why you should start a business

WHY YOU SHOULD START A BUSINESS (August 2015)

WHY YOU SHOULD START A BUSINESS

When you are starting a new business there are so many things to think about and so much varied advice that comes from different sources. Some people think the first thing you have to do is register a business entity like a corporation or an LLC with the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.  Others believe the first thing to do is make a logo, business cards, and a website.  Still others say you must start with a business plan.  All of these steps

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(ALMOST) EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHARITABLE TAX DEDUCTIONS

Last year at this time I wrote an article about tax deadlines and the penalties for not filing or not paying on time.  This year I want to talk in detail about one of our most innovative and useful strategies that can help clients to save on their taxes.

This strategy is leveraging charitable deductions.  Most everyone is familiar with the idea of taking a tax deduction for cash donations to charitable organizations.  A common example is money donated to your church, school, or favorite non-profit

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GIFTING YOUR ASSETS

            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 start giving $10,000 per year to each of your children and grandchildren or other loved ones

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Tax Filings, Payments & Other Considerations (April 2014)

“’Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes.”
– Christopher Bullock (Cobbler of Preston)

Last month I addressed the serious topic of Death and the disposition of your remains.  On an only slightly brighter note, this month’s article is focused on the main thing on everyone’s mind at this time of year:  Taxes.

Most of us have heard a variation of the quote above, “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes,” usually attributed to Mark Twain.  And almost

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Giving Away Your Home? –Beware Part II: (January 2014)

Last month I wrote about the pitfalls of giving your home away without protecting yourself. We came to the conclusion that if you think you have 5 years of good health when you can still live at home before you might need nursing home care, it can be a good idea to transfer your home to your children or other loved ones while keeping a life estate for yourself (and for your spouse) so that you can’t be kicked out of your home.

I left you with a teaser saying that I’d reveal to you why giving

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Giving Away Your Home? –Beware Part I (December 2013)

We all know that the possibility of incurring disastrous Nursing Home costs is the biggest threat to most people’s estates today.  Now that we have an exemption of $5.25 million from estate taxes, only the wealthiest 0.14% of Americans will pay this tax. In other words, 99.86% of us don’t have to worry about the estate tax anymore. What about probate?  You may have heard horror stories from the 1980s about probate costs eating up half of the estate. 

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Asset Protection – Part 2 (April 2013)

ASSET PROTECTION – Part 2

By

Ethan R. Okura

Last month, we started talking about asset protection. We discussed what it is, why it’s necessary to protect ourselves in our country, and how having multiple layers of defense is the best approach.  I explained umbrella insurance, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and the difference between “Inside” and “Outside” liabilities.  We saw how LLCs can protect your other assets (which are not owned by the LLC) against inside liabilities

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Asset Protection – Part 1 (March 2013)

ASSET PROTECTION – Part 1

By

Ethan R. Okura

            Today I want to talk about Asset Protection.  What is Asset Protection?  Asset Protection is creating and implementing a plan to protect your hard-earned wealth from creditors—people to whom you owe money.  If you’ve borrowed money and can’t pay it back, or if you’ve been sued by someone and lost in court, then you have creditors who will try to come after your assets.  If you owe alimony or child support payments

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Tenants by the Entirety Protection Available in Trust (Dec 2012)

NEW LAW: TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY PROTECTION AVAILABLE IN TRUST

By

Ethan R. Okura

Hawaii has a new law which allows married couples or reciprocal beneficiaries who hold real property as tenants by the entirety to transfer their real estate to revocable trusts without losing the tenants by the entirety creditor protection.  In order to take advantage of tenants by the entirety protection (under the old or new law), you must be married or reciprocal beneficiaries. I apologize in advance to those of

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QUESTION: Will a Revocable Living Trust protect my assets from lawsuits? (Sep 2012)

ANSWER:      Ethan R. Okura, Attorney Specializing in Estate Planning (Trusts, Wills, Medicaid Planning & Probate).  No, a revocable living trust will not protect your assets from lawsuits.  You can cancel your revocable trust and get assets out of the trust at any time.  Therefore, your creditors (people to whom you owe money) can also get assets out of your revocable trust.  An irrevocable trust (one that you cannot change or cancel) can protect your assets from lawsuits.  Generally

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