Comprehensive Planning. Lifelong Solutions.

Top Scams Targeting Seniors – And How to Avoid Them

By Jessica A. Hayes

It’s no secret that the elderly are frequently the target of scams, financial abuse, and exploitation. A senior’s declining cognition may make it more difficult for him to distinguish between a legitimate phone call or e-mail and one designed to take advantage of him. Combine this with hearing or vision loss, and it becomes even less of a challenge for unscrupulous individuals to obtain and make use of one’s personal and financial information.

The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging recently issued its 2017 ranking of the top 10 scams targeting senior citizens, based on data collected through its Fraud Hotline from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. The most frequently reported scams of 2016 were as follows:

  • IRS Impersonation Scams

 

Generally, the scammer will call an individual, pretending to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent, accusing the individual of owing back taxes and penalties, and threatening the individual with arrest, foreclosure, or deportation if immediate payment is not made.

  • Sweepstakes Scams

 

The scammer contacts an individual and informs him that he has won a lottery – frequently the Jamaican lottery. In order to “claim” his winnings (or to improve his chance of winning), the individual must pay a fee.

  • Robocalls/Unwanted Phone Calls

 

The scammer uses technology to dial large volumes of phone numbers and distribute pre-recorded messages to reach a broad audience of potential victims.

  • Computer Scams

 

The scammer contacts the victim by computer, poses as an employee of a technology company, and convinces the victim that his computer is infected with a virus. In order to get rid of the “virus,” the scammer convinces the victim to give him access to his computer, often in exchange for payment by wire transfer. Sometimes, the scammer obtains the victim’s passwords and uses them to access his financial accounts, as well.

  • Elder Financial Abuse

 

The Committee’s report defines financial abuse as the “illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets.” It is often committed by a loved one or an agent under a power of attorney.

  • Grandparent Scams

 

The scammer calls a senior pretending to be a family member, often a grandchild, and asks for money to pay for an emergency (frequently a medical bill or legal problem).

  • Romance Scams/Confidence Fraud

 

A form of “catfishing,” this scam involves the fraudster creating a fake online dating profile, gaining the trust of the victim over a period of time, then requesting money to help out in an “emergency” or to allegedly visit the victim.

  • Government Grant Scams

 

The scammer contacts the victim, pretending to be from a “Government Grants Department” (which does not exist), and informing the victim that he or she will receive a grant after paying a fee.

  • Counterfeit Check Scams

 

The scammer sends the victim a check and instructs him to cash or deposit the check, then turn around and wire some of the money back to the scammer. For his trouble, the victim may keep a portion, he is told. The victim later learns from the bank that the check has bounced, and now he is liable for the funds wired.

  • Identity Theft

 

The Committee’s report categorizes several forms of “identity theft,” including online impersonation, actual theft of a wallet or mail, and illegal efforts to obtain a person’s identifiable information. Use of someone’s personal information to apply for a credit card is a common form of identity theft, as is filing an income tax return using someone else’s personal information, generally to obtain a refund from the government.

To avoid becoming the victim of these and other scams, exercise caution when you are contacted by someone you do not know personally or are not expecting to hear from. Almost all of the scams above involve someone else contacting you, either by phone, mail, or e-mail. If someone purportedly calling from your financial institution contacts you and asks for identifying information, hang up and call the institution back at a known, legitimate phone number to verify whether the call was legitimate. Avoid opening e-mails from unknown senders and clicking on links in e-mails unless you are absolutely certain that the e-mail or link is legitimate. Shred documents containing personal information such as dates of birth and Social Security Numbers, rather than throwing them away. Keep in mind that anything that sounds too good to be true (lottery winnings and free trips, for example) most likely IS too good to be true. And when in doubt, if you receive a phone call, piece of mail, or e-mail that doesn’t seem quite right, get the opinion of a loved one or an attorney before responding.

If you receive a suspicious call or message, contact the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470. For more information relating to each of the above scams, you may access the 2017 report online at https://www.collins.senate.gov/sites/default/files/Fraud%20Book%202017.pdf.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Follow the Bears

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what can you tell us about the bears in Yosemite National Park?

Kit Kat:  Well, this is so interesting! The rangers at Yosemite now have a website in which the public can follow the location of black bears throughout the park. The bears are outfitted with tracking collars, and they can be followed as they go about their daily routines. There is a time delay, so industrious visitors cannot know where they are in real time, but you can see them doing a lot of things like climbing 5,000-foot canyon walls, foraging for food, etc. There are approximately 500 black bears in Yosemite.

The reason behind the tracking system and website is twofold—one is to satisfy the public’s curiosity about the bears, but secondly, and most importantly it is to give the rangers and the public information about the bears. With more than 5 million visitors to the park last year, rangers hope the public will be more aware how to interact with bears—slowing their driving in places bears frequent most and properly storing food at campsites. Last year alone, 28 bears were hit by cars, and for some, it was a fatal encounter. Ryan Leahy, a wildlife biologist at the park says, ‘It’s our responsibility to keep bears wild.’ Another expert, Jesse Garcia, a black bear specialist from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says, ‘You’ve got to give them their distance and always be aware, knowing that they’re there.’ In other words, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the bears, but at a safe distance for both parties.

