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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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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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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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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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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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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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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 29, 2014 – When a person is named as executor of an estate, he or she becomes legally responsible for protecting the assets of the decedent until the estate administration is complete. This can be a complicated, lengthy process, and organization is the key to keeping the process manageable. “Estate administration can be complex, especially if the estate planning is incomplete or there are disputes about the estate,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center. “Staying organized can help.” From the outset, the executor should understand his or […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 20, 2014 – Speaking to older parents about challenging subjects, including finances or the need for assisted living, can be stressful for both parties. Small disagreements can take on enormous significance, and overall communication can break down. Although there is no way to eliminate the stress inherent in such difficult discussions, good communication techniques can help parents and their adult children navigate their challenges effectively. “When adult children learn how to communicate with their aging parents, both the parents and children can appreciate one another and connect during the final stages of the […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 13, 2014 – President Barack Obama recently announced 19 new steps to expand veterans’ access to mental health care. The expansion follows a serious government scandal uncovered earlier this year. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was caught hiding lengthy delays in health care access for veterans, including months-long waits for appointments. Eric Shinseki resigned as head of VA as a result. Last month, Obama signed a $16.3 billion bill to improve veterans’ access to medical care and other VA issues. “PTSD and suicide are monumental problems affecting the veteran population,” said Andrew […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 6, 2014 – Family-owned businesses face one of their most vulnerable periods when transitioning to the next generation after their founder’s retirement or death. More than 70 percent of family businesses do not survive this transition. But a transition plan can help preserve the business for generations to come. Planning for the transition should encompass both the legal aspects of the process, such as tax and estate planning, and practical discussions with the family members who will take over the business. “Neglecting to set up a transition plan is one of the biggest […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 29, 2014 – As the population ages and the cost of hiring in-home care booms, many Americans are stepping into roles as caregivers for loved ones who are aging or have chronic illnesses. However, caregivers should recognize that caring for an older loved one themselves also has costs. “Because the cost of providing care on your own does not appear on a single bill, it is easy to underestimate the real financial impact of caregiving,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia attorney who specializes in the needs of seniors. A growing number of Americans […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 25, 2014 – On Saturday, September 27, 2014, the Hook Law Center will hold a free “Shred Day” event that will also be used to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Members of the public can bring old documents and records to the Hook Law Center in Virginia Beach, where they will be securely shredded on-site. During the event, the Hook Law Center will accept donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, and its legal team will invite anyone who is interested to join the Hook Law Center Walk Team for […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 2, 2014 – A report from the Nursing Home Report Card, a Families for Better Care project, ranked Virginia poorly on nursing home quality measures. The state received a grade of “D,” with an overall ranking of 33rd out of 50 states. “The fact that there are many nursing homes in Virginia that have problems means that it is that much more important for seniors and their families to engage in proper planning and research before choosing a nursing facility,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with the Hook Law Center. […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 26, 2014 – Sometimes, one of the partners constructing a prenuptial agreement is a business owner. Typically, the document will then be designed to ensure that preexisting assets are completely protected in case of divorce. This often leads to restrictive prenuptial agreements that keep all preexisting assets separate. Unfortunately, that safe, restrictive prenup can prevent the surviving spouse from receiving assets upon the other spouse’s death. “A prenup is essential for protecting your assets in case of divorce, but it doesn’t always account for problems that may occur if you were to die,” […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 5, 2014 – With careful financial planning, many people are able to enjoy a comfortable retirement and leave a substantial estate to their heirs. But one often-unconsidered factor has the potential to add a large additional expense to the balance sheet: the possibility that one will require long-term care in a skilled nursing facility. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, most people over age 65 will require long-term care services of some type in their lifetime, and 40 percent will require nursing home care for some period of time. Many […]


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