» Financial Planning

Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 10, 2014 – In late February, U.S. News & World Report released its 2014 evaluation of the “Best Nursing Homes” across the country. The ratings cover every state and every major metropolitan area in the United States. An overall score from one to five is broken down into searchable components, including nurse staffing, fire safety and other common criteria. Happily, Texas boasted one of the highest “Best Nursing Homes” ratings in the country. Approximately 15 percent of the homes found in Texas have been awarded the coveted five-star rating for 2014. Only California, Ohio […]


Continue reading full article »

Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 4, 2014 – In the autumn of 2013, UnitedHealthcare dropped thousands of doctors across the country from its Medicare Advantage plans. At least ten states were affected. Nearly 16 million people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and many struggled to make the adjustments needed before the December enrollment deadline. These struggles sparked a national concern: how does Medicare Advantage protect seniors when private insurance companies make changes? Under Medicare Advantage, the federal government reimburses insurance carriers for their care of beneficiaries. UnitedHealthcare is one of the leading providers. When an insurance company makes a […]


Continue reading full article »

Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 4, 2014 – In the autumn of 2013, UnitedHealthcare dropped thousands of doctors across the country from its Medicare Advantage plans. At least ten states were affected. Nearly 16 million people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and many struggled to make the adjustments needed before the December enrollment deadline. These struggles sparked a national concern: how does Medicare Advantage protect seniors when private insurance companies make changes? Under Medicare Advantage, the federal government reimburses insurance carriers for their care of beneficiaries. UnitedHealthcare is one of the leading providers. When an insurance company makes a […]


Continue reading full article »

Participants are paid to review branding material and provide feedback on proposed designs. San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 18, 2014 – When law firms rebrand, create new marketing literature or design a new website, they want to know what their target market thinks. Anyone who has hired a lawyer in the United States after 2004 can now receive compensation for participation in a Custom Legal Marketing focus group. To qualify, a focus group participant must have retained a lawyer within the last 10 years. Both the focus group member and the retained attorney must have been (and be) […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2014 – Legal news outlet JD Supra recently asked attorneys to describe common, costly mistakes people make when preparing estate plans and the best ways to prevent or fix them. Hampton Roads estate planning attorney Andrew Hook weighed in with his take on some of the top issues reported by JD Supra. Procrastination. Too many people, perhaps unwilling to face their own mortality, wait until the very end of their lives to consider any sort of estate planning. Many will never get around to it at all. “The earlier estate planning begins, […]


Continue reading full article »

Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) March 14, 2014 – Families with a disabled child, parent or other relative face incredibly difficult challenges. They struggle to ensure that their disabled loved one lives a happy and comfortable life. As such, parents especially worry about how their disabled child’s needs will be met after they are gone. A special needs trust is a powerful estate planning tool that may provide peace of mind to any family struggling with these issues. On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Gilfix and La Poll Associates presents the 10th Annual Community Special Needs Trust Seminar. Nationally recognized […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) March 12, 2014 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently extended a tax break for married couples. The ruling, announced in Revenue Procedure 2014-18, extends the deadline to take advantage of an estate tax break known as “portability.” The break went into effect on an interim basis in 2011, and it was made permanent under the American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act of 2012. “The IRS grants every U.S. citizen a “basic exclusion,” which is a lifetime exclusion amount from estate and gift taxes,” Andrew Hook, a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney, explained. “For 2014, […]


Continue reading full article »

Florida confab of lawyer, accountants, etc. discuss new law’s implications. Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 28, 2014 – As the annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning reconvened in mid-January in Orlando, Fla., the eagerly anticipated conference of some 2,900 attendees was particularly interested in discussing the impact of recent changes in tax law. And the major engine for change in how lawyers and accountants will approach estate planning is the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The buzzword for estate planning since the passage of the new law is so-called portability, which allows widows and widowers to carry over […]


Continue reading full article »

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) February 21, 2014 – Meals on Wheels now helps some seniors to get donated food for their pets. For many seniors, a pet is a lifeline, providing companionship to ward off loneliness and depression while promoting physical and mental activity. And of course, people love their pets, so much so that nonprofit groups that help seniors in need have found that some seniors were giving donated food meant for them to their pets. The groups have responded by arranging for pet food to be included with deliveries. The arrangement comes from a partnership between […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 19, 2014 – Projections show that within 20 years, typical retirees will rely mostly on 401(k)s and other private retirement accounts to meet financial needs. “That may be alarming to some, but the industry is evolving to help meet that challenge,” says Virginia estate planning attorney Andrew Hook. “A number of trends are increasing the effectiveness of 401(k)s and workers’ utilization of them.” Hook identified the following six trends in the retirement investing industry. Increased use of Roth 401(k)s: Like Roth IRAs, Roth 401(k)s are funded with after-tax contributions. Workers pay income taxes […]