The tracking system has resulted in learning more about black bears, which in Yosemite, tend to be more of a brownish color. One of the things they have learned is that mating season begins in May, about a month earlier than previously thought. Continued monitoring will help us learn more about these powerful, yet beautiful animals. (By Associated Press, “Keeping track of Yosemite’s busy bears,” The Washington Post (Kids Post), April 4, 2017)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Tuesday, April 25th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Selling Real Property to Satisfy the Debts of a Decedent

By Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro

In Virginia, real property vests with the heirs of an estate unless the heirs are divested of legal title. As a result, it is settled law that unless a personal representative of the estate is granted an express power to sell the real estate of the decedent by Will, the personal representative must seek such authority from the Court. The Court will usually reserve granting such authority for good cause and is primarily granted when the assets of the estate exceed that value of the debts of a decedent

The personal representative of an estate (could be termed an Administrator or Executor) has a fiduciary duty to fully administer the estate of the decedent. In doing so, the personal representative must ensure that the debts of the estate are paid. When an estate is insolvent, there is a particular order in which such debts may be paid. A failure to pay the debts in the order prescribed by the Virginia Code could result in the personal representative being held personally liable for the debt

Specifically, when the assets of the estate are not sufficient to satisfy all the debts, the debts are to paid as follows:

  1. Costs and expenses of administration;
  2. Allowances afforded to a surviving spouse or dependent child under the Code of Virginia;
  3. Funeral expenses not to exceed $4,000;
  4. Debts and taxes with preference under federal law;
  5. Medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, including compensation of persons attending him not to exceed $2,150 for each hospital and nursing home and $425 for each person furnishing services or goods;
  6. Debts and taxes due the Commonwealth;
  7. Debts due as trustee for persons under disabilities; as receiver or commissioner under decree of court of the Commonwealth; as personal representative, guardian, conservator, or committee when the qualification was in the Commonwealth; and for moneys collected by anyone to the credit of another and not paid over, regardless of whether or not a bond has been executed for the faithful performance of the duties of the party so collecting such funds;
  8. Debts and taxes due localities and municipal corporations of the Commonwealth; and
  9. All other claims.

Only after the debts are fully satisfied are beneficiaries of the estate entitled to benefit from the estate.

Since the problem usually arises with a decadent who owned real property that has vested with a beneficiary and there is just not a sufficient personal estate to satisfy the creditors, the Code of Virginia specifically provides that real property must sold when the personal property is insufficient to do so.

To enable a personal representative with the authority to engage in the sale of real estate, the personal representative, unless there is an express direction of sale under a Last Will and Testament, will often need the cooperation of the heirs and/or the granting of the power to sell the property. The Court, in granting such authority, divests the heirs of legal title and grants full authority over the property to the personal representative.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Affectionate Cats

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, are cats naturally affectionate, or do they tend to be aloof?

Kit Kat:  Well, according to some new research, cats really are naturally affectionate. Here’s what the latest research says. We have Oregon State University (OSU) to thank. In OSU’s own publication, Behavioral Processes, it was reported that cats frequently choose love from their parents over food. Dogs and tortoises were previously studied, so the researchers decided it was time to focus on cats. One researcher said, ‘Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem-solving abilities. Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for.’

In the study, a total of 50 cats (some from shelters, some were pets) were examined. They isolated the cats for a few hours from all stimulation such as human interaction, playing with toys, or being given food. After the deprivation period, the cats were given the option of interacting with humans, playing with toys, or eating. Only 37% of the cats chose food. Most of those opting for contact were quite content with chin rubbing. To top it off, they found no difference between the shelter cats and pet cats. These results confirm what my parents have long known. The 5 cats in our house love our parents, and miss them terribly when they go away. Someone comes in and feeds us and clean our litter while they are away, but it’s not the same. Even if they are gone one night, when they come back, we cuddle up to them with purring, and they, in turn, pet us to our hearts’ content! (Kelli Bender, “Study: Your Cat Probably Loves You More Than It Loves Food (Take that, Dogs!), People, March 28, 2017)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Monday, April 17th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Early Signs of Dementia and What to Do About Them

By Elizabeth Boehmcke

The Alzheimer’s Association’s website, www.alz.org, has a page devoted to 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s. I commend the site to your review, especially if you are trying to figure out whether you have dementia or just age-related memory changes. Particularly for those of us who have a relative who has struggled with dementia, it always a concern when things get forgotten. Among the signs that could signal dementia are:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, especially recently learned information;
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems, like following a familiar recipe;
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure, like how to drive to a familiar location or remembering the rules of a favorite game;
  • Confusion with time or place, like losing track of seasons or the passage of time;
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, like difficulty reading or judging distance, the latter of which may manifest as trouble driving.
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing, like having trouble following a conversation, stopping in the middle of a conversation and repeating themselves, or struggling with common vocabulary and calling thing by the wrong name;
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, like putting eyeglasses in the freezer;
  • Decreased or poor judgment, like giving large amounts to telemarketers or losing track of cash, or like paying less attention to personal grooming;
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities they used to enjoy; and
  • Changes in mood and personality, like becoming confused or suspicious or anxious.

If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, your first step should be to contact your physician and schedule an appointment to discuss what you are experiencing. If early dementia is diagnosed, early intervention may provide some symptomatic relief and allows a longer period of independent living. Your second step should be contacting an elder law attorney.

When someone receives a dementia diagnosis, the entire family goes through stages of shock and fear about the future. However, contact with an experienced elder law attorney, like the attorneys at the Hook Law Center, can help the family through this stage with proper planning. It is vital that planning be done before the disease becomes so advanced that the patient loses their capacity to sign the documents necessary to implement a plan.

