Hook Law Center | Law Firm Newswire - Part 4

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 […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 11, 2013 – A recent survey indicates many U.S. veterans are uninformed about the advantages and disadvantages of delaying or hastening the start of their Social Security benefits. The survey, commissioned by financial publishing firm Kiplinger, found that more than 70 percent of veterans either underestimated the reduction in Social Security income incurred as a result of claiming benefits early, or admitted they did not know the costs. Moreover, nearly 90 percent did not realize the increase in benefits they could receive by delaying the onset of payments. Veterans’ law attorney Andrew Hook […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 4, 2013 – A senator and a prominent doctor joined together to call for a doubling of the amount the U.S. government spends on research into Alzheimer’s disease each year. Senator Susan Collins is the senior senator from Maine and Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force. Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Mayo Clinic. The pair co-authored an article on the disease in a recent issue of Parade magazine. Virginia elder law attorney Andrew Hook agreed with the senator and doctor’s recommendation. […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2013 – Workers may convert individual retirement accounts (IRAs) from traditional to Roth IRAs, but some who do so will later undo that conversion. Roth IRAs present certain advantages and disadvantages versus traditional IRAs, and each year, many people elect to make the conversion to Roth. When current circumstances or expectations for the future change, as they so often do, that conversion may be undone in a process called “recharacterization.” Estate planning attorney Andrew Hook explains why people convert or recharacterize their accounts and the rules governing the processes. “Contributions to traditional […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 7, 2013 – Stiff penalties for careless Medicaid planning make it necessary for families to form a proper strategy many years ahead of time. Medicaid provides health care for those with little assets or income and is the most popular way to pay for long-term nursing home care. Long-term care is very expensive, making Medicaid the only option for many families who need it, but qualifying for Medicaid usually requires very low asset levels. As Virginia elder law attorney Andrew Hook explains, this can lead families to make missteps with severe consequences. “A […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 17, 2013 – A recent study shows baby boomers may not adequately understand their retirement health care needs. The Center for Secure Retirement surveyed 1,300 middle-income people aged 49 to 67. Those surveyed tended to underestimate the cost of long-term care and the likelihood they will need it. Most lacked a plan to pay for health care and a proper understanding of what Medicare provides. “Health care in retirement represents a great financial challenge for many Americans,” said Virginia elder law attorney Andrew Hook. “Knowledge and planning are immensely important no matter your […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 20, 2013 – The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), extensively impacting taxes and federal benefits. Section 3 of DOMA defines marriage, for the purpose of federal law, as a legal union between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court deemed that section unconstitutional by a 5-4 decision issued on June 26, 2013. How that decision is applied to the law by various federal agencies will determine whether same-sex married couples are granted any of a number of the legal benefits of marriage. “The effects of […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 13, 2013 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a new online application for disability compensation claims. The agency says the online form allows claims to be processed more quickly because the procedure is electronic from start to finish. The VA has already begun implementing a computerized process for handling the paper claims it receives. Officials say electronic claims processing is a key part of the agency’s plan to eliminate its infamous claims backlog by the end of 2015. “Anything that speeds these disability benefits to our deserving veterans is welcome news,” […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) June 19, 2013 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will expedite decisions on claims more than one year old. In a news release, the VA said that effective immediately, the agency’s claims raters would begin making provisional decisions on the oldest backlogged benefits claims. After a provisional rating has been given to a claim, the veteran will have one year to submit additional evidence before a final decision is issued. “Too many veterans endure very long waits to receive desperately-needed disability benefits,” commented veteran’s attorney Andrew Hook. “Hopefully this initiative will […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) June 5, 2013 – A new study indicates that a cancer drug may be used to treat Alzheimer’s. Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center administered the drug nilotinib to mice in very low doses. They theorized that the drug, which causes cancer cells to self-destruct, might have a similar effect on aberrant brain cells at low doses. “Alzheimer’s and similar diseases affect some 5 million people in America alone, and planning for their needs is a challenge for families and communities” said elder law attorney Andrew Hook. The researchers began by finding a […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 10, 2013 – Virginia has not agreed to expand Medicaid, the governor told the Obama administration. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Governor Bob McDonnell clarified language contained in the state’s recently-passed budget. The provisions outline “a series of reforms that must be completed to the satisfaction of a new legislative commission prior to consideration of Medicaid expansion,” the letter said. The governor wrote that some in the media and the state capitol had interpreted this as an approval of Medicaid expansion, a characterization McDonnell called “absolutely incorrect.” […]


Continue reading full article »

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 […]


Continue reading full article »

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 17, 2013 – The FDA plans to ease the rules governing approval of new Alzheimer’s treatments. Under the proposal, drug companies would no longer be required to demonstrate in clinical trials that their products improved a patient’s life. Instead, approval could be granted based on test subjects in the early stages of Alzheimer’s showing small improvements in reasoning and memory in controlled tests. The proposed change addresses a problem inherent in the agency’s existing policy. Medications are most likely to be useful to Alzheimer’s patients in the earliest stages of the disease. But […]


Continue reading full article »