Arnett Blake and his girlfriend, Cindy Edwards, attended a party at a community center. Defendant, Blake’s ex-girlfriend, also attended the party. While in the bathroom, Edwards encountered defendant “making rude comments about her.” While Edwards was still in the bathroom, defendant exited the bathroom, approached Blake, and said “I should F— your girlfriend up.” Later.. read more →

Question: Will the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an expense in determining the financial eligibility of an applicant for VA pension benefits? Answer: The VA WILL recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an allowable expense in determining the financial eligibility.. read more →

In a prior blog post, I discussed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, recently-enacted federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others.  The new law was included in the 21st Century Cures Act,  a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has also.. read more →

The defendant, William Lewis, was the administrator of his deceased mother’s estate. In connection with the administration of the estate, and related litigation with his brother regarding the estate, the defendant was represented by Eileen Siegeltuch, an attorney at Cureton Clark, P.C. The Cureton firm sent him an invoice for over $68,000 in legal fees.. read more →

Parents who have a child with special needs in school will meet annually with the school district to develop an IEP (Individualized Education Program), a document that outlines the educational program and special services their child will receive.  (Although the IEP team must meet annually, meetings can be scheduled any time at the request of.. read more →

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others, has been signed into law by President Obama.  The measure was included in the 21st Century Cures Act, a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has also.. read more →

Powers of Attorney are common but often misunderstood estate documents in New Jersey and other states. A power of attorney is a legal document. When you sign a power of attorney, you appoint another person to serve as your agent (or “attorney-in-fact”). Legally, there are many duties and responsibilities imposed on an agent under a.. read more →

Last year, the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC), an important voice for low-income seniors for the past 43 years, launched a new name and tagline—Justice in Aging:  Fighting Senior Poverty Through Law. The focus of the organization continues to be advocacy and litigation to secure the rights of low-income seniors, and education and training of advocates.. read more →

Court-appointed legal guardians make decisions for incapacitated people, referred to as “wards” in New Jersey, about personal and medical care, meals, transportation, and even where a ward lives. Guardians also control assets, manage budgets, pay debts, and make all financial and investment decisions for the wards they assist. The New Jersey Court Rules were revised effective.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards for 2017. SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) SSI Federal Benefit Rate for an Individual: $735.00 SSI Federal Benefit Rate for a Couple: $1,103.00 Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Limit: $1,170.00 (Blind SGA: $1,950.00) MEDICAID  Minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $24,180 Maximum Community Spouse.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper,.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has launched a number of mobile apps aimed at improving the lives of veterans and making VA more accessible. Currently, VA has 16 apps available through the Apple store and six apps available on Android’s Google Play. These apps help veterans manage their PTSD, pressure ulcers, preconception care and.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper, I divided.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of special needs trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides from the first part.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of Special Needs Trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides I prepared for.. read more →

East Rutherford’s Access for All Committee Hosts the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the East Rutherford Community Center. At the upcoming Caring for Caregivers Conference, caregivers will be provided with critical information and resources that support the needs of their special needs or.. read more →

President Obama has proclaimed November 2016 as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The President has called upon the people of the United States “to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and support the individuals living with this disease and their caregivers.” Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.. read more →

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., public schools must provide children with disabilities a “free appropriate public education.” When a school district cannot provide a student with an appropriate education, the IDEA mandates the school district must reimburse the family for the costs of sending their child.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2016 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on December 14, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza, located at 690 Route 46 East, Fairfield, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of New Jersey law concerning guardianships and conservatorships. For.. read more →

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7–the period when enrollees can shop for new coverage. Now is the time to review your options to determine if you should switch plans. During Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, you may (1) enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan; (2) change your Part.. read more →

A U.S. district court denied a preliminary injunction to a Medicaid applicant who sued New Jersey to prevent the state from denying benefits based on her dead husband’s assets. Flade v. Connolly (U.S. Dist. Ct, D. N.J., No. 16-4407, Sept. 23, 2016). Plaintiff, Eileen Flade, was a nursing home resident. On April 12, 2016, plaintiff applied for.. read more →

