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 →

In 1992, Ann Mark created two irrevocable trusts for the benefit of her three children. In 1997, Jared Scharf became the successor trustee for the trusts, and used some of those assets to form a separate trust for each of Ms. Mark’s three children. Each of the trusts stated that they were governed by New.. read more →

Plaintiff filed an action seeking to declare his mother, D.W., an incapacitated person, and seeking to be appointed as her guardian. D.W. contested the guardianship action, claiming that she was not incapacitated and did not need a guardian. The court had appointed Matthew Van Natten, Esq. as D.W.’s counsel. Later, D.W. privately retained Alan John.. read more →

M.L. is the co-guardian and mother of C.L., a disabled 25-year old man with autism and epilepsy. C.L. lives with his parents in their home. He receives support and funding from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”) under their Self-Directed Services (“SDS”) program. Under the SDS program, he receives.. read more →

Jay Jason Chatarpau, Esq., a New Jersey employment discrimination attorney, represented Rameena Khan in a lawsuit claiming that her employer, Rite Aid stores, among others, discriminated against her on the basis of age, race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Hon. Christine A. Farrington, J.S.C., presided over a.. read more →

When Helen Weste died in 2010, she was divorced with no children. In 1994, she had executed a will leaving her estate to charities and nieces and nephews. In 2001, Helen’s health began to fail. In April 2002, family members contacted her ex-husband (who was agent under her power of attorney), and he flew in.. read more →

In a recent opinion, an appellate court in Minnesota held that county officials were not liable for incorrectly telling a Medicaid applicant that his estate would not be subject to a Medicaid lien because the applicant could have hired a lawyer to learn the correct information. Benigni v. St. Louis County (Minn. Ct. App., No. A15-1154, June.. read more →

Reversing a federal district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a state housing authority cannot count distributions from a special needs trust as income in determining eligibility under the Section 8 housing voucher program. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority (1st Cir., Nos. 15-1458, 15-1515, June 14, 2016). Kimberly DeCambre, a disabled,.. read more →

In 2014, Joseph Fabics filed a verified complaint seeking guardianship of his mother. The court appointed Ann Renaud, Esq. to represent Mrs. Fabics in connection with the action. The court-appointed attorney submitted a report to the court concluding that Joseph would be an unsuitable guardian, and recommending that Mrs. Fabics’s other son, Laszlo, be appointed.. read more →

The decedent, Keith R. O’Malley, was the father of two children from two different relationships. His minor son, E.L., resided with E.L.’s mother in New York, although O’Malley was a New Jersey resident. O’Malley, who was financially successful, died unexpectedly at the age of 36. In 2008, O’Malley and E.L.’s mother had entered into a.. read more →

The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that an attorney who drafted a client’s Last Will and Testament may be sued for legal malpractice by a beneficiary of the will even though the beneficiary of the will is not the attorney’s client. Thorsen v. Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Va., No. 150528,.. read more →

I just read an insightful article in the Washington Post. The article, by Susan Berger, asks the question: “What’s the best way to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s?” It stems from an encounter between Berger and an acquaintance of hers who had just been diagnosed with the disease. The article explores what to do and.. read more →

I previously blogged a December 11, 2015 Appellate Division case, In re Estate of Fisher, in which the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division considered whether a father’s actions should bar him from receiving a share of his deceased son’s intestate estate, under N.J.S.A. 3B:5-14.1. You can review that blogpost here. In Fisher, the Appellate.. read more →

Attorney advertising that mentions awards, honors, and accolades such as “Super Lawyers,” “Best Lawyers,” “Superior Attorney,” numerical ratings, and the like has apparently prompted the filing of many complaints with the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising. As a result, the Committee recently issued a notice to the State Bar Association reminding New.. read more →

The decedent, Evelyn Berry, had been married twice. At the time of her death, the two children of her first marriage (Darryl and Tara) were adults. The two children of her second marriage (Garrett and Brook) were minors. Evelyn’s will included a testamentary trust for the maintenance, support and education of Garrett and Brook. Darryl.. read more →

The Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, recently issued Opinion 53 in which the Court considered weather non-lawyers who assisted applicants and beneficiaries in applying for Medicaid benefits were engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The Court identified the non-lawyers providing Medicaid assistance as “Medicaid.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that a Medicaid applicant’s daughter, who lived with her mother and provided care for 24 years before her mother was admitted to the nursing home, did not meet “caregiver child” exception to Medicaid’s transfer of assets rules because during that period care was provided by the applicant’s son for.. read more →

Government Long-Term Care Benefits for NJ Residents 908-232-7400 The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides comprehensive Government Long-Term Care Benefits Legal Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: http://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-public-benefits-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in the video include Eligibility for Medicaid, Income and Resource Limits and Caps, Medicare Coverage, Home Health Aides, Home Health Care, Nursing Home.. read more →

  The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning Attorney Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: http://vanarellilaw.com/special-needs-disability-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in this video include Guardianships, Conservatorships, Power of Attorney, Representative Payeeships (SSA and SSI), Joint Tenancies (including joint bank accounts), Advance Medical Directives (living wills), Do.. read more →

I represented the 84-year old petitioner in P.R.-P. v. United Healthcare , a case in which we successfully appealed the reduction in her Medicaid personal care assistant (“PCA”) hours. The petitioner suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, renal failure, blindness, and bladder incontinence, among other things. She.. read more →

The mission of the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) is to maintain a professional organization of attorneys skilled in the complex areas of public entitlements, estate, trust and tax planning, and the legal issues involving individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The ASNP recently announced the addition of a new brochure titled “10 Costly Mistakes.. read more →

In a 3-2 ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that attorneys can be held liable for counsel fees if they are found to have intentionally breached their fiduciary duty to non-clients. Peter Innes v. Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. Peter Innes and his wife, Maria Jose Carrascosa, were married in Spain in 1999, and Victoria, their.. read more →

McHugh Fuller, a law firm which focuses on nursing home abuse and neglect, ran a full-page ad in The Toccoa Record, a Georgia newspaper. The ad stated that Heritage Healthcare of Toccoa, a nursing home owned by PruittHealth, was cited for deficiencies in the care of its residents. Also in the ad, the law firm invited.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that payments to