LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: NEW DEATH WITH DIGNITY LAW PASSED

Legislative Update: New Death With Dignity Law Passed

By

Ethan R. Okura

Recently, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a bill that gives terminally ill patients an option to take prescription medication that will cause them to pass away peacefully in their sleep. This was known as House Bill 2739, the Our Choice, Our Care Act, which was signed into law by Governor Ige on April 5th, 2018.

This is still a controversial topic in many states as, historically, suicide was illegal under English Common read more

WHAT OUT OF STATE CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW TO HELP THEIR AGING PARENTS IN HAWAII

WHAT OUT OF STATE CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW TO HELP THEIR AGING PARENTS IN HAWAII

By

Ethan R. Okura

We often have clients who raised their families here in Hawaii, and then sent their children off to the mainland or elsewhere in the world to pursue their educations, careers, military service, or raising families of their own.  Although the children try to get back to visit Hawai`i nei once every year or two, life gets busy, and that doesn’t always happen. Even for those who do manage to come read more

THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT

THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT

By

Ethan R. Okura

In November 2017, I wrote an article about the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). There were quite a few changes laid out in the proposed new law and there has been a lot of confusion as the bill went through several revisions before finally being passed into law. Many of the initially proposed changes were not implemented as originally expected. Last Month I wrote about how the new law temporarily doubles the estate tax exemption letting each read more

Estate Planning Update 2018

ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE FOR 2018

By:

Ethan R. Okura

Happy New Year! The following is the 2018 update of important numbers used in estate planning and Medicaid planning in Hawai‘i.

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

At the end of 2017, Congress passed a new tax bill, which the president signed into law. We will discuss some of the income tax changes in detail in next month’s column. One of the main impacts of this new law, however, read more

Everything You Need To Know About The New Proposed Tax Changes

Everything You Need To Know About The New Proposed Tax Changes

By

Ethan R. Okura & Carroll Dortch

On November 2, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was released. It is a Republican-sponsored bill from the House of Representatives that is intended to simplify the tax code. There are quite a few changes that this bill brings to the table and we’ll look at some of them here.

The change that is most relevant to estate planning is a proposal to eventually eliminate the estate tax, as was the read more

Is Medicaid Going Away?

Is Medicaid Going Away?

By

Ethan R. Okura & Carroll Dortch

There has been a lot of political changes in the federal government over the past year. With a Republican president in office and a Republican majority in Congress, some people are concerned about losing the expansion of health care benefits that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) provided for. Recently, one of the most frequent questions that we are asked by our clients is: Will Medicaid go away?

The concern here is that with a read more

Must I Pay for My Parent’s Nursing Home Bills?

One of the frequent questions that we hear at Okura & Associates is: “Will I be responsible to pay for my mother’s (or father’s) nursing home expenses?” This can be a scary thought for a working adult who can’t physically provide care for her aging parent, and who is looking at options for her parent’s care—especially if she has children of her own whom she is financially supporting as minors or through college. In some cases, you WILL BE responsible read more

Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions

Did you know that there are some exemptions that you can employ to save on your property taxes in Hawai‘i? One of the most commonly used exemptions is the real property tax exemption for homeowners. If you own a home in Hawai‘i, your property tax exemption is based on a variety of considerations regarding your intent to reside in the home. Some of these include:

1) You occupy your home for a minimum number of calendar days in a year — on O‘ahu, the minimum number of days is 270; County read more

Legislative Update: New Elder Care Laws Passed

Recently, the Hawaii State Legislature passed two bills that affect our elderly population and their health care. One was Senate Bill 534, the Kupuna Caregivers Act; the other was House Bill 1396, Relating to Community Care Foster Family Homes, both of which were signed into law by Governor Ige this session.

Kupuna Caregivers: One of the most difficult things that many people here in Hawaii face is trying to provide in-home care for their aging and elderly family members while still holding down read more