One component of any plan will be reviewing and updating necessary estate planning documents. In addition, it is likely that general durable powers of attorney and advanced medical directives may need to be updated or created. These latter two documents are extremely important when diseases like dementia are in play because as the disease progresses, the natural course will be that the patient likely loses capacity at some point before death. In that situation, it is important that agents be appointed and empowered to make the decisions necessary to carry out the patient’s wishes, implement a financial plan and to protect assets. For clients who may need to rely on public benefits to help pay for care in the face of a dementia diagnosis, it is extremely important that existing powers of attorney be reviewed to ensure that the powers necessary to implement an asset protection plan are specifically granted to the agent in the power of attorney. For most people who have created powers of attorney when younger and healthier or without an eye towards public benefits planning, their powers of attorney do not contain the powers necessary to implement all of the asset protection and eligibility strategies that can be employed.

A second component of any plan will be reviewing the overall financial health of the family to determine how the family plans to pay for care when it becomes necessary. We will look at all avenues to assist in paying for care. We will discuss care at home and care in a facility. We will discuss the feasibility of maintaining the family in their home from both the patient’s perspective as well as that of the caretaker. We will discuss all the options available, including private pay and governmental benefits. When it is still possible for everyone in the family to understand and materially participate in the formation of a plan of care is the time to make the plan. By understanding the options available and how best to achieve your financial goals, we can relieve much of the stress and fear that comes from facing an uncertain future.

Unfortunately, dementia is becoming a more common diagnosis as our population ages. But the fear of running out of money and not being able to afford care should not be thrown on top of your other concerns. Make an appointment with one of the attorneys at the Hook Law Center and let us help relieve your mind by developing a plan that works for you.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Pesky Penquins

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what can you tell us about raising Galápagos baby penguins?

Kit Kat:  Well, in some ways, it’s just like raising human children. Let me explain. Galápagos penguins are the only penguins which live north of the Equator. They are considered endangered, because only around 2,000 remain in the world. That said, their parents when raising offspring, referred to as fledglings when they are old enough to hunt for food by themselves, can be quite generous. Parents feed their young by throwing up food they have partially digested into their offspring’s mouths. In a video recently recorded by researchers from the University of Washington, one parent penguin had just finished feeding its fledgling when the youngster kept following the parent and begging for more. The parent became so frustrated, that it just dove into the water to escape! Sound familiar? When kids just become too demanding, sometimes the best thing for parents to do is to bow out of the situation.

Anyway, parent Galápagos penguins and offspring live close-knit lives. They stay close to their birthplace throughout their lifetime. They usually are very generous with their offspring, especially if food is plentiful. When food is scarce, they tend to look out for themselves. Dee Boersma, professor of biology at the University of Washington, comments ‘When conditions are good, they can raise two chicks in a season and continue to feed them (even when they are fledglings and can feed themselves). When there’s little food around, they save themselves, forgetting about both eggs and chicks.’ Oh well, what can you say? It’s definitely survival of the fittest and nature’s way of ensuring continuance of the species. In the end, parent penguins are doing the best they can. (Nicholas Bakalar, “Even Penguins Have Children Who Won’t Leave the Nest, “ Science, The New York Times, March 20, 2017)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Monday, April 10th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Healthy Aging in Hampton Roads: The Future Looks Bright!

By Stephan A. Lipskis

Due to advances in healthcare and improved assistive devices, many Americans are healthier in old age and are living longer. The population of Americans over 65 has increased by approximately 30% in the last decade and is projected to continue increasing at a significant rate for the foreseeable future. So how is our region growing to accommodate the needs of an increasing older population locally? The answer appears to be best illustrated in steel, cement, and glass that is appearing (or is scheduled to appear) throughout the region.

In Norfolk many improvements are providing benefit to residents of all ages, including those in or nearing retirement. If you take a drive around downtown Norfolk you will see numerous apartment buildings that have sprung from the shells of old buildings, offering living options in an area that formerly had limited housing stock. An accessible new library was recently completed and the courthouse is on phase two of construction, respectively. If you open your ears you hear the soft “ding” of the light rail as it approaches. Look up on Granby Street and you will see lighted archways at night, providing much better illumination than in previous years. These features have made downtown much more vibrant generally but also more accessible and livable to those 65 and older. Further west down Norfolk’s southern waterfront a new senior living residence tower is planned, which will offer expanded inventory for those who wish to downsize into a community that can accommodate care needs.

The new construction in Norfolk is illustrative of broader changes happening throughout Hampton Roads. Construction and expansion of current care facilities throughout the region has been joined by increased independent retirement homes popping up in Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and elsewhere throughout the region. Soon, a new Veterans Administration facility will be here to provide assistance to our veteran population in Hampton Roads with significant care needs.

A major concern for many seniors is transportation and here technology and new developments are also leading the way. Phone applications like Uber and Lyft have made it unnecessary for many to have a car, including seniors. Furthermore areas like downtown Norfolk, Town Center, the Oceanfront, Old Town Portsmouth, and others are readily walkable and do not require a car for everyday needs. Many of our clients are choosing to sell their cars and find that they (and their family members) are relieved that driving is no longer necessary and car maintenance is a thing of the past.

Medical innovation and improving in-home care are also improving the quality of services to the disabled in our community. E-health and telemedicine are becoming more prevalent, which allows doctors to provide nearly 24/7 access to patients. Despite the trend away from house calls there are physicians in the area who are willing to meet with patients in their home. Also, families can now take a more “hands on” approach to managing in-home care providers (such as nurses and care assistants), even if they live out of the area. Modern technology provides the opportunity to coordinate what used to be a job that could only be done on-site. Additionally, tax withholding and other administrative tasks are increasingly be assisted by care agencies themselves, or online vendors, which helps families avoid common missteps seen when employing in-home caregivers and other employees.

