The needs-based pension program from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a disability benefits program available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, the pension program is based upon disability. However, unlike the VA compensation program, the pension program is also based on income and need, and the veteran’s disability.. read more →

In 2013, a settlement was reached in Jimmo v. Sebelius, Docket No. 11-cv-17 (D.Vt., January 18, 2011), a nationwide federal class-action lawsuit. Under the settlement, Medicare coverage rules changed significantly. Prior to the settlement, a decades-old practice, called the “improvement standard,” required beneficiaries to show medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for covered.. read more →

New Jersey’s ABLE law (the acronym is short for “Achieving a Better Life Experience”) went into effect a few months ago, in October 2016.  Under the new law, New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and the Department of the Treasury are required to establish the ABLE Program pursuant to federal law. Persons who became disabled.. read more →

In 1997, Evelyn Worley’s son Dwight assisted her in opening a $100,000 Transfer On Death (“TOD”) account where he worked. Dwight was designated as the sole beneficiary of the account. In 2005, Evelyn signed a power of attorney (“POA”) naming Dwight as her agent. In 2008, she signed a will naming Dwight as her executor.. read more →

The Memorandum of Intent is a personal letter drafted by you intended to give your trustees insight and information regarding services, supports and other personal matters affecting the beneficiary of a special needs trust you created. This letter does not convey legally binding directions like those in a trust. Rather, a Memorandum of Intent is.. read more →

New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) released a Consumer Brief on Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors. Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors are non-lawyers who provide limited services without payment or compensation in connection with Medicaid applications. According to the DCA Consumer Brief, the limited services which Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors may perform include the following: providing information on insurance.. read more →

Nine years ago I wrote the very first blogpost for my website. Here’s my first post, from April 2008: As my blog celebrates its ninth birthday, I’m reflecting on what the blog has meant to me. The task of writing regular postings has provided me with unanticipated benefits, forcing me to reflect on legal and.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) published two final regulations that will have significant impacts on the disability determination process for those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the basis of disability. The first set of regulations, Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical.. read more →

This case arose from the conduct of siblings who held divergent views regarding placing their parents in a skilled care facility. The parties, two brothers and their sister, are the adult children of elderly parents. They grew up in New Jersey, but defendant brother moved to Long Island, NY, 36 years ago. Defendant’s younger brother,.. read more →

In Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, 580 U.S. ______ (2017), one of the most important special education cases in decades, the United States Supreme Court established the standard for determining “when handicapped children are receiving sufficient educational benefits” to satisfy the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The lower courts.. read more →

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is proud to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. has been named to the 2017 Super Lawyers list in Elder Law. This is the 11th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to the Super Lawyers list in New Jersey. Elder Law, which includes Special Needs.. read more →

A new website has been launched to help veterans appeal a denial of VA benefits on their own or request a free attorney to help with the appeal. The website, at vetsprobono.org, was launched by two organizations: the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, which provides free legal counsel to veterans and their families, and Pro Bono.. read more →

With thanks to the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College / CUNY, attached below is the 2017 BENEFITS CHECKLIST for Older Adults in New York, showing Health and Income Programs for Residents of New York State. For additional information concerning Medicaid and public benefits planning, visit: http://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-public-benefits-planning/ read more →

The decedent, Kathryn Parker Blair, had executed a will bequeathing her estate to her siblings and directing that, if any of her siblings predeceased her, that sibling’s share would pass to his or her surviving children. After the death of the decedent’s brother, the decedent executed a new will omitting the brother’s child (“petitioner”) as.. read more →

In Old Bridge Funeral Home v. Pruckowski , the Mrs. Pruckowski died leaving a Last Will and Testament. Her Will expressly omitted any provision for her three children. Other than a car, which she left to her nephew, Mrs. Pruckowski bequeathed her estate to charity. She appointed her brother as Executor of her modest estate… read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the “Lawyer’s Guide to Veteran and Military Law” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 25, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of pension benefits available through the Department.. read more →

Many attorneys create trusts, and some even create special needs trusts, often using pre-written templates.  So why, you may ask, do you really need an attorney whose practice focuses on special needs planning? It is important that special needs trusts not be unnecessarily inflexible and generic, which is what can happen with a “one size.. read more →

The Appellate Division affirmed a summary judgment ruling by a trial court in a probate lawsuit involving disputed issues of material fact relating to alleged incapacity and undue influence. In the Matter of the Estate of Tornaben, New Jersey Superior Court, App. Div., Docket No. A-5181-14T4 (Sept. 27, 2016). The Essex County Surrogate admitted the.. read more →

