» Estate Planning Law

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 2, 2014 – A report from the Nursing Home Report Card, a Families for Better Care project, ranked Virginia poorly on nursing home quality measures. The state received a grade of “D,” with an overall ranking of 33rd out of 50 states. “The fact that there are many nursing homes in Virginia that have problems means that it is that much more important for seniors and their families to engage in proper planning and research before choosing a nursing facility,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with the Hook Law Center. […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) September 2, 2014 – Michael Gilfix was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding unexpected estate claims by Medi-Cal and the ways families can protect themselves. On August 24, 2014, the Chronicle published an exposé on the recent expansion of Medi-Cal’s little-known estate recovery program. According to reporter Kathleen Pender, the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded the number of Medi-Cal recipients subject to estate recovery. Medi-Cal has long conducted a limited program that allows it to claim and recover assets from the estates of some deceased Medi-Cal recipients. However, as Pender pointed […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 – A major report from the American Association of Retired People (AARP) has named California a strong performer in long-term care systems for older adults and the disabled. The report, called a “scorecard,” evaluated states on 26 different criteria and then aggregates the findings into an overall ranking. California finished ninth overall and drew top scores in several areas. The state earned a first-place rating on the availability of Medicaid benefits (Medi-Cal) to cover the costs of long-term care. The report also gave California a second-place rating for the diversity of […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 26, 2014 – Sometimes, one of the partners constructing a prenuptial agreement is a business owner. Typically, the document will then be designed to ensure that preexisting assets are completely protected in case of divorce. This often leads to restrictive prenuptial agreements that keep all preexisting assets separate. Unfortunately, that safe, restrictive prenup can prevent the surviving spouse from receiving assets upon the other spouse’s death. “A prenup is essential for protecting your assets in case of divorce, but it doesn’t always account for problems that may occur if you were to die,” […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 25, 2014 – Businessman’s $12.3 million gift for Arlington House fixes offers a lesson on estate planning. On July 17, billionaire and history buff David Rubenstein announced that he would be contributing $12.3 million toward the restoration of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia. The multimillion-dollar gift will restore Lee’s plantation site, which has been in need of major repairs, to its historical appearance. Charitable contributions like Rubenstein’s often make historic preservation projects and national park maintenance possible. Frequently, these projects struggle during times when government funds are strained. Such contributions […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – The federal government has introduced a major new initiative to combat rising abuse and exploitation of the elderly — the “Elder Justice Roadmap,” a comprehensive framework for neutralizing financial, psychological and physical risks to older Americans. The Roadmap outlines newly launched educational programs and policy steps designed to increase reporting and prosecution, but it mainly focuses on encouraging individuals, families and institutions to identify risks and take steps toward prevention. Elder law attorney Michael Gilfix recently authored an article entitled “Addressing Financial Elder Abuse: Should the Bar be Lower?” that […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) August 18, 2014 – Best Lawyers in America has once again selected Bernard A. Krooks, JD, CPA, LLM, CELA, AEP to be included in its definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States in the field of Elder Law and Trusts and Estates. This marks the eighth consecutive year that Krooks has been recognized for this honor. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor conferred on a lawyer […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 5, 2014 – With careful financial planning, many people are able to enjoy a comfortable retirement and leave a substantial estate to their heirs. But one often-unconsidered factor has the potential to add a large additional expense to the balance sheet: the possibility that one will require long-term care in a skilled nursing facility. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, most people over age 65 will require long-term care services of some type in their lifetime, and 40 percent will require nursing home care for some period of time. Many […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 29, 2014 – Employers who offer 401(k) retirement savings accounts are increasingly providing the option of a Roth 401(k). This presents workers with the same question that IRAs do: which to choose, traditional or Roth? According to a prominent Virginia estate planning attorney, the choice depends on individual circumstances, but Roth 401(k)s may generally offer greater tax flexibility. “When an employer offers the option of contributing to both a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k), it can be wise to make at least some Roth contributions,” said Andrew Hook, an attorney with the […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2014 – With more 8.6 million aging baby boomers in California alone, end-of-life discussions are becoming increasingly important. Families need to make it a priority to speak with loved ones before, not after, a crisis strikes. A 2012 California Healthcare Foundation (CHFC) survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of respondents felt that having an end-of-life discussion with their family was “extremely important” — yet 56 percent of those respondents had not yet communicated those wishes with the person they would want making that decision on their behalf. Only 23 percent had their […]