In addition to new buildings, transportation options, and medical services, the growing senior population has given rise to more social, charitable, and special interest groups geared to that population’s needs. There are charities that match companions with individuals in assisted living and nursing facilities. Social groups for seniors allow the forging of new friendships and connections later in life. These connections provide vastly improved social wellbeing for many of our clients who have lost friends or spouses.

At Hook Law Center our staff and Elder Law attorneys constantly try to keep up with all of the new developments benefitting our clients. As you can see these developments are often not legal ones. By taking a holistic approach to the needs of our clients we feel our clients’ plans are better coordinated for their benefit.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Western Ferrets

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what can you tell us about ferrets returning to the Western prairies?

Kit Kat:  Well, this is a success story! As recently as 1981, the ferret was thought to be extinct on the Western prairie. Once they roamed from Saskatchewan to the Mexican state of Chihuahua. However, in 1981 one was discovered on a ranch in Wyoming. It had been found dead by the owner of the ranch, but Allen Hogg was a ferret devotee, his devotion instilled in him by his mother. Hogg immediately contacted the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish. They sent a horde of researchers and field technicians. They were ecstatic to find 100 ferrets living on Hoggs’ Lazy BV Ranch and its neighbor, the Pitchfork Ranch. Ferrets are carnivores whose favorite meal is the prairie dog. Ferrets can’t live without them being in close proximity. They live in the tunnels that prairie dogs have created and only venture out at night. Their telltale green eyes alert you to their presence. When ranchers started eradicating the prairie dog because they were consumers of the same grasses they wanted for their cattle, the ferret declined quickly.

So back to the ferrets’ reappearance in 1981.Things were going well until both prairie dogs and the ferrets started to die from disease. It turns out prairie dogs are susceptible to fleas which carry sylvatic plague, the same plague that killed so many in Europe in the Middle Ages. Without their food source, the ferret could not survive. The ferret, in turn, is susceptible to canine distemper, a deadly illness. The combination of the 2 maladies reduced both populations. By 1987, there were only 18 ferrets left. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service decided to intervene and breed the ferrets in captivity, while others worked on the disease problem. The plan worked– in 30 years, 8,500 kits have been born. They are then released into the wild. Trial and error has resulted in the ferrets being vaccinated against the plague, and the prairie dogs receive protection through insecticide scattered in their burrows. It’s not 100% perfect, but it has increased the survival rate. In addition, ranchers now have an incentive to let the ferrets thrive in the wild. Rule 10 J of the Endangered Species Act protects landowners from culpability if a protected species, like the ferret, is accidentally harmed on their property. It’s good for all parties involved, and we Americans get to enjoy the lovely ferret once more. (Scott McMillion, “Return of a Ghost,” Nature Conservancy, Spring 2017, p. 36-41)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Why You Need an Elder Law Attorney

By Jessica A. Hayes

As elder law attorneys, we help our clients navigate through a host of issues: planning for incapacity or death; determining which long-term care services are appropriate for them; handling concerns about family dynamics, divorcing, feuding, or dysfunctional children; providing for children and grandchildren with special needs; and qualifying and applying for long-term care Medicaid and Veterans Aid and Attendance, to name a few. Our practice rests at the intersection of several areas of the law. For example, planning for a couple who have both been previously married often requires knowledge of trusts and estates law, family law, and property law, for example.

To best assist our clients, we must have an intricate understanding of these areas of the law, which are often complex and sometimes counterintuitive. We sharpen our skills through membership in national organizations such as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Special Needs Alliance, participation in specialized continuing education seminars and conferences which address these issues, and closely following recent developments in the law.

While not everyone needs all of our services, every adult should have in place the documents necessary to allow trusted loved ones to act on their behalf in the event of disability or death. These documents are important to have whether you’re thirty years old and the parent of a minor child, or ninety years old and in declining health.

Each of our practice areas are riddled with obstacles, often undetectable to the untrained eye. You may wish to transfer a large sum of money outright to a child at your death; after asking some questions about that child, however, we learn that he is divorcing or has credit concerns that warrant the use of a trust. Or you may wish to transfer your longtime home to a child during your lifetimes; we may see, however, that doing so could result in significant tax consequences in the event the child sells the home, or that perhaps your health is such that you may need to apply for Medicaid soon, and the transfer would be subject to a 5-year lookback period.

Elder law attorneys carry in our proverbial toolbox dozens of tools designed to best meet our clients’ needs while taking into account a host of issues they may not have considered. If we were general practice attorneys, attempting to stay on top of personal injury law, bankruptcy law, contracts law, and landlord-tenant law, for example, in addition to our practice areas, we simply would not be as well-versed in elder law and the issues that our clients face daily. We specialize in our passion in order to give our clients the best results possible.

Don’t risk your family’s future by relying on an online estate planning service or a “jack of all trades” to get the job done; work with an elder law attorney who will help you enjoy the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of a plan tailored to your individual needs.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Tree Pruning

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, when is the ideal time to prune trees, so that animals and birds are not harmed?

Kit Kat:  Well, anytime that the trees are bare of their leaves is the ideal time to prune. That means that late fall through early spring is the best time to prune. Once there are leaves on the trees or bushes, squirrels and birds are likely to have established their nests with young offspring to consider. It makes a lot of sense, but something people may not have thought of previously.

