Entries by Ethan Okura

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 read more

Who Decides What Happens To My Remains Anyway? (March 2014)

“Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.”
-William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Death.  This is a difficult topic to think about.  Most of us spend most of our lives enjoying work, hobbies, friends and family.  We engage in diversions to avoid thinking about this inevitability.  And yet, this is a bridge that we all must cross someday.  Some of us are meticulous read more

2014 Estate Planning Update (February 2014)

Here is a 2014 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?

A little over one year ago, 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 2014 is $5,340,000. read more

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 read more

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 read more

Creative Medicaid Spend Down Techniques (May 2013)

As you are probably well aware, my father, Sanford K. Okura, and I have both written extensively on qualifying for Medicaid to pay for long term care costs while protecting your assets from nursing home costs.  Our law practice focuses on this problem as a key specialty within estate planning and elder law. Most people think that they have to spend all their money on their care–down to $2,000–before read more

Asset Protection – Part 1 (March 2013)



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 read more

2013 Estate Planning Update (February 2013)



Ethan R. Okura

            Here is a 2013 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?

As I mentioned in last month’s article, $5,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) is estate tax free permanently starting this year. The IRS Revenue Procedure 2013-15 clarified that taking into account read more

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



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 read more