National Estate Planning Awareness Week: October 15 – 21, 2012

October 17, 2012
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In honor of National Estate Planning Awareness Week (October 15-21, 2012), the Hook Law Center would like to call to our readers’ attention the following things to consider. Our lives are ever-changing. Whether such changes are caused by the occurrence of a life event, the current economic climate, or for some other reason, it is important to periodically review your estate and  financial plan to ensure that it continues to fit your needs. An out-of-date plan often fails to accomplish your objectives, because it does not account for changes in health, family circumstances, financial conditions, federal and state law, and  your desires concerning the distribution of your estate. Accordingly, if any of the following life events have recently occurred, then it may be time to update your plan:
1) Family Circumstances – Have there been new marriages, births, disability, changes in health?
2) Financial Situation – Has your employment changed, have you received an inheritance, or have you assumed responsibility for a child or adult family member?
3) Retirement Review – Do you have an integrated and comprehensive estate and financial plan?
4) Fiduciary Changes – Are you satisfied with the person(s) you have named as the executor of your Will, trustee of your Trust, agent under your Power of Attorney or Advance Medical Directive?
5) Changes in the Law – Estate and Gift Tax – The exemption amount for both the estate and gift tax  remains at $5 million for 2012. However, the exemption is scheduled to drop to $1 million in 2013.
Additionally, there will be changes in 2013 in the Long-term Capital Gains and QualifiedDividend Rates. With regard to Medicare, in addition to a payroll tax on wages, there will be a tax related to investment income in 2013. A 3.8% tax will be imposed on net investment income for single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $200,000, and for joint filers with an adjusted gross income above $250,000.
The Hook Law Center can assist you with any of your estate and financial planning. Also, you may want to peruse the website of the National Association of  Estate Planners and Councils at www.naepc.org for additional information.

Hook Law Center Open House

The Hook Law Center hosted an Open House on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at their Virginia Beach office from 4-6 PM. It was an opportunity for our clients to interact with our staff on an informal basis. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED! It was a pleasure seeing so many of you!

Ask Kit Kat

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, How long are animals allowed to stay at animal shelters before they are adopted or euthanized?
Kit Kat: Well, that’s a great question. Contrary to what most people believe, most shelters do not have any hard or fast rules about this. Although, there is some variation from locality to locality.  And I think that’s great. The animals shelters really try hard to keep the animals as long as they can. Also, they consider the temperament and health of the animal and their available space and resources at a particular time. That just makes sense, doesn’t it? The Humane Society of America (HSUS) recommends that stray animals be held for at least 5 days which should include a Saturday, so that working people will have every opportunity to reclaim their lost pet. The animal shelters do every thing within their power to avoid putting one of us to sleep. They even seek out foster homes or rescue groups, if they are available within their area, to extend the time that an animal can be cared for.
So I always advise any animal that I meet, if you happen to go to an animal shelter, look friendly and behave yourself! You want to be one of the lucky ones that gets adopted.
(“Common Questions about Animal Shelters,” www.humanesociety.org, December 9, 2011)
So, if you have any pet or animal questions you’d like to ask Kit Kat, please feel free to contact him at kitkat@hooklawcenter.com .
Hook Law Center Celebrates Boss’s Day!
The Hook Law Center celebrated Boss’s Day on Monday, October 15, 2012, by enjoying a delicious meal at a local steakhouse!  The staff of Hook Law Center honored Andrew Hook by donating to the Civil War Battlefield Trust.  Sandra Buhr, Hook Law Center’s Administrator, was honored with a gift certificate to her favorite spa.  The Hook Law Center is honored to have such great bosses!
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Click Here to see September’s Facebook Winner!
We haven’t forgotten our LinkedIn friends! Connect with Hook Law Center via LinkedIn and you, too, can win great prizes!! 

Upcoming Seminars

Andrew Hook is speaking on the subject of Elder Abuse at the Sullivan House on October 17, 2012. The Sullivan House is located at 2033 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23454.
Hook Law Center is presenting a Veterans Aid & Attendance Seminar on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 2 p.m. at Leigh Hall, 890 Poplar Hall Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502. To R.S.V.P. for this seminar, please call 757-399-7506. For more information on other upcoming seminars, please visit hooklawcenter.com/resources/upcoming-seminars.html or call (757) 399-7506.
Andrew Hook is speaking on the subject of the 2012 Tax Issues to the Virginia Society of Enrolled Agents on October 25, 2012 in Virginia Beach, VA. Seminar Notes are available byclicking here.
Montero Medical Missions is sponsoring the Health Fair For Veterans. The opening ceremonies will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 9 a.m. at the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Lifestyle Building, 800 N. Battlefield Blvd., Chesapeake, VA 23320. The health fair will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Veterans will receive assistance with their health care needs including ten screening stations. Future locations for the health fair will be announced at a later date.
Andrew Hook is speaking at the Virginia BPRO (Benefits Program Organization) Fall Conference in Fredericksburg, VA on October 31, 2012. Our Benefit Program Specialist, Natalie Hale, will also be attending the Fall Conference.
Distribution of This Newsletter
Hook Law Center encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to Hook Law Center, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to theHook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us atmail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.
This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter.