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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...

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’TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING

’TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING By Ethan R. Okura and Carroll D. Dortch   From the American tradition of a big Thanksgiving feast to the various religious celebrations at this time of year, gifts and sharing with others are what make this holiday season so special....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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AHCD vs. POLST vs. HIPAA

One of the most important things you can do as part of your estate planning is authorizing someone to make decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself anymore. This person whom you authorize is called your...

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THE BEST NURSING HOME IN HAWAII

Last month we talked about the different types of nursing homes and long-term care facilities available in Hawaii. We covered ARCH, Adult Foster Homes, and Nursing Homes. There are also assisted-living facilities, which we did not discuss, but which are an important...

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THE THREE TYPES OF NURSING HOMES

We have had hundreds of clients over the years who have gone to nursing homes to provide for their care as they aged. Some of them lived full, rich, engaged lives in the nursing home until the very end. Others suffered from severe physical disabilities or dementia...

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UPDATING OLD ESTATE PLANS

Spring is in the air! So what does that mean? It’s time for spring cleaning; time to get rid of all the junk that accumulated over the past year; time to deep clean the house and freshen it up. It’s also time to clean up and update that old estate plan! Remember that...

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Asset Protection and Fraudulent Transfers

Asset Protection and Fraudulent Transfers

As you may be aware, the United States is one of the most litigious countries in the world. This means more people sue each other in court in the US than almost anywhere else. We have one lawyer for every 252 citizens in the US, as compared to only one lawyer for...

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2017 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

2017 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

Happy New Year!  Here is the 2017 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...

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AN ESTATE PLAN FOR THE HOLIDAYS

In last month’s article, I wrote about why everyone should have a Will. I didn’t want to bore you with a bunch of technical legal information, but I tried to impress upon you how important it is by sharing stories of how badly things can go wrong when you don’t have a...

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THE TOP 4 MEDICAID MYTHS

THE TOP 4 MEDICAID MYTHS

Have you heard information about Medicaid for nursing home costs from a friend, relative, or neighbor? If so, chances are you’ve also heard one of the Medicaid myths that aren’t true.  Here are 4 common misconceptions about qualifying for Medicaid to pay for your...

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LAND COURT VS. REGULAR SYSTEM

Today I’m going to talk about the two different systems for recording ownership of real property (land and buildings) in the State of Hawaii. The “Regular System” of recording land ownership comes from the traditional English Common Law and is a “race-notice”...

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THE ESTATE OF THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE

A few weeks ago, the news media were replete with articles about the highly successful, music genius, rock-legend Prince.  He has sadly joined the ranks of world-famous icons who have died leaving fans wanting more.  He has also apparently joined the group of such...

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JOINT TENANTS

JOINT TENANTS

We often see clients who have been advised by someone else that holding bank accounts or real property as “Joint Tenants” (also called “Joint Tenancy”) is a cheap way to avoid probate costs.  It’s true that if one of the joint tenants passes away, the other joint...

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REVOCABLE OR IRREVOCABLE: THAT IS THE QUESTION!

REVOCABLE OR IRREVOCABLE: THAT IS THE QUESTION!

When a client comes in to our law firm for the first time, they usually ask us to explain the basic concepts of estate planning and to make recommendations on how they should proceed.  Our attorneys will share with the client how doing a plan with us can help to...

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2016 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

2016 ESTATE PLANNING UPDATE

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! (That’s Happy New Year in Hawaiian for those of you reading on the mainland).  Here is a 2016 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...

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DON’T “SPEND DOWN” FOR MEDICAID!

DON’T “SPEND DOWN” FOR MEDICAID!

When people come to us for advice on how to qualify for Medicaid to pay for their nursing home cost, we hear this phrase “Spend Down” all the time.  Many people who have researched Medicaid benefits for long term care have heard that they should “Spend Down” their...

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WHAT IS A GENERATION SKIPPING TRUST?

WHAT IS A GENERATION SKIPPING TRUST?

A SHORT EXPLANATION OF THE TRANSFER TAX SYSTEM Have you heard of a Generation Skipping Trust before?  Have you been told that it’s a trust that will cut out your children from your inheritance and leave everything to your grandchildren?  That’s what the name sounds...

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WHICH BUSINESS ENTITY IS RIGHT FOR ME?

WHICH BUSINESS ENTITY IS RIGHT FOR ME?

WHICH BUSINESS ENTITY IS RIGHT FOR ME? Last month I wrote about why every American should start a small business—even if it’s just setting up a lemonade stand or buying a condo to rent to tenants. I explained how there are significant tax benefits to business owners...

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WHY YOU SHOULD START A BUSINESS (August 2015)

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...

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IDENTITY THEFT: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF (July 2015)

IDENTITY THEFT: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF (July 2015)

IDENTITY THEFT: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America in the past two decades. In fact, last year it was the number one complaint category according to the FTC, with 12.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2014.  The...

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