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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 26, 2015 – When a parent becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to manage his or her own finances, a child or other caregiver needs to step in to pay bills and manage money and costs. Taking over a parent’s finances can be difficult, especially in the midst of the other challenges that families face during a loved one’s illness. “If you are taking over your parent’s finances, a systematic, structured approach to gathering information is a great starting point,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 19, 2015 – Whether at a slow or a fast rate, Alzheimer’s disease inevitably progresses, and patients lose their functional capacity. As this process occurs, caregivers are faced with a number of difficult decisions. “Alzheimer’s caregivers are faced with ensuring care for their loved one while also preserving his or her independence and quality of life as much as possible,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. One choice that often comes up relatively early is whether or not […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 16, 2015 – A new national study has found that adults age 45 to 65 vastly underestimate the possibility that they will need professional long-term care after the age of 65. The study, conducted by the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, showed that 60 percent of adults in this age range do not think they will need long term-care in the future. But, according to national statistics, more than 70 percent of those over 65 do use long-term care at some point. Michael Gilfix, a Palo Alto estate planning attorney who assists clients in […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 12, 2015 – According to Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, having estate planning documents in place can help prevent problems from occurring as a person ages and after they pass away. “The goal of estate planning is to make sure that your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated or after your death,” said Hook. “A will, trust, power of attorney and advance health care directive are all important to have in place.” Hook said that a will is perhaps the most essential estate planning document. […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 9, 2015 – On January 1, 2015, a new federal law took effect, authorizing states to establish a new kind of tax-favored savings account for some special needs individuals. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act created an account for special needs individuals that is similar, in some ways, to a 529 college savings account. A 529 ABLE account will allow special needs individuals and their families to save up to $100,000, which can be used for some living expenses, while still allowing the individual to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 3, 2015 – As medical technology advances, people with serious illnesses or advancing age are faced with a wide range of challenging decisions. Should mechanical ventilation be used to keep the patient breathing? Should a feeding tube be used to maintain nutrition? When should life-sustaining treatments be withdrawn? How aggressive should treatment attempts be? “With more than six million Americans living with chronic illness, and the number set to grow in coming years, palliative care plays an ever increasing role in maintaining the quality of life of people with chronic diseases, particularly older […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 30, 2015 – According to estate planning professionals, an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals are limiting how much money they leave to their children. The most famous example of this might be Warren Buffet, who has said publicly that he does not want to leave his children so much money that they do not need to do anything with their lives. Similarly, Bill Gates has said that he plans to donate almost all of his multi-billion dollar fortune to charity, leaving about $10 million to each of his three children. Estate planning attorney […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 26, 2015 – ]With a baby on the way, new parents should prioritize making a basic estate plan. An estate plan is one of the most important building blocks for a growing family. “In the midst of all the other changes associated with becoming a new parent, an estate plan is essential to protect your children in case anything should happen to you,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. An estate plan can ensure that children will […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 23, 2015 – Permanent life insurance policies can be used not just to guarantee income for one’s heirs in the case of untimely death, but to fund retirement. Policyholders can withdraw from the policy’s cash reserve in certain circumstances. “Using life insurance to fund retirement is not for everyone, but it can be a valuable strategy for people who have maxed out other retirement accounts and who can afford a policy,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. Life […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 16, 2015 – According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, wealthy families are increasingly setting up private trust companies to manage their assets, rather than using traditional trust companies. “Private trust companies offer families more flexibility and more control,” said Michael Gilfix, a Palo Alto estate planning attorney with Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP. “It is easy to see why more and more super-wealthy families are selecting this option, although there are potential downsides.” One reason many families choose to create a private trust company, reports the Wall Street […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 16, 2015 – It is often necessary for individuals to cut down on their expenses once they retire. Planning to reduce or cut out certain expenses can be an important part of a retirement plan, improving a person’s financial security without requiring them to cut out vital resources. “Many times, expenses that were reasonable while one was working do not make sense after retirement,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. Many people can save on transportation and […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 9, 2015 – As parents age, a wide range of challenging subjects arise, including the need to care for a parent with ailing health. The difficulty associated with these subjects and the changing nature of the relationship between older parents and their adult children can make communication a challenge. Learning how to talk to older loved ones about difficult subjects can help ensure that important issues are addressed and conflict is minimized. “How families approach these challenging subjects plays a big role in whether or not a resolution is found,” said Andrew H. […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 2, 2015 – A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes a transformation in estate planning for individuals or couples who have significant assets, but who are not subject to the federal estate tax. With a federal estate tax exemption set at more than $5 million per individual — a figure set to rise — tax reporter Laura Saunders says that capital gains taxes are now the driving concern in estate planning for many affluent Americans. “Saunders is absolutely right to point out that, particularly for Californians, capital gains taxes can pose […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 2, 2015 – Emotions can play a substantial role in making decisions about long-term care. Planning after seeing a loved one decline in health may drive some people to seek long-term care insurance, but they should also consider their finances rationally. “Planning for long-term care means accepting that your health may decline to the point that you can no longer care for yourself,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center. Often, people avoid thinking about long-term care because they would like to believe that they will never […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 29, 2014 – Assisted living facilities are designed to provide residents with help with daily activities while allowing them to retain their independence as much as possible. As a person considers moving to an assisted living facility, he or she should thoroughly research the options in order to choose a facility that best meets all needs. “One of the most important things to consider is what kind of assistance you will need. Cooking, using the restroom, bathing, dressing, and managing medications are common areas of assistance,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 23, 2014 – As individuals age and live with chronic illnesses, their medical and personal care needs can become complex. Geriatric care management services help older adults and their loved ones coordinate all aspects of care. “Geriatric care managers have extensive knowledge of elder issues and the resources in the community. They can help seniors and their loved ones find and access needed services,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. Broadly speaking, a Geriatric Care Manager’s (GCM) role […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 15, 2014 – When a person becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to make medical, financial or legal decisions, it becomes necessary for another person to step in and make decisions on his or her behalf. Power of attorney and guardianship are two vehicles by which this may occur. A power of attorney is a legal document which a person uses to designate someone to act on his or her behalf if he or she is incapacitated. A power of attorney can be general, granting the agent power over all of the […]


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Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) December 9, 2014 – For purposes of Medicaid long-term care services, New Jersey has always been an income cap state. That means that an individual’s income must not exceed 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). Beginning January 1, 2015 that means that an individual’s monthly income cannot exceed $2,199. Historically, individuals in nursing homes were able to qualify for a “Medically Needy” program to spend their income down and qualify for Medicaid. Individuals requiring care in assisted living or at home were not eligible for the Medically Needy program and could not become eligible […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 24, 2014 – A new study from Allianz Life Insurance shows that fundamental misconceptions about elder financial abuse may be fueling the growing problem. According to the study, most seniors and their family members believed that the greatest risk comes from telemarketing calls and similar contact with strangers. Few realized that the majority of elder financial exploitation is perpetuated by someone the senior already knows. “It is common for people to think that this will not happen to their family,” said elder law attorney Michael Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll, who works […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2014 – A study by Fidelity Investments found that 57 percent of retirees wish they had done more retirement planning before leaving the workplace. As retirement approaches, a checklist to be completed at key stages can help ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. “Retirement represents an immense change to a person’s lifestyle and financial situation,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. “Having an actionable plan can make that transition easier.” Retirement savings should start […]


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