A California court of appeals affirmed a jury award against the owner of a construction company who fraudulently induced a special needs trust trustee who was himself disabled to transfer title of the beneficiary’s family home to him, and that the conduct warranted punitive damages ten times the amount of compensatory damage award.  Haworth v… read more →

In Simonsen v Bremby(2d Cir., No. 16-204-cv, Feb. 15, 2017), the daughter/Medicaid applicant filed suit in federal court and sought a preliminary injunction barring Medicaid from imposing a penalty period as a result of trusts established for her benefit by her mother. The two third-party trusts were considered as available resources by Medicaid, and when.. read more →

Robert Grafer, Jr. was the executor of his mother’s estate. He and his sister Laura were Mrs. Grafer’s only children, and the estate was to be divided between them in equal shares. The probate estate was valued at approximately $237,000, including a house. Non-probate assets totaling $184,000 had been held by Robert and his mother.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 8th Annual Senior Lawyers Conference given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 3, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of elder law planning in New Jersey, including a discussion.. read more →

As 2007 began, Arthur Brown, who was then seventy-eight years old, and his wife, Mary, lived together in a jointly-owned condominium. Several months later, Arthur began living in an assisted living facility. The following year, Arthur was admitted into a nursing home after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Soon thereafter, Arthur applied for nursing.. read more →

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is a division of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services. The DDD provides public funding for certain services designed to assist eligible New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 21 and older, to live as independently as possible. The DDD has developed a new resource for families.. read more →

To ensure that all beneficiaries can receive their payments and make proper use of funds, Congress has granted the Social Security Administration (SSA) the authority to appoint third parties, known as representative payees, to receive and manage payments when the beneficiary is unable to do so. A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed.. read more →

The federal Nursing Home Reform Law was enacted in 1987, and became effective in October 1990. The Reform Law governs any nursing facility that accepts reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid, and applies to all residents in any such facility, regardless of the individual resident’s payment source. In other words, the law applies whether the resident’s.. read more →

Most guardianship actions are not contested. The “typical” guardianship action proceeds as follows. Upon receipt of a filed Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing, the plaintiff must: Immediately serve the initial pleadings on the court-appointed attorney by personal service, certified mail, return receipt requested, or, if acceptable to the court-appointed attorney, via facsimile, email or regular mail… read more →

Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the Final Rule establishing a presumption of service-connection for eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Final Rules establishes that veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at Camp Lejeune or New River Air Station (not Cherry Point).. read more →

Why do some older adults remain mentally agile with excellent memory and attention span while others experience a decline in cognitive skills, subject to forgetfulness or dwindling attention span? A recent study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital attempted to answer that question, and discovered information that may be useful to readers.  In the study,.. read more →

Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Non-Service Connected Disabilities The VA Pension is a disability benefits program available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, the pension program is based upon disability. However, unlike the VA compensation program, the pension program is also based on income and.. read more →

Kaiser Health News has released a Medicaid Pocket Primer. The Primer explains what the Medicaid program is, the structure of the program, identifies those covered by Medicaid and the services provided through Medicaid, and discusses the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid, how beneficiaries access care, the Medicaid program’s impact on beneficiaries’ ability.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Social Security Administration and other state and federal agencies have released the following important numbers for 2017. MEDICARE Medicare Part A deductible: $1316 for each benefit period. Medicare Part A co-payments for hospital stays: Day 1-60: $0 co-payment for each benefit.. read more →

A New York appeals court ruled that a Medicaid applicant successfully rebutted the presumption that transfers to her daughter made one and two years before entering a nursing home were for purposes other than to qualify for Medicaid, based on evidence that the money was used to help her grandson purchase a house. Matter of.. read more →

A step-by-step guide to initiating a guardianship action in New Jersey follows. Documents To Be Filed: A guardianship action is initiated by submitting the following documents to the Surrogate for filing, with the required filing fee: Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing Verified Complaint Certification of Assets Certifications of Physician or Psychologist Case Information Statement Each of.. read more →

From our entire team, we wish you, your family and friends peace, joy, & prosperity this holiday season and in the coming year. We also wish to express our gratitude to our wonderful community of clients and collaborative professionals. Thank you for your loyalty and continuing support.  The Vanarelli Law Firm remains committed to providing effective legal.. read more →