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


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 agent. You can provide your agent with specific instructions you wish to have carried out on your behalf should you ever need the agent to act for you.

Without such authorization and instruction, you’ll often be required to go to court read more


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 component of elderly care. Assisted-living facilities are especially helpful for those who don’t have family members who can help them to stay at home while they need some assistance, but before they read more


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 that prevented them from actively interacting with the world as meaningfully as they would have liked. Clients often are confused by the different types of long-term care options available to them. Today we’ll read more


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 estate planning is a process—not a one-time event. After creating your will or trust, you need to periodically check-in with your estate planning attorney to make sure that it’s still up to date.  Some of the main reasons read more

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 every 3,484 citizens in Japan. This is a big disparity. Because of this, more and more people are concerned about structuring their business and financial affairs to protect their assets from frivolous lawsuits.

Asset Protection is a necessary read more

2017 estate planning upadates


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 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 2017 is $5,490,000. The Hawaii Estate Tax law was previously read more


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 plan in place. If you haven’t read it yet, take a look at last month’s Hawaii Herald Publication or go online to to read it.

This is the season of love, giving, and to be grateful, so without rehashing read more