» Wills and Trusts Law

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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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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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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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) May 1, 2014 – The assistance of an elder law attorney when applying for Medicaid is essential to make sure that your interests and assets are protected. Many people think of Medicaid as a service that is only for the poor, but it has also become the default method for many people to pay for long-term care, such as one receives in a skilled nursing facility. There are income and asset limits that need to be met to be eligible for Medicaid, but there are legal strategies that can be used to protect some […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) April 25, 2014 – As one nears retirement age, a number of important financial planning milestones begin to approach. It can be difficult to keep them all straight, so here is a timeline of what happens when. At age 59 1/2, people can begin to make withdrawals from 401(k)s, traditional IRAs and similar retirement savings accounts, without an additional tax penalty of 10 percent. (Withdrawals are still taxed as income in any case.) Of course, just because one can begin to make withdrawals at this age does not mean one necessarily should. At age […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2014 – The Social Security Administration recently announced an expedited approval process for disability claims filed by disabled veterans. The new process was announced in a statement from Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin. It applies to veterans with a disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These veterans’ applications for Social Security Disability Insurance will be treated as high-priority and be decided on an expedited basis, similar to those under the Wounded Warriors program. Hampton Roads veterans attorney Andrew […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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) […]


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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, […]


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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 […]


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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, […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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