assistance with business development and sales and marketing.

Outside the office, Aaron enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, surfing and CrossFit.


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