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Estate Planning Insights – Fraudulent Student Loans and Identity Theft

Ethan R. Okura Hawai‘i Herald Columnist Sometimes you can do everything right, but still have everything go horribly wrong. Sometimes you do nothing at all and still have everything go very wrong. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty, except when it comes to fraudulent student loans that are taken out in....
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Estate Planning Insights – Automobiles in Estate Planning

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura Many of my past columns have focused on how to structure your estate plan to protect your home. I’ve discussed protecting your primary residence and other real property from probate through the use of revocable and irrevocable trusts, through joint ownership or tenants by the entirety ownership and....
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Estate Planning Insights – Tenants by the Entirety for Personal Property

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura Back in December of 2009, my father, Sanford K. Okura, wrote an excellent article titled “Tenants by the Entirety.” It explained the pros and cons of holding property as “tenants by the entirety” as opposed to holding them in revocable trust(s). At the time, tenants by the entirety....
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Estate Planning Insights – Tax Filings, Payments and Other Considerations

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura Happy New Year! The following is a 2019 update on important numbers used in estate planning and Medicaid planning in Hawai‘i. How much money and property can a person have at death without paying estate taxes? At the end of 2017, Congress passed a new tax bill which....
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Estate Planning Insights – Wrapping Up Your Estate Plan

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura Happy Holidays! This is the time of the year when we make an extra effort to be thankful for all that we have. We focus on the spirit of giving and we wrap up presents for our family and loved ones. This thought made me chuckle a little....
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Estate Planning Insights – Retirement Savings and New Contribution Limits

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura There’s no question about it: Saving for retirement is not easy. There are quite a few types of retirement accounts. Each has its own rules and tax benefits, although, for the most part, they tend to be similar. The amounts you can contribute, however, vary from plan to....
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Estate Planning Insights – The Role of the Successor Trustee, Now What Am I...

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura The following is an all too familiar scenario at our law firm: A parent, a sibling or a dear friend has finally gotten around to doing their initial estate planning. You are so happy for them. And then you find out that you have been named their “successor....
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Estate Planning Insights – Aretha Franklin Follows in Prince’s Footsteps

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura Just over two years ago, I wrote a column about Prince, the musical legend, and how he passed away without a will. I detailed some of the problems that his estate would face — and continues to face to this day — because he did not adequately prepare....
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Estate Planning – “Undue Influence” and Other Will Problems

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura In previous columns, I have addressed the subject of financial abuse of the elderly. This usually involves outright stealing or fraud. However, there is another form of financial abuse that is subtler, harder to identify and often doesn’t show up until after the beloved family member has passed....
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Estate Planning – An Ethical Will, The Importance of Passing On Your Assets and...

ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura Are you familiar with the proverb, “Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in Three Generations?” Or maybe you’ve heard the saying as: “Rags to Riches to Rags in Three Generations.” The ancient Chinese version of this proverb is Fu bu guo san dai, which roughly translates to, “Wealth does not sustain....

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