Raymond Okada has a practice encompassing all aspects of estate planning, wills, trusts and probate. His practice includes planning and administering estates, as well as resolving will and trust disputes and tax controversies. He has served clients from diverse backgrounds, family situations and wealth. He has earned an AV® rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, election to the prestigious American College of Trust and Estates Counsel (Chair, Fiduciary Litigation Committee, past Hawai’i State Chair), and a listing in Best Lawyers in America. Examples of his work include:
- Basic Estate Planning: Prepared hundreds of “typical” estate planning documents, such as wills, revocable living trusts, durable powers of attorney (for both asset management and health care), living wills, and insurance trusts.
- Advanced Estate Planning: Prepared documents to implement more sophisticated planning techniques such as generation skipping trusts, family limited partnerships, qualified personal residence trusts, charitable remainder trusts, grantor retained income trusts, qualified domestic trusts, “defective” irrevocable trusts, buy-sell agreements for corporations and partnerships and reorganizations of corporations to achieve estate planning goals.
- Probate & Trust Administration: Counseled fiduciaries (personal representatives of probate estates and trustees of trusts) on proper administration, including fiduciary accounting of principal and income, income taxation of trusts and estates, tax compliance, prudent investor decisions and fiduciary responsibility and liability.
- Post Mortem Planning: Counseled family, fiduciary and accountants with respect to planning after death, such as the use of qualified disclaimers, the tax consequences of allocating assets between various trusts or beneficiaries and making tax elections.
- Litigation and Disputes: Prosecuted as well as defended will contests and trust contests in suits to set aside the document because of lack of capacity, undue influence or fraud. Prosecuted as well as defended fiduciaries in suits for breach of fiduciary duty. Handled estate tax audits, primarily on issues of valuation of assets, including discounts.
- Family Business Planning: Counseled businesses owned by families on forming entities, dissolving entities, and business succession planning, including entity structuring, techniques for transferring ownership and control, and creating trusts and/or entities to hold transferred entity interests.
Ray is a frequent lecturer for both professional and lay groups, including the Hawai’i State Bar Association (HSBA), the Hawai’i Society of Certified Public Accounts (HSCPA), the National Business Institute (NBI), Hawai’i Tax Institute and the University of Hawai‘i Emeritus Program. He is the author of How to Use the Generation Skipping Tax Exemption, financial and estate planning seminar (HSBA, 1992), Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates (NBI, 1995), Drafting for Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning (financial and estate planning seminar, 1994), Serving as Trustee can be Risky Business (Pacific Business News, 2000), and Shedding Light on Sunset: Estate Planning under the 2001 Tax Act (HSCPA seminar, 2001). Ray has also served as adjunct professor of Wills and Trusts at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i.
OUTSIDE THE OFFICE
Ray is a sought-after speaker for groups like the Hawai‘i State Bar Association (HSBA), Hawai‘i Society of Certified Public Accounts (HSCPA), National Business Institute (NBI), Hawai‘i Tax Institute and the University of Hawai‘i Emeritus Program.
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
- M.L.T. - 1985
- University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, California
- J.D. - 1977
- University of California, Los Angeles, California
- B.A. - 1974
- Honors: With Honors
- Major: Political Science
- Author, How to Use the Generation Skipping Tax Exemption, HICLE, 1992
- Author, Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates, NBI, 1995
- Author, Drafting for Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning, 1994
- Author, Serving as Trustee can be Risky Business, Pacific Business News, 2000
- Author, Shedding Light on Sunset: Estate Planning under the 2001 Tax Act, HSCPA, 2001
- California, 1978
- Hawaii, 1991
- U.S. District Court District of Hawaii
- U.S. Tax Court, 1987
- American Bar Association
- Hawaii State Bar Association, Estate and Probate Section, Past Chair
- Hawaii State Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section, Past President
- American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, Fellow Judiciary Standing Committee
- Hawaii State Bar Association, Estate & Gift Tax Committee, Past Chair
- Hawaii Estate Planning Council, Past President and Director, 1999
- American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Member
- American Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section, President
- American Bar Association, Committee on Estate and Gift Tax, Past Chair
- Trust and Estate Litigation and Controversy
- Trust and Estates
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year in Honolulu, 2013, 2019
- Chambers, High Net Worth, 2019
- Super Lawyers, 2019
- AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
Classes & Seminars
- Lecturer, Hawaii Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- Lecturer, National Business Institute
- Lecturer, University of Hawaii Emeritus Program
- Past Adjunct Professor, Wills and Trusts, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii
- Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Member
- Case & Lynch, Partner, 1991-1994
- Baker, Manock & Jensen, Shareholder, 1985-1991