Entries by michelle

TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY FOR PERSONAL PROPERTY

By: Ethan R. Okura

Back in December of 2009, my father,
Sanford K. Okura, wrote an excellent article titled “Tenants by the Entirety.”
It explained the pros and cons of holding property as “tenants by the entirety”
as opposed to holding them in revocable trust(s). At the time, tenants by the entirety
protection was only available for property owned directly by married couples or
registered reciprocal beneficiaries.

The main benefit of owning property as
tenants by the entirety is to protect read more

INCOME TAXES and IRAs

By: Ethan R. Okura

It’s that time of year again. No, not Valentine’s Day…and I’m not even talking about President’s Day. I’m talking about Taxes! Your personal income tax return isn’t due until April 15th, and if you’re like many people, you might file for an extension so that you have until October 15th to submit it. However, it’s usually right around this time of year that taxes are on the mind, and I start getting read more

Estate Planning Update 2019

By: Ethan R. Okura

Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Happy New Year! The following is a 2019
update on important numbers used in estate planning and Medicaid planning in Hawai‘i.

How
much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes?
At the end of 2017, Congress passed a new
tax bill which the president signed into law. It doubled the previous estate
and gift tax exemption from $5 million to $10 million (adjusted for inflation).
Taking into account inflation, read more

WRAPPING UP YOUR ESTATE PLAN

By: Ethan R. Okura

Happy Holidays!

This is the time of the year when we make
an extra effort to be thankful for all that we have. We focus on the spirit of giving
and we wrap up presents for our family and loved ones.

This thought made me chuckle a little at a
recent meeting with a client at what our law firm calls the “Wrap-up Meeting.”
This is usually the final meeting with our client after they have signed their
estate planning documents, we’ve recorded their deed(s) and made read more

RETIREMENT SAVINGS AND NEW CONTRIBUTION LIMITS – An Overview to Help You Prepare for 2019

By: Ethan R. Okura

There’s no question about it: Saving for
retirement is not easy.

There are quite a few types of retirement
accounts. Each has its own rules and tax benefits, although, for the most part,
they tend to be similar. The amounts you can contribute, however, vary from
plan to plan. The Internal Revenue Service recently announced higher limits for
allowed contributions to your retirement savings. These new limits are
effective January 2019, which might help some of us to save more read more

The Role of the Successor Trustee: What Am I Supposed to Do Now?

The Role of the Successor Trustee: What Am I Supposed to Do Now?

By

Ethan R. Okura

We have often seen this scenario:  A parent, sibling, or dear friend has finally gotten around to doing their initial estate planning. You are so happy for them. And then you find out you’ve been named as their “successor trustee.” What does that even mean? What are your responsibilities? How will you know what to do when the time comes? When exactly read more

Aretha Franklin: Following in Prince’s Footsteps to Pay Millions in Death Taxes

Aretha Franklin: Following in Prince’s Footsteps to Pay Millions in Death Taxes

By

Ethan R. Okura

A little over two years ago I wrote about Prince, the music recording legend, and how he passed away without a will. I detailed some of the problems that his estate would face—and is still facing to this day—on account of not adequately preparing. As of April, 2018, Prince’s six heirs had not received one red cent, while the bank acting read more

“UNDUE INFLUENCE” AND OTHER WILL PROBLEMS

“UNDUE INFLUENCE” AND OTHER WILL PROBLEMS

By:

Ethan R. Okura

In previous columns, I have addressed the subject of financial abuse of the elderly. This usually involves outright stealing or fraud. However, there is another form of financial abuse that is subtler, harder to identify and often doesn’t show up until after the beloved family member has passed on. This type of problem is called “undue influence.”

What is read more

An Ethical Will: The Importance of Passing Down Your Values, Not Just Your Assets

An Ethical Will: The Importance of Passing Down Your Values, Not Just Your Assets

By

Ethan R. Okura

Have you heard the proverb “Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in Three Generations?” Or perhaps you’ve heard the saying as “Rags to Riches to Rags in Three Generations.” The ancient Chinese version of this Proverb is 富不过三代 (Fu bu guo san dai), which roughly translates to “Wealth does not sustain beyond three generations.” read more

How To Apply For Long-Term Care Medicaid

HOW TO APPLY FOR LONG-TERM CARE MEDICAID

By:

Ethan R. Okura

In last month’s column, I focused on the history of Medicaid and discussed some of the difficulties that arise when dealing with Medicaid’s many laws, rules and policies. I also told you about some of the problems that people have encountered when applying for Medicaid on their own or without proper guidance.

In this column, I’ll go over the steps you will have to take when applying for Long-Term Care Medicaid on read more