Entries by Ethan Okura

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GIFTING YOUR ASSETS

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            Most of my clients have heard that you can give away $10,000 per year to any other person without consequences.  That’s not exactly correct.  Some have heard that you should consider giving away your assets to your children or other loved ones 5 years before you might need to go to a nursing home.  Therefore, many of them believe that you should read more

2015 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

Here is a 2015 update on important numbers used in Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning in Hawaii.

How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes?



At the end of 2012, Congress passed a law making the exemption from estate taxes $5,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) without a built in expiration date. Taking into account inflation, the actual amount exempt from estate tax for 2015 is $5,430,000. The Hawaii read more

WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN REAL ESTATE

If you’ve been reading my articles, you may have noticed that I have written a few times on how you should own your real estate, what tenancy you should hold the property under, whether to use an LLC, the advantages of an irrevocable trust, and recently even explaining how you can invest your IRA or 401k funds in real estate.



Of course the assumption I’m making is that you are already investing in real estate. If you aren’t, read more

SELF-DIRECTED IRAs: INVEST YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS IN REAL ESTATE, PRIVATE LOANS, AND OTHER NON-TRADITIONAL ASSETS PART I

Recently I have been hearing more and more people talk about Self-Directed IRAs. This idea has been spreading among entrepreneurs and investors all over the country in recent years.  More accountants and lawyers are starting to become aware of this phenomenon.  But what is it?  And how can it help you?



I first encountered the concept of Self-Directed IRAs in the early 2000s while studying real estate investing.  I learned that it is read more

ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY

A hot topic in today’s world is Long Term Care, otherwise known as:  How to pay for the very expensive cost of Nursing Home Care.  Seniors are living longer; life expectancies are growing; and Health Care costs are increasing.  What does this mean for us?



I started law school at Columbia University in 1999.  In the short decade and a half since I started studying elder law, I’ve seen the average cost of nursing home care go read more

How To Own Real Estate?


One question that comes up often in estate planning is:  How should I own my Real Property (or Real Estate)?  Last July I wrote an article on this very topic.  The focus of that article was simply how to avoid probate with a slight mention of asset protection.  However, today I’m going to get into the nitty gritty of what to do—especially if you are trying to protect your assets from future nursing home costs or lawsuits and/or have read more

Summer Tax Savings

Having just enjoyed the 4th of July weekend, one thing is certain: Summer is here! I don’t know where all the time goes, but 2014 is just flying by for me and I imagine many of you are experiencing the same thing.  So, in honor of summer, I thought I’d share some tax tips with a summer theme that might help out some of you in planning to reduce your tax bill next year.



Summer Day Camp/Day Care.  If you have young children (or if read more

Changes to the Hawaii Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Law

The Hawaii State Legislature has been quite active in the field of estate planning recently.  Last month I wrote an article about the new Power of Attorney law.  Shortly after that law was passed, Governor Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 2887, S.D. 1, on April 23rd, which amends the Hawaii Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax.



This law has a long and convoluted history.  I won’t subject you to all read more

The New Power of Attorney


As of April 17th 2014, Governor Abercrombie signed a bill into law establishing the new Uniform Power of Attorney Act.  It may be a little confusing to people because there already was a Hawaii law allowing powers of attorney, and the old law was called the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act.  What did they accomplish besides taking the word “Durable” out of the law? And does this now mean that Powers of read more