» estate planning attorney

San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 26, 2015 – With the Supreme Court’s landmark June 26 ruling legalizing gay marriage throughout the United States, same-sex couples should consider what the decision means for their financial and estate planning strategies for the future. Married same-sex couples will now be able to take advantage of all the financial benefits that have been available to other married couples for years, such as health insurance, Social Security and retirement. “The Supreme Court’s decision is life-changing for same-sex couples as it has leveled the playing field for all married couples when it comes to […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 14, 2014 – For many years, wealthy families have used family-limited partnerships and limited liability companies to help leave family-owned businesses to their heirs in a way that could lower their gift or estate taxes. Recently, they have also been used to leave portfolios of publicly traded securities to their heirs at a discount. However, according to estate attorneys, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is planning to discontinue the use of such a discount. Generally, a married couple would establish a family-limited partnership to own securities or a business that they believe will rise […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 11, 2015 – Advance medical directives are important documents that should be kept safe, but they also need to be accessible. While more people are recognizing the importance of documenting their wishes regarding health care, too often the documents are kept in a place that is not easily accessible in case of an emergency. “Advance medical directives often come into play in an emergency situation, so they need to be kept in an accessible location that loved ones are aware of,” said Andrew H. Hook, an estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 7, 2014 – The late North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith left $200 to each of approximately 180 players he had coached for years. The payments are not from his will, but rather from his revocable living trust. A revocable living trust is an estate planning tool that is used partly to maintain some level of privacy concerning the details of one’s estate. While wills are public documents, and thus available to anyone who wishes to search public records, trusts are private. Smith’s generosity was publicized because players uploaded photos of his letters and […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 30, 2015 – There are many tax savings that are available to older families. Such tax breaks can be achieved in several areas, including work, car and home, estate planning, medical expenses and rental property. In terms of realizing savings at work, a hefty tax refund implies that an excessive amount of tax is being withheld from one’s paycheck. One can correct this by filing a new W-4 form with one’s employer. There are also savings to be had regarding the payment of medical expenses. Some employers offer a medical reimbursement account, or […]


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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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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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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 28, 2014 – Rachel Lambert Mellon’s will was carefully written to encompass all her wishes. When Mellon died at the age of 103 on March 17 at the Upperville, Virginia estate that had been her principal residence for decades, the Old Dominion and the nation lost a great philanthropist and patron of the arts. And on March 26, when her will was filed in Virginia’s Fauquier County Circuit Court, the document provided some insights into the financial and estate-planning affairs of the late heiress. Mrs. Mellon, who was also known as “Bunny,” was the […]


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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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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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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2013 – Planning one’s estate should be paired with planning one’s retirement, says a prominent estate planning attorney. Lisa McDevitt, a Virginia estate planning attorney with the McDevitt Law Firm, said that while many people only think of wills and trusts when they think about estate planning, they should actually be thinking about retirement planning at the same time. “Of course estate planning includes creating a will and any necessary trusts to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die,” said McDevitt. “But in order to make sure […]


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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 […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 17, 2013 – A prominent estate planning attorney says that autumn is the season to take stock of one’s retirement savings. “As we draw close to the end of the year, it is a good time to think about whether your retirement savings plan is on track,” said Michael Gilfix. For many people, a 401(k) is a key part of their retirement savings plan. If an employer matches contributions, then it is a good idea to contribute at least the amount that will be matched. But according to Gilfix, one may want to […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 16, 2013 – Debt can affect retirement plans, says a prominent Virginia estate planning attorney. Americans entering their golden years should be looking forward to enjoying their retirement and perhaps planning to leave an inheritance to their children. However, many of the baby-boomer generation are finding that things like credit card debt, mortgages, the cost of caring for elderly parents, and providing support for college-aged children, are significant obstacles in retirement and estate planning. “Debt is a growing problem for older Americans, and it definitely affects estate planning,” said Lisa McDevitt, an estate planning […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) September 19, 2013 – According to a survey by Findlaw.com, approximately 60 percent of parents have yet to formalize a simple will to protect their children. Having an estate plan in place, including a will and possibly trusts as well, should be a major concern for every parent. The future may hold decision-making issues regarding disability or incapacity, or the untimely death of one or more parents. As hard as it is to contemplate, one of the choices a responsible parent must make is how to ensure their child or children are safe if […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) September 19, 2013 – Sudden wealth may be a six-figure sum for some estates, or may be a five-figure amount. What every amount of sudden wealth has in common is that it is a windfall of sorts, separate from the expected financial shifts and therefore outside the recipient’s financial comfort zone. It is one of those scenarios that so many people play around with: what they would do if an unexpected windfall appeared in their life, a large sum of money came their way due to an inheritance, contract, business sale, lawsuit, lottery win, […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) September 12, 2013 – Sudden wealth may be a six-figure sum for some estates, or may be a five-figure amount. What every amount of sudden wealth has in common is that it is a “windfall” of sorts, separate from the expected financial shifts and therefore outside the recipient’s financial comfort zone. It is one of those scenarios that so many people play around with: what they would do if an unexpected windfall appeared in their life, a large sum of money came their way due to an inheritance, contract, business sale, lawsuit, lottery win, […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) September 6, 2013 – A family-owned business is a hard-won commodity and considered a legacy to be passed on to the next generation. However, that legacy can be lost in the transition from one generation to the next; more than 70 percent of family-owned businesses do not successfully survive the transfer. Estate planning specialists say that business owners may wish to develop a transition plan with an estate planning attorney to ensure the business makes it to their children intact upon their retirement or death. How can business owners ensure their plans for the […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 3, 2013 – President Obama proposed a budget that would grant significant increases to VA funding. The President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2014, beginning October, 2013, allocates $152.7 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an increase of 10.2 percent over current spending levels. The budget includes $86.1 billion in mandatory spending, which is mostly disability benefits and pensions, and $66.5 billion in discretionary spending, which goes mainly toward health care. “This is welcome news for our nation’s veterans and their families,” commented veterans attorney Andrew Hook. “This funding increase for the […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 24, 2013 – A new report says wait times and claims backlogs for veterans filing for disability are growing. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has released a report detailing the findings of a lengthy review of internal documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The report shows that delays encountered by first-time applicants for veterans disability benefits are much longer than the VA has previously acknowledged. Virginia veteran’s attorney Andrew Hook commented, “We owe it to our veterans to ensure they get the benefits they deserve and were promised, and in […]


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