Ethan R. Okura
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist
There is a term in Japanese culture — oyakökö — which means to love and care for your parents, although it is really a sentiment that is embraced universally, regardless of race. At our office, we oftentimes have clients who raised their families here in Hawai‘i and then sent their children off to the Mainland or elsewhere in the world to pursue their education or career or military service, or to raise their own families. Although the children try to get back to Hawai‘i nei as often as possible, or at least once or twice a year, life is hectic, and that doesn’t always happen. Even for those who do manage to come back once a year, it’s generally not often enough to really make sure their parents are safe, healthy and happy once their parents start aging.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, 20 percent of men and 36 percent of women over age 65 live alone. These numbers increase dramatically with age, as almost half of all women over age 75 live alone. Our elderly parents face several risks that become more severe when they live alone. They include:
Ethan R. Okura received his doctor of jurisprudence degree from Columbia University in 2002. He specializes in estate planning to protect assets from nursing home costs, probate, estate taxes and creditors.
This written advice was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. (The foregoing legend has been affixed pursuant to U.S. Treasury Regulations governing tax practice.)
This column is for general information only. The facts of your case may change the advice given. Do not rely on the information in this column without consulting an estate planning specialist.