» Tax Planning

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 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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Congress has passed a new law allowing individuals with disabilities and their families to create tax-free savings accounts. Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 18, 2014 – The Achieving a Better Life Experience or ABLE Act passed Congress and is expected to be signed by President Obama. The law allows family members of individuals with disabilities to deposit funds in special accounts, the income for which will remain tax-free, provided it is spent on qualified expenses such as housing, health care, education and transportation. “This is great news for people with special needs and their families,” said Andrew H. […]


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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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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2014 – Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed that inherited IRA accounts are not protected in bankruptcy as regular retirement accounts are. According to estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll, this is just one of the many reasons that anyone with a significant IRA account should look into the idea of setting up a trust as the beneficiary of an IRA account. “Designating a trust for an IRA account is not for everyone,” Gilfix explained, “but it could be of great benefit to […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) November 14, 2014 – The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) has elected Bernard A. Krooks of Littman Krooks LLP, JD, CPA, LLM, CELA, AEP® to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame. He has been honored with the designation of Accredited Estate Planner® (Distinguished). 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 practice of estate planning. This award is […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 13, 2014 – Parents and grandparents who want to incorporate college savings into their financial planning can do so with a 529 college savings plan, a special savings account designed for higher education expenses. “In this era of ever-rising tuition, college savings should take higher priority than in the past,” said Andrew Hook, an estate planning attorney in Franklin, Virginia. “A 529 plan can be a part of that financial planning.” A 529 savings account allows account holders to save money over time, then withdraw from the balance tax-free for education-related expenses. Qualified […]


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Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 7, 2014 – On Tuesday, November 18 at 6:00 p.m., Begley Law Group will host a free seminar about college financial planning at their offices in Moorestown, New Jersey. Created for anyone planning to send children to college, this free seminar will cover the important steps necessary to plan for those expenses. Attendees will learn about the different phases of college planning, how colleges determine financial aid and how they can best position themselves to receive it. “People want to give their children every opportunity in life, and a college education can be an […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 6, 2014 – Surviving spouses named as a beneficiary of their deceased spouse’s IRA should carefully consider their options for handling the account. The primary options are to assume the IRA, inherit the IRA, take a lump-sum distribution or disclaim the account. “How an IRA is handled after a spouse’s death can have major tax and financial consequences for the spouse beneficiary,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center. Assuming an IRA means transferring the assets into an IRA in one’s own name. For tax purposes, the IRA […]


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White Plains, NY(Law Firm Newswire) November 3, 2014 – Littman Krooks LLP has been selected among the 2015 U.S.News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in the New York metropolitan area. The firm, with offices in New York, White Plains and Fishkill, received Tier 1 ranking in the area of Elder Law and Trusts & Estates Law. This prestigious ranking results from the firm’s combination of legal excellence and breadth of expertise. The U.S.News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from […]


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