Take the example of a nest of squirrels rescued by Lori Thiele, a wildlife rescuer and biologist. Her finely-tuned ears heard signs of distress when city tree trimmers were at work with their chainsaws. A family of squirrels was in the process of being displaced. The tree trimmers had attempted to move the baby squirrels to a cat carrier, but the mother squirrel was frantic. Lori moved the babies to a cardboard carrier with large holes on the side. Still, the mother could not find them. Next, Lori played pre-recorded baby squirrel vocalizations from her phone. With that mom realized where they were. Lori sat back and watched the mother rescue them. ‘I couldn’t even get out of the way fast enough before the mom started grabbing them—boom, boom, boom. She came down looking for them so quickly that I just started putting them out on the sidewalk, and she had them all three tucked back in the next tree over in like, 30, 45 seconds,’ she reports.

Many nest disruptions happen accidentally, because many animals camouflage themselves so perfectly. Hummingbirds have lichen-covered nests that blend easily to their surroundings. Likewise for hooded orioles who nest under palm fronds, and woodpeckers who live on dead limbs in otherwise live trees. Awareness will help tremendously in reducing the number of these potential tragedies. Pruning in summertime is very hazardous, not only because the young are maturing, but also because the area pruned will have increased sunlight which can be jarring to plants and grass, as well as birds and animals. Sometimes, the heat is so intensified, that the area can actually become scorched. So next time you want to prune trees or bushes in your yard, go gently so that no wildlife is harmed. (Nancy Lawson,“Untimely evictions,” All Animals, November-December 2016, p. 38-39)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Medicare Actively Expanding MSP Compliance for Personal Injury Claimants

By Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro

On February 3, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they would be establishing two new Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) processes – one for Liability Medicare Set-Asides (LMSA) and the other for Non-Fault Medicare Set-Asides (NFMSA). As a result, CMS will begin rejecting claims for payment of Medicare expenses associated with an injury for which a personal injury payment has been made. Specifically, CMS will direct the Medicare claimant to use LMSA or NFMSA funds to cover injury-related medical expenses.

When an injured person receives or has a “reasonable expectation” of receiving Medicare, the client has a duty to take Medicare’s future interest into account. Medicare is prohibited from paying claims when payment “has been made or can reasonably be expected to be made under a workers’ compensation plan, an automobile or liability insurance policy or plan (including a self-insured plan), or under no-fault insurance” pursuant to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA). Essentially, the MSPA states that, when there is a primary payer, such as a motor insurance or worker’s compensation insurance policy, then Medicare will not be responsible for the medical expenses associated with an injury. Instead, the claimant is expected to utilize the funds received from the primary payer to pay the medical expenses. The setting aside of settlement or verdict funds to pay for future medical expenses associated with the injury is a MSA.

It is important to note that the rule only applies to those payments that have been, or can be expected to be, paid by the primary insurer. In the context of personal injury settlements, primary insurers are expected to make a person whole against – which would mean payment for future medical expenses. As a result Medicare will not pay the medical associated with a settlement, judgment, award, or other payment because payment “has been made” for such items or services through use of an MSA.

Although Worker’s Compensation MSA rules have been established for some time, CMS has not implemented rules for LMSAs or NFMSAs. In May 2012, CMS issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which was withdrawn in October 2014. Many practitioners and advocates have anticipated the formal implementation of MSP compliance via LMSAs and NFMSAs for some time, but this is the first formal transmittal we have received.

Hook Law Center has been working with personal injury attorneys and their clients for a number of years to protect Medicare benefits. We assist attorneys and their clients in assessing whether a Medicare Set Aside is necessary, calculating the amount to be set aside, and options for administering the Medicare Set Aside.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Blue-Footed Booby

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what is a blue-footed booby?

Kit Kat:  Well, I have to tell you, when I first read about it, I thought there was a typing error in the title. However, that wasn’t the case at all. A blue-footed booby is a bird that lives on the Galápagos Islands which belong to Ecuador. They also can be found on Isla Isabel, south of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico and on certain Pacific Islands. It is thought that the name evolved from the Spanish word “bobo,” which means clown. Their feet really are a vibrant shade of blue, but they also have a distinctive wiggle to their walking, which can appear clown-like to the observer. They are about the size of large seagulls, with wingspans which can approach five feet. Females are about 20-30% bigger and stronger than males.

The booby has several interesting characteristics. 1) They feed like pelicans—taking a nosedive straight to the fish they eye flying high above the water. The booby hits the water at a speed of 60 miles an hour, its head protected by air sacs in the skull. 2) They live their lives close to where they were born, rarely straying beyond a range of a few dozen feet. 3) Their mating can be for life, but it is not always the case. Some select new partners every season. Those that do mate for life, however, tend to produce 35% more offspring than those that switch partners continually. Those mates which are most fertile are those where the mates are mismatched in age. It does not matter whether it is the male or female who is the older one of the couple. 4) It appears that the secret to longevity of a relationship is equal sharing of parental duties. In these long-term relationships, both males and females spend equal time nest sitting and feeding the young.

So perhaps we have much to learn from the blue-footed booby. Some of their traits are quite admirable. But one thing is certain—they are a good subject for research. Most birds would not tolerate the presence of humans in their midst—but not the booby! According to David J. Anderson of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, ‘They let you move among them without minding too much. You try to do that with a continental bird or mammal—forget about it. But with these guys you see it all.’ (Natalie Angier, “On Galápagos, Revealing the Blue-Footed Booby’s True Colors, The New York Times, Science section, March 6, 2017)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Predators and Creditors: How to Protect Your Family

By Elizabeth Boehmcke

Estate planning has come a long way from when I first began practice in 1993. At the time, estate planning was highly driven by a need to avoid or minimize estate taxes and the tax rules took precedence over many other considerations for many families. Now, with possibility of estate tax repeal again looming on the horizon and with the current estate and gift tax exemption amount equal to $5.49 million per person, estate planners can again turn our attention to addressing problems that families face in their everyday lives that have nothing to do with taxes. For instance, how do you address the fact that your beloved child has married a person who is unsuitable in some way? How do you protect a descendant from his or her own bad choices? Do you have the ability to stop the train wreck before it happens?