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Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) July 22, 2014 – On November 4th, the expert elder law attorneys of the Begley Law Group will teach a one-day “crash course” on the essentials of elder law for legal practitioners. As Americans live longer and longer, elder law practices have grown and grown. Attorneys hoping to expand their practice into this area need to master a number of particular issues. To serve this need in a time-saavy legal culture, the Begley Law Group has condensed the essential information into an intensive “Elder Law in a Day” crash course. Lawyers will travel from across […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 8, 2014 – On June 28, 1969, members of the gay community spontaneously rose up in protest against a police raid being conducted at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The ensuing riot is now considered one of the most important instigating events for the LGBT rights movement that followed. Though there is no set date for LGBT Pride events nationally, many cities center their events to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. Now, as June comes to a close with days or weeks of pride for the LGBT community, extra attention should be paid […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 23, 2014 – SEO | Law Firm, an Adviatech company, was awarded Best in Category in the Horizon Interactive Awards for work on the McDevitt Law Office website. While family law can sometimes create bitter disputes, attorney Lisa Lane McDevitt wanted her web visitors to feel at home, surrounded by a warm design. The site was built to make users feel as though they are sitting in a family room, utilizing several interactive features (none of which rely on Flash). The unique design of the McDevitt Law Office website, www.mcdevittlaw.net, caught the attention of […]


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Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 19, 2014 – Avoiding surprises may be the most important step in minimizing inheritance disputes among family members. Dealing with the passing of a family member can be a stressful experience – one which does not always bring out the best in survivors. When money (in the form of asset inheritance) is added to the mix, bitter conflicts sometimes rise up between family members dealing with difficult emotions. Probate attorney O. Reginald Osenton says that when heirs are taken by surprise at how the decedent’s assets are to be distributed, they are more likely […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) June 16, 2014 – Attorney Andrew Hook of the Hook Law Center has been selected for the 2014 Virginia Super Lawyers list. Selection for the list is a recognition of excellence in the practice of law, and the honor is awarded to the top five percent of attorneys in the state. Super Lawyers has named Hook one of Virginia’s top attorneys since 2006. “I am honored to receive this recognition from my peers and from Super Lawyers,” said Hook. “At the Hook Law Center, we work hard to deliver the best possible service to […]


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MELBOURNE, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 16, 2014 – InterActive Legal is pleased to announce that Letha Sgritta McDowell, CELA, has accepted its position of Special Advisor on Elder Law Planning. Ms. McDowell joins Stephen J. Silverberg, CELA, and former Chairman of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), who also serves in this position. Both have been substantial contributors to the upcoming release of InterActive Legal’s new comprehensive Elder Law Practice system. Ms. McDowell currently practices elder law in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area, counseling the elderly and those who care for them on the complicated web of […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) June 5, 2014 – Personal finance website Bankrate.com has ranked Virginia as the 10th best state in the country in which to retire. The top three spots went to South Dakota, Colorado and Utah. New York was ranked as the worst state for retirees. Bankrate based its rankings on a number of factors, including health care quality, cost of living, taxes, crime rates and amount of sunshine. Virginia’s relatively low crime rates, reasonable cost of living and moderate taxation earned it its high rank. “Virginia is a great state for retirees,” said Andrew Hook, […]


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Lincolnshire, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 Lincolnshire, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 – At its Conference & Expo in Toronto this week, the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) inducted its board of directors for 2014-15. Leading the association and serving as President for 2014-15 is Paula Barnes of Burr & Forman in Nashville, Tennessee and Paul Farnsworth of Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP in Rochester, New York continuing his service as Past President of the Board. The Board includes the following individuals: President: Paula K. Barnes Burr & Forman, LLP Nashville, TN President-Elect: Teresa Walker Waller Lansden […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 22, 2014 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) owes thousands of Americans higher benefits, amounting to millions of dollars in total. SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) – the agency’s internal watchdog – recently conducted an internal audit that revealed failures to increase some retirees’ benefits properly. “The problem lies with some retirees’ receipt of spousal benefits,” explained elder law attorney Andrew Hook. “These retirees initially claimed spousal benefits, but they later became eligible for higher benefits based on their own employment. Social Security failed to notify them of that fact.” The […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 8, 2014 – It is increasingly important for comprehensive estate plans to account for assets managed online. “Traditionally, when someone died without a comprehensive estate plan in place, heirs could use paper records to piece everything together,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney. “But now, that is not always the case. Many people are opting to manage checking accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts online. If those assets are not properly documented, it may be difficult for rightful heirs to gain access to them or even to become aware of […]


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