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2013 newsletters

NEW HIPAA RULE

NEW HIPAA RULE

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has adopted a new rule concerning privacy and security for health information, to take into account changes that have occurred in health care since enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Some of the key features in the 563‑page final rule are outlined below.

LONG ARM OF THE LAW

LONG ARM OF THE LAW

Long‑arm statutes permit a court in a particular state to bring within its jurisdictional reach nonresident persons who, by their actions, have had at least such “minimum contacts” with the forum state that it is fair and just to subject them to the powers of a court in that state. In earlier times such contacts were as likely as not to take a physical form. But today, as a recent case illustrates, in the age of computers and the Internet the only thing physical about the contact may be someone’s clicking a mouse or striking a keyboard from his or her home in another state or country.

CAREFUL WHOM YOU ADD TO ACCOUNTS

CAREFUL WHOM YOU ADD TO ACCOUNTS

Various types of bank accounts held in the name of a single individual or entity have the virtue of simplicity, and the added bonus that the accountholder does not have to wait to make decisions until after a consensus has been reached with others. But sometimes other considerations make it desirable to add someone else, usually a relative, to an account.

TAXES ON GAMBLING WINNINGS

TAXES ON GAMBLING WINNINGS

Hitting the jackpot while gambling may feel a lot more like manna from heaven than remuneration for a good day’s work, but as far as the government is concerned, those winnings might as well be wages as the results of wagering.

TAKE THE TIME TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

TAKE THE TIME TO UPDATE YOUR WILL

By some accounts, 70% of adult Americans do not have a will. If you have at least gone to the trouble of making a will, consider yourself ahead of the curve and pat yourself on the back. Then come back to earth and understand that your work is not completely done. A will is not a static instrument. To serve its purposes, it must keep current with life changes, including an individual’s financial circumstances, and with some external factors, such as tax laws. With the help of a professional, you should periodically review your will, staying alert to new or different circumstances that might call for updates.

FINANCIAL FRAUD AGAINST THE ELDERLY

financial fraud agains elderly

It is a sad and sobering reality that scam artists intent on committing financial fraud or the outright stealing of money, property, or valuable information prey upon vulnerable senior citizens. The threats can take many forms, but the elderly and those watching out for them can have some measure of protection by taking a few basic precautions.
 

FACEBOOK POSTING LEADS TO AN “F”

facebook

We all know that the right of free speech has its limits. There is no right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Those limits apply even in settings most closely associated with the free exchange of ideas, such as colleges and universities. In that academic setting, limits also exist even for speech that takes place off campus, such as on a social networking website, but that is connected to a student's academic program.

ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS CAN GO TOO FAR

ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS CAN GO TOO FAR

AMERICAN TAXPAYER RELIEF ACT OF 2012

AMERICAN TAXPAYER RELIEF ACT OF 2012
At the eleventh hour, Congress averted the tax side of the ominous “Fiscal Cliff” that it faced as 2012 drew to a close. The end result of the intense negotiations was the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA).

401(K) Loans And Hardship Withdrawals

401(K) Loans And Hardship Withdrawals

You won’t find many financial advisors who vigorously advocate dipping into the money in your 401(k) retirement account while you’re still working. It is for retirement, after all. Still, using some of what could be a sizeable amount of money sitting in the account for current financial needs may sometimes be too great a temptation to resist. Taking that step is not always ill‑advised, but you should know all the ramifications before doing so.

BORROWING

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