Continue reading full article »

Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 10, 2014 – Michael Gilfix, a prominent Palo Alto estate planning attorney, is offering an estate-planning seminar in San Jose, CA. The 2013 tax return filing season has begun in earnest, and many taxpayers will rush to meet the April 15 deadline for filing returns. That often pell-mell pre-deadline dash may seem the norm, but taxpayers will need to employ a more methodical, long-term approach to dealing with their estate-related tax issues. And there are few ways better to inform oneself about estate planning than to attend a seminar hosted by a seasoned […]


Continue reading full article »

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) February 4, 2014 – Bernard A. Krooks, JD, CPA, LLM, CELA, AEP of Littman Krooks LLP has been recognized as an entrant into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC). He is the recipient of an Accredited Estate Planner (Distinguished) Nominee designation for 2014. Krooks will be one of only seven professionals to receive this prestigious award in 2014. The designation of Estate Planning Hall of Fame and Accredited Estate Planner (Distinguished) recognizes those individuals who have made outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 23, 2014 – Prospects for Medicaid expansion in Virginia got a boost in the recent gubernatorial election, but they are still far from definite. Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the November 2013 election after campaigning on a promise to support the expansion of Medicaid spelled out in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” But his role will, for the most part, be limited to the bully pulpit, urging state legislators to adopt the optional low-income health care expansion. “Expanding Medicaid would greatly help many elderly and low-income individuals and families in Virginia,” said […]


Continue reading full article »

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 20, 2014 – Women face unique issues in planning for retirement. On average, women live longer than men and are paid less, and there are still other financial planning issues that tend to affect women more significantly. Lower pay is a key issue. Despite gains by women in the workforce, on average, women are still paid 77 cents on men’s dollar. Over a lifetime, that can add up to $500,000. Women are also more likely to leave the workforce temporarily to raise children or to care for an ailing parent. While their jobs […]


Continue reading full article »

Bloomfield Hills, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 15, 2014 – A new study has found that infant primates who were fed lead-rich formula later develop key signs of disease. Scientists have known for some time that there are three primary risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease: advanced age, family history and genetic make-up. However, the results of a long-term study released in December has now provided solid evidence that early exposure to lead is also a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s-induced dementia. A team of researchers from the University of Rhode Island, Kingston (URI) conducted a 23-year study that […]


Continue reading full article »

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 10, 2014 – The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) has named Bernard A. Krooks, JD, CPA, LLM, CELA, AEP® to be Vice Chair of its Elder Law Committee. ACTEC is a national organization of more than 2,600 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors. Its members work to teach those who aspire to enter the field and to improve and reform laws, procedure and standards while working with their peers and other professional organizations. […]


Continue reading full article »

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 6, 2014 – Seniors may be able to stay in their homes longer with the help of small changes. Older people often need assistance with the tasks of daily living, but they also usually wish to live as independently as possible. While an assisted living facility or skilled nursing home may be necessary for some seniors, it is possible for many others to stay in their own homes if a few simple adjustments are made. The changes themselves may not be expensive, and they can end up saving a lot of money for […]


Continue reading full article »

Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2013 – Most workers who participate in 401(k) plans are trying to save enough for a comfortable retirement and perhaps an inheritance for their children and grandchildren. A prominent estate planning attorney says that while 401(k)s are a good way to add to one’s retirement savings, it is important to take a look at the fees a plan charges, as these fees can erode one’s savings. “Employers are now required to provide workers with more information about the fees connected with administering 401(k)s and the different investment options they provide,” said Michael […]


Continue reading full article »

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) December 24, 2013 – There are a few essential legal documents that every adult should have. People tend to think about putting these documents in place as they get older, but they are actually important for adults of every age — and there are certain milestones in life that make them essential. Some may envision putting a last will and testament in place later in life. However, every adult with any assets should have an estate plan, including a will and any necessary trusts. If this plan has been neglected earlier in life, then […]


Continue reading full article »

Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 23, 2013 – A prominent estate planning attorney says digital assets need to be considered as part of estate planning. “In today’s world, many people own significant assets that exist only in digital form, whether it is currency such as Bitcoin or items of sentimental value such as family photos,” said Palo Alto estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix. “There needs to be a plan to pass these assets on to one’s heirs.” Gilfix said that online assets may also include such items as PayPal accounts, frequent flyer miles, iTunes libraries, online gaming accounts […]


Continue reading full article »