Tax Identification Numbers (September 2013)



Ethan R. Okura

Back in June, I wrote an article on how Obamacare affects the income taxes that trusts pay.  It’s a very complicated subject (taxes always seem to be, don’t they?) and my quick summary of how it works may have left you with more questions about how trusts are taxed than you had before you read the article.  Today I’m going to explain how Tax Identification Numbers work, both for Trusts and for other business entities.

Generally, your personal Tax read more

How To Title Real Estate: LLC, Revocable Trust, Personal Name? (July 2013)


LLC, Revocable Trust, Personal Name?


Ethan R. Okura

For many people—especially in Hawaii—real estate is the most valuable investment they own and the largest part of their estate.  There is so much advice and mis-information floating around about what is the best way to own real property.  Today I will talk about different entities and tenancies and how each applies to owning different types of real estate.

Your Home read more

How Does Income Tax Work With My Trust? (June 2013)



 Ethan R. Okura

Last month after writing my article on Medicaid planning techniques, we received a message from a concerned client who is worried about higher income tax rates, the new 3.8% Medicare (sometimes called Obamacare) Surtax, and in light of these developments, whether a trust is still the right solution for his family’s needs. Perhaps he read a Forbes magazine article with an alarming title “Tax Hikes Hit Trusts Hard, Beneficiaries Pull read more

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, read more

Understanding Revocable Living Trusts (April 2012)


Trusts began in England in the Middle Ages. The Statute of Uses is a law enacted in 1536 under King Henry VIII. The Statute of Uses is the basis of trust law in England.  From England, the concept of trusts came to America with the colonists.  Thus, even though most of us have been hearing about trusts for only the last 10 or 20 years, trust law has been established for centuries.

A trust is created by a legal document which is usually called a “trust read more

The Hawaii Asset Protection Trust (September 2011)



Sanford K. Okura

         On July 1, 2011, the Hawai‘i Permitted Transfers in Trusts Act was amended. This is an important change in the law because you can now transfer assets to a trust and receive money from the trust and yet have the trust assets protected from lawsuits.

Under the new law, if you transfer property to an asset protection trust and you have no intent to “defraud, read more

Beware of Trust Salesmen (November 2010)


We were recently warned about a trust salesman committing fraud by saying that if you sign up with him, you would get a discount in legal fees from Okura & Associates.  We don’t even know this person, and have reported him to the police.

Some time ago I met with a brother and sister whose father had just passed away.  A man in Honolulu, who is not an attorney, had approached their father and sold him a trust.  When father became seriously ill, the children wanted read more

Funding Your Revocable Living Trust (September 2010)

If you have an existing estate plan, you are probably already familiar with the benefits of creating a Revocable Living Trust.  One of the biggest advantages of a Revocable Living Trust is the ability to avoid probate.  Probate is a court process when a person dies.  It can last for several months or longer depending on the size and complexity of the estate.  Probate is time consuming and can be costly.  In addition, probate proceedings are a matter of public record.  Anyone interested is read more

The Special Needs Trust


Suppose you have a child with a disability.  Perhaps the child was born with a mental disability.  Perhaps he or she was born with a physical disability.  In some cases, the child may have been normal at birth, but later in life acquired a mental disability, or acquired a physical disability.  You love the child and want to provide the best possible care for your child.

Because of the disability, the child qualifies for government benefits.  Perhaps the child receives read more