“Graduates Timeline” Helps Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Transition from School to Adulthood New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, an agency within the Department of Human Resources, provides public funding for services and supports that assist New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are aged 21 and older to live as independently as possible. The.. read more →

The plaintiff, Marjorie Fister, is the mother of defendant Kevin Edward Fister. In 2010, the defendant, along with his wife and four adult children, moved into plaintiff’s home with her. Mrs. Fister’s health declined and, in 2012, she moved into her daughter’s New York home. However, the defendant and his family remained in Mrs. Fister’s.. read more →

Westfield, NJ – October 6, 2016 — Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will participate in the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Elder & Disability Law Section Roundtable Discussion on Medicaid Appeals to be held on October 13, 2016 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. Mr. Vanarelli will present on “Appealing a.. read more →

New Jersey lawmakers reached an agreement on Friday, September 30th which, among other things, will phase out New Jersey’s state estate tax. The New Jersey estate tax exemption, presently $675,000, will increase to $2 million after January 1, 2017. The estate tax will then be eliminated after January 1, 2018. An official vote on an estate.. read more →

When he died in 2012, the decedent, retired physician Henry D. Rubenstein, left his insolvent estate to his second wife and her nephew. Although he and his second wife had a son, his will explicitly left no bequest to that son. The second wife claimed that the decedent’s extensive health problems had depleted the estate.. read more →

The decedent, Byung-Tae Oh, was a citizen and resident of the Republic of Korea. His youngest son, Hyung Kee Oh, owned B & H Consulting, a New Jersey limited liability company. Before his death, the decedent had transferred $900,000 into B & H’s bank account. Following the decedent’s death, his oldest son, Won Ki Oh.. read more →

VA Survivor Benefit Plans and Special Needs Trusts

The VA’s Survivor Benefit Plan Program The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides eligible beneficiaries with a monthly annuity payment for the lifetime of the beneficiary. The amount of the benefit is a percentage of the veteran’s retirement benefit. Election to participate in an SBP is generally made.. read more →

A few months prior to her death, Basabadatta Pattanayak and her husband Sandeep Srinath executed a Marital Settlement Agreement. The Agreement included a section entitled “Equitable Distribution,” in which they divided their property and relinquished spousal support, and agreed that the husband would pay health insurance until the dissolution of the marriage. When the Agreement.. read more →

Question: Does a Section 529 educational savings plan account impact the eligibility of a minor receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?  Are there any regulations governing such plans? Answer: Qualified Tuition Programs (QTPs), also referred to as Section 529 educational savings plans, allow individuals to contribute to an account established to pay a designated beneficiary’s.. read more →

VA News Release, Washington, D.C. – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The presumptive illnesses apply to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served for.. read more →

“Use of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce”  to be presented by leading NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., who will also act as Moderator of the Symposium Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will moderate and present at the Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium given by the New Jersey Institute.. read more →

In this case, the Court considered whether a Medicaid applicant received full and fair notice of the reasons for the agency’s decision to deny benefits prior to holding a hearing on the applicant’s appeal. E.W. v. Cape May County Board of Social Service, OAL Docket. No. HMA 14667-15 (OAL December 24, 2015) In 2012, E.W.,.. read more →

A New York trial court entered judgment against a woman who refused to contribute to her spouse’s nursing home expenses, finding that because she had adequate resources to do so, an implied contract was created between her and the State of New York entitling the state to repayment of Medicaid benefits it paid on the.. read more →

A New York surrogate turned down a guardianship petition filed by the parents of a 34-year-old woman with Down syndrome, holding that courts should always seek to impose the least-restrictive terms of oversight that meet the needs of the person alleged to be incapacitated. Matter of Michelle M., 2016 NY Slip Op 51114(U) (Surrogate’s Court,.. read more →