The answer to all of these issues can be addressed within a trust. A trust is tool that we can use to allow someone, the trustee, to control and manage property for the benefit of another, the beneficiary. Trusts can come in many different varieties, depending on the goals that you want to accomplish. However, all trusts that are meant to protect a beneficiary from his or her creditors or from his or her poor choices should have a few things in common. First, the trust should have a spendthrift clause. A spendthrift clause is a clause in the trust that prevents a beneficiary from assigning or selling his or her interest to anyone, including a creditor. In Virginia, such clauses are enforceable with a minor exception relating to child support (but not spousal support) owed by the beneficiary. Second, the trust should give the Trustee discretion to make distributions to the beneficiary rather than allowing the beneficiary to withdraw assets or to direct distributions to himself or herself. The more discretion that the Trustee has, the harder it becomes for a beneficiary’s creditors, including a divorcing spouse, to compel the Trustee to make a distribution that is attachable by the creditors. Of course, such absolute discretion also puts the beneficiary at the mercy of the Trustee. Thus it is important to balance the risk based on the known extent of the problem.

For instance, if the intended beneficiary is an addict, it might make sense to give the Trustee plenty of discretion to stop all distributions from the trust except for distributions for rehabilitation in the event that the beneficiary is, in the opinion of the Trustee, using addictive substances until such time as the beneficiary is again sober. If the intended beneficiary is in an unstable marriage or is a spendthrift, the Trustee may have the discretion to make distributions for the beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance and support. By giving the Trustee some standard by which to make distributions, it gives the beneficiary slightly more leverage against a Trustee who is not appropriately exercising his or her discretion without significantly increasing the danger that a creditor of the beneficiary can compel a distribution to the beneficiary. However, properly drafted, the Trust property itself would be considered the separate property of the beneficiary and not subject to division between the divorcing spouses as marital property. Furthermore, the Trustee could be given the direct discretion to purchase items for the benefit of the beneficiary directly rather than making a distribution directly to the beneficiary.

As knowledgeable estate planners, the attorneys at the Hook Law Center have also become creative trust drafters in an effort to meet our clients’ changing needs and concerns. Make an appointment with one of us to review your current estate plan to make sure your individual goals and concerns are being met.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Robot Bees

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, are there such things as robot bees?

Kit Kat:  I know it sounds strange, but yes there are. They’re still in the experimental stage, but what we’re really talking about are small drones that do the work of bees in pollination of fruits, flowers, and other plants. As you may know, bees appear to be in decline due to a number of factors—pesticides, invasive species, and climate change. The rusty patched bumblebee, for example, was just listed as an endangered species in the month of January 2017, though the Trump administration has put a halt on that process for now.

The drone bees were developed by a Japanese scientist, Eijiro Miyako, a chemist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan. He stumbled on his discovery somewhat accidentally 10 years ago when he was trying to create a fluid that could be used to conduct electricity. The resulting gel was extremely viscous. It wasn’t suitable for his purpose, so he stuck it in a cabinet uncapped in a bottle. Discovered 10 years later, the gel hadn’t changed at all. He also observed that when the gel was dropped on the floor, it was good at picking up dust. If it could do that, it might be good at picking up pollen. Then, he stuck the gel to the legs of ants, and with a control group as a comparison, he found that those with the gel were good at picking up pollen. The next step was to try it using drones. He and his colleagues outfitted the drones with horsehairs to approximate a bee’s body. They then slathered the horsehairs with the gel. It was very effective at picking up pollen from flowers—to the rate of 10x more effective.

More research needs to be done to make the drones more maneuverable and energy efficient, but it does offer a promising alternative to our dwindling bee population. (Amina Khan of the Los Angeles Times as it appeared in The Virginian-Pilot, February 11, 2017, pg.5)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Events That Inspire Estate Planning

By Stephan A. Lipskis

Frequently clients call our office due to a perceived risk, such as an upcoming surgery or a long-distance vacation. The refrain is usually, “I need to update (or create) my will in case something happens!” Fear of one’s own mortality naturally arises prior to these events because there is always an inherent risk in certain activities. We do move quickly (often within the same day) to get documents in place for our clients when urgent changes are needed, but “Emergency Planning” like this has certain limitations.

Getting core documents in place is the bare minimum needed for estate planning. Doing so provides legal authority and clear direction for your incapacity or death. “Core documents” include a medical directive and general durable power of attorney, which allow for someone to make decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. Waiting until the last minute does not provide the time needed to address common issues beyond the core documents, such as correcting beneficiary designations or getting documents approved by financial institutions prior to the perceived emergency. For instance, if a general durable power of attorney is created for a client a day before surgery, there may be a lag in time for the bank to recognize the document in the event the client suffers an incapacity from the procedure. This could prevent the agent named from performing necessary functions. The inability to adequately consider and discuss proposed documents sometimes occurs when estate planning is rushed. Rather than being able to consider a significant amount of information over a period of several days or weeks, the time for contemplation is compressed into a period of hours or a couple of days.

