ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura

One of the questions most frequently asked of us 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 woman who cannot provide physical care for her aging parent and who is looking at options for their care, especially if she has children of her own whom she is supporting financially as minors or through college.

In some cases, you will be responsible to pay for your parent’s nursing home expenses. However, with proper guidance and planning, you don’t have to be responsible for your parent’s medical expenses under Hawai‘i’s laws.

Nursing home costs in Hawai‘i have skyrocketed in the past 20 years. It used to be that the average cost of nursing home care in Hawai‘i was approximately $3,000 to $4,500 per month. These days, a nursing home on O‘ahu starts at $10,000 per month, and on the neighbor islands, it is usually at least $13,000 per month.

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