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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 26, 2016 – The majority of individuals who purchase life insurance wish to replace their income should they die prematurely. They can choose a term plan that ends upon retirement. Another option is to pay for retirement by using a permanent life insurance policy, and withdrawing funds from the plan’s cash reserve. However, there are possible drawbacks when using this strategy. According to experts, whole life insurance may not be an appropriate investment vehicle because it is costly and not liquid. “When considering retirement planning, it is important to obtain sound investment advice […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 19, 2016 – When creating a trust fund, parents can select a trustee to be in charge of the funds for as long as the parents wish. One way of structuring inheritance is to have the trustee distribute the funds in three separate amounts. For example, the trustee could give the child one sum upon graduation from college, or at age 22, the second a few years later, and the last at around age 30. The main reason cited by parents for releasing the funds in stages rather than all at once is […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 12, 2016 – While most people would like to live a long life, not everyone is financially prepared for it, especially if long-term care is needed. According to personal finance experts, within each person’s budget, money should be allocated toward a long-term care plan. In this way, an individual can develop a strategy to assist with daily living activities in the event of becoming infirm. Each day ten thousand baby boomers reach the age of 65, and approximately 70 percent of Americans will ultimately require long-term care services. There are important factors to […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 4, 2016 – The latest survey conducted by Genworth reveals that among individuals without long-term care insurance coverage and have no plans to purchase such coverage within the next five years, only 15 percent have a backup plan. There are choices for financing long-term care for many Americans prepared to make compromises. “In planning for long-term care, one must become aware of the various options available in order to select a policy that provides the desired amount of care and is not cost-prohibitive,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 28, 2015 – There are a number of reasons for jointly owning assets, such as a home, land, vehicles and financial accounts. People who are older frequently enter into joint ownership of assets in order to facilitate access by their adult children, other relatives or friends in the event that the older persons lose capacity. Another rationale for joint ownership of assets is the avoidance of probate as the assets pass to one owner upon the demise of the other. Among the most typical jointly owned assets is a bank account, which is […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 21, 2015 – There are a number of options when preparing for long-term care, which will be needed by up to 70 percent of individuals age 65 or older, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS predicts that 20 percent will require long-term care for over five years. Long-term care can include 24-hour supervision or help with personal care and other responsibilities. Whatever kind of long-term care required, it is advisable to plan for one’s health and well-being long before retirement. Long-term care is usually defined as the […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 18, 2015 – It is generally assumed that student loan debt is a problem faced only by the young. However, that is not always the case. Seniors are increasingly having a difficult time paying off their student loans, even to the point at which their Social Security benefits are offset when they are unable to make payments. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in 2010, four percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 had federal student loan debt. This represents an increase of one percent from the year 2004. The collective amount […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 11, 2015 – When handling one’s estate planning, it is important to prepare the relevant documents and ensure that they can be accessed by trusted family members prior to one’s death. Such documents can include wills, health care directives, and lists containing passwords to online accounts. However, there are other less common items that some family members may need when their loved one dies. One such item is military discharge papers. John J. Scroggin, who manages a tax business and estate planning firm in Atlanta, knew that his father wished to be buried […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 4, 2015 – Retirement planning can be a very challenging process for couples, and even more so for singles. Several Americans will enter their retirement years on their own for various reasons, such as the death of a spouse, divorce and different lifestyles. According to the 2013 U.S. Census, 54 percent of women and 27 percent of men age 65 or over were unmarried. Financial advisers claim that the retirement planning needs of singles can be extremely different from those of married couples, and that many singles are unprepared. A study by Rand […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2015 – Medicare Advantage plans are part of the Medicare program in which one is still entitled to the same rights and protections as if one had traditional Medicare. They are private plans that may offer more benefits than those accessible in traditional Medicare, and sometimes at no extra cost to beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage plans may be able to operate with more efficiency than the traditional program, purchasing additional benefits for a lower cost, and regulating care in such a way as to ensure that patients make use of medical services more […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 13, 2015 – An estate plan often needs to take into account factors such as a prenuptial agreement. “A well-drafted estate plan can help ensure that one’s assets are protected, and that one’s beneficiaries are provided for after one’s death,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. “Proper planning includes taking into account family circumstances, including any prenuptial agreement that may exist.” An estate plan can be created around a prenuptial agreement. Consider a case discussed recently in the […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 6, 2015 – When a younger spouse inherits an IRA, it may be in the best interest of the spouse to continue being a beneficiary of the IRA. A beneficiary is not required to pay the 10 percent early distribution penalty on funds taken out of the IRA. The spouse would only have to pay income taxes on the amounts withdrawn from the account. But if the spouse were to move the inherited account into his or her own name, then the spouse would have to pay the penalty, unless an exception applied. […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 16, 2015 – Probate is the legal procedure that decides whether a deceased person’s will is valid. While it impacts many elements of a person’s estate, there are non-probate assets, such as life insurance policies, that are given directly to the decedent’s heirs. Following a person’s death, their will is filed with the probate court. Once the court makes a decision concerning the validity of the will, there is an inventory and appraisal of all property, debts and claims of the estate. There is a collection of all legal claims of the estate, […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 9, 2015 – There are several benefits associated with purchasing an annuity, but there are also risks. Several companies have announces that they are selling products called deferred-income annuities. This means that in return for a guaranteed paycheck for the rest of their life that starts many years later, they make a lump sum payment to an insurer. However, one cannot usually know for sure whether it would be prudent to purchase such annuities because it is unpredictable how long one will live. Nevertheless, one can consider the purchase of the annuity to […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 2, 2015 – When faced with the decision of whether to invest in a traditional or Roth 401(k) plan, many U.S. taxpayers find themselves weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each retirement option. A traditional 401(k) plan is offered by an employer to its employees. Such a plan represents the most typical type of defined contribution retirement plan. The employee decides the amount of the contribution he or she would like to make, and the employer deducts a percentage of the employee’s salary from his or her paycheck; the deducted amount is then […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 29, 2015 – A job change can be an opportunity to improve the state of one’s 401(k) plan, but it is important to avoid unnecessary fees and taxes during this process. With careful planning, many people are able to put their 401(k) into better mutual funds with lower costs after a job change. “A job change is a great time to research your investment options and decide which type of account is best for your particular situation,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia financial planning attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 22, 2015 – Many people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia eventually become unable to make informed decisions and to understand the consequences of their decisions, and a family member becomes responsible for making medical, financial and other decisions. This can often occur without court intervention, but legal guardianship may be necessary in cases where there is no power of attorney in place or when the elder refuses necessary care. Guardianship gives a person the legal right to make decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make their own […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 16, 2015 – For people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, creating a legal plan can help ensure that their wishes are met as the disease progresses. “Over time, Alzheimer’s slowly renders patients unable to make their own legal decisions,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. “As soon as Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, individuals should take the time to initiate or update their legal planning.” For individuals with dementia, one of the most important aspects of legal planning […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 8, 2015 – Annuities are regular payments that insurance companies provide in return for contributions, typically to a life insurance policy. For some, annuities represent a valuable estate planning tool, providing a way for retired people to ensure a regular income even if they live a long life. “Annuities can be helpful in estate planning, but it is important to understand the differences between the types of annuities, as well as their limitations,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 1, 2015 – There are a number of different retirement planning milestones that determine which benefits retirees can receive. Anticipating these milestones can be important for executing a retirement plan, and making any necessary changes. “Retirees can expect to start receiving various private funds and government benefits at different ages, and understanding when these funds will become available is essential for avoiding unexpected penalties or gaps in retirement funding,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. Age 59½ is […]


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