The recent death at 61 of Bill Paxton, the actor famous for his roles in Apollo 13, Twister, Alien, Tombstone, among others, illustrates the very real risk of undergoing surgery. However, accidents consistently ranks in the top 5 causes of death in the United States and, given the way medical errors are reported, it is unlikely that those deaths are adequately represented in the number reported as accidents. Furthermore, the likelihood of a plane crashing is between 1 in 5,000,000 and 1 in 11,000,000 depending on who you ask. That is the likelihood of a “crash” and not the likelihood of incapacity or death due to a crash, which is slightly lower. The point of these figures is not to scare or prevent planning due to trip or surgery, but rather to promote planning before a perceived risk. Frankly, the “scary” things we hear about on the news are highly unlikely to be the things that result in our incapacity or death and each of us needs to have a plan for the risks we do not associate with an impending event.

Our goal in estate planning is legally coordinating your assets to go where you want them, but another goal is also to minimize risk from creditors, incapacity, probate, and other perils. Obviously, failing to plan avoids thinking about the risks bust does not actually avoid any risk. Knowledge of your personal risks empowers you to create a plan that can mitigate that risk. While planning is often seen as costly, the more significant cost is NOT planning. If a risk arises without a plan in place, then significant funds will be expended in a dispute, guardianship action, estate litigation, or other dispute that could have been avoided if planning had been undertaken. Please contact our attorneys to get your plan in place (or updated) so that we won’t be needed later to correct a major problem. If you are experiencing a problem due to a failure to plan, we can help address those concerns as well.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Baby Gators

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what can you tell us about baby alligators at the North Carolina Aquarium?

Kit Kat:  Well, this is a very interesting story! 4 baby alligators have been residing at the North Carolina Aquarium in Manteo for the last two years, but the exhibit with them opened in December 2016. They’re not sure where the alligators are from—probably Florida—because they were acquired after a sting operation on some illegal operators of exotic pet sales. While at the aquarium, they’ve doubled in size and measure 18 inches in length. Ironically, the baby gators have been named Cheese, Turkey, Ham, and Gravy after the diet that their captors fed them. We can laugh now, but if they had continued on such a regime, they would have died prematurely.

The gators are being trained to respond to their given names through the use of distinctive lures. Cheese’s is a yellow star on the end of a pole. Turkey’s lure is a blue-and-white oval on a pole. By combining the lure with calling their name, the gators are taught to touch the lure with their snout. If they do the task correctly, they are rewarded with a piece of fish. Being able to identify each gator correctly, even though they have unique markings, will help staff treat them should they need medical attention. They are also being accustomed to human interaction.

Alligators in North Carolina are beginning to be an issue. The state is their northernmost range, but as people get them as pets when they are only a few inches long, they have tended to release them in streams or ponds in rural areas once they become untenable as a pet. Jeff Hampton, staff writer for The Virginian-Pilot, says, “It is not unusual to see an alligator swimming in a dark roadside canal around East Lake in Dare County. Merchants Millpond State Park in Gates County is home to a small group.”

For now, the 4 baby alligators are doing fine. They’re eating well and being treated to live crickets, which serve as a tasty reward, and as practice for hunting prey. Time will tell whether they remain at the aquarium. Some adult males grow to be as large as 12 feet. Space is one of the prime considerations. Stay tuned for further updates. (Jeff Hampton, “What’s in a name?” NC Aquarium’s baby gators know,” The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 6, 2017, pg.3)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Friday, March 3rd, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Beware Hospital “Outpatient” Observation Status

By Jessica A. Hayes

Picture this: You’re 80 years old and you suffer a fall that lands you in the hospital for a week. At the end of your stay, you are discharged to a rehab facility for three weeks of rehabilitation and skilled nursing care. The time you spend in the hospital and at rehab is stressful, but you rest assured knowing that you have Medicare coverage. Weeks later, the bills start pouring in, and you learn that Medicare has covered almost nothing. You now owe both the hospital and the rehab facility several thousand dollars. How did this happen?

Three words: Outpatient observation status. Hospital patients and their families are often blindsided by the effect of these words. Outpatient observation status is a billing code hospitals use to protect themselves from penalty by Medicare for admitting patients for treatment which Medicare believes should have been provided on an outpatient basis. Use of this code is on the rise, having doubled between 2006 and 2014, according to The Center for Medicare Advocacy. Unfortunately, this can result in Medicare patients who do not have Medicare Part B paying entirely out of pocket for their the full cost of their hospital stay, hospital prescriptions, and/or nursing facility (rehab) care following a hospital stay. The financial effects can be devastating.

Use of the word “outpatient” in this context is misleading. You may spend the night (or several nights) in a hospital and technically still be classified as outpatient. It has nothing to do with where you receive the care or what kind of treatment you receive.

To address the issue, Congress passed the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act in 2015. The NOTICE Act requires hospitals to notify individuals who receive observation services as an outpatient for more than 24 hours with written and oral notification of the classification within 36 hours after they begin receiving the services. The notice must explain the individual’s status as an outpatient and the reasons for the classification. It must explain the implication of that status on services furnished, particularly the implications for cost-sharing requirements and subsequent coverage eligibility for services furnished by a skilled nursing facility. It must be written in “plain English” and be provided in the individual’s own language, and the individual or a person acting on his behalf must sign to acknowledge receipt of the notification. If the individual or his representative refuses to sign, the hospital staff who presents it must sign.

If you or a loved one is classified as outpatient observation status during a hospital stay, fighting the classification can be extremely difficult. The Center for Medicare Advocacy recommends the following:

  • At the BEGINNING of a hospital stay, have a proactive discussion with the hospital about your classification. Don’t wait to receive a written notice; try to prevent the use of outpatient observation status from the start.
  • Ask the hospital doctor to admit (or reclassify) you as an “inpatient,” based on needed care, tests, and treatments; then have your primary care physician call to support this request.
  • File an appeal with Medicare if your nursing home (rehab) coverage is denied.

File a complaint with your state health department if you did not receive a notice about outpatient observation status.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Frog’s Secret Weapon

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what can you tell us about the frog and its powerful tongue?

Kit Kat:  Well, this is a very interesting story. I had never thought much about how a frog catches its prey, but a Ph.D. student at Georgia Institute of Technology named Alexis Noel has done some research on the matter. The frog tongue can move quite rapidly; we’re talking milliseconds from time of sticking its tongue out and retracting its tongue back into its mouth. As helpful as this is, it’s not the secret to its prowess in hunting. That is attributed to its saliva or spit which is composed of a unique substance which can change in viscosity instantly. For instance, when the prey (usually an insect) is first on its tongue, the spit is very viscous, similar to the consistency of honey, only more so. Later, the spit can change into a thinner fluid as it closes its mouth. The spit can change rapidly from one state of viscosity almost instantaneously. As a result, they can “capture meals in the amount of time it takes a human brain to think of and speak a word,” according to Noel and her colleagues.

Another thing Noel discovered about frogs’ tongues is that they are much softer than a human’s tongue. When compared to human tongues and human brains, a frog’s tongue is “slightly softer than (human) brains and 10 times softer than human tongues.” The softness contributes to elasticity, which in turn allows the frog to keep its prey inside its wide mouth and not fall out. Then to swallow the prey, the frog pushes down its eyeballs creating pressure to move the prey from the tongue to the throat. In addition, Noel and her colleagues teamed up with the Atlanta Botanical Garden to discover that 7 species of exotic frogs also had the same characteristics of extremely soft tongue tissue and the changeable viscosity of spit of the ordinary frog. These small amphibians are marvels of efficiency in securing prey to ensure their survival. What an interesting world we live in! (Ben Guarino, “Scientist cracks mystery of the frog’s powerful tongue. It’s called spit,” The Washington Post, February 1, 2017)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.

Exceptions to Medicaid Estate Recovery

By Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro

A large number of clients worry about the consequences of utilizing Medicaid to pay for long-term care. Most importantly, they have received information from non-legal professionals that Medicaid will take their home or that the spouse will be impoverished. The good news is that with proper planning your entire estate may be free from estate recovery.

When an individual age 55 or older dies, states are required to seek recovery of payments from the individual’s estate. Since the assets of an individual must have countable assets valued below $2,000, collectability is often an issue. Good planning and inherent exceptions to estate recovery further complicate recovery.

Some estate will be exempt from Medicaid estate recovery. The most common exemption is the existence of dependents. The state is prohibited from initiating estate recovery if a spouse, a child under age 21, or a disabled child survives the beneficiary.

Another exception to Medicaid estate recovery exists when recovery would case an undue hardship on the heirs. Undue hardships include cases where the survivors make a living from the asset, such as a family farm or other family business, when assets are illiquid, when a home is of modest value, or when recovery would not be cost effective.

Additional exemptions may also apply depending on what type of planning was done. For example, savings bonds, which are governed by the regulations imposed by the U.S. Treasury, may be exempt from estate recovery under certain circumstances. Additionally, real property for which the recipient held a life estate, or real property that was transferred out of the recipient’s name, would not be included in the estate, and therefore would not be subject to estate recovery.

While not all estates will be completely exempt from Medicaid estate recovery,, knowing what will happen to your estate during the planning so that you can minimize potential consequences both during lifetime and after death is imperative. The staff of the Hook Law Center not only help address a family’s concerns related to the potential risk of losing assets, but also help families assess other consequences, such as the tax implications of transferring a home or low-basis investment.

Kit KatAsk Kit Kat – Misnamed Rat

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, what can you tell us about the origin of the Norway rat?

Kit Kat:  Well, this ubiquitous rat of the United States is incorrectly named. It is known as the Norway rat or brown rat, but oddly enough, it did not come from Norway. The mix-up occurred around 1769 (18th century) when the British naturalist, John Berkenhout, wrote of its arrival in England from Norwegian ships. However, this was incorrect. Other records show that the brown rat arrived in Europe at the start of the 17th century attracted to cities with its brick and stone construction. But, somehow, the name persisted. The Norway/brown rat then made its way to North America on boats with the legions of immigrants who would settle the new lands. Today, rats can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Its cousin, the black rat, is generally smaller and is sometimes known as the ‘roof rat.’

Other myths about rats are now being re-examined. The Norway rat seems to be in the clear as to its role in the bubonic plague. The black rat may have had a part to play in the plague, but not so much as previously thought. Current research into the matter leads us to the possibility that the plague was transmitted via gerbils and/or through the air. As merchants traveled to the East along the ancient Silk Road, they may have picked up the deadly disease through a combination of factors.

So let’s refer to this resourceful creature as the brown rat. It can reproduce quite easily. Females are fully mature at three months, and the gestation period is only three weeks long! So, they are quite numerous. They are very content to feast on garbage and other leftovers they find in their environment. They’re not out to hurt their fellow humans. Isn’t it interesting to know more about the creatures in our midst? (Dave Taft, “A Rat with a Bum Rap. And It Isn’t Even Norwegian,” The New York Times, NY Region, Jan, 31, 2017)

Upcoming Seminars

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 the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2017. Filed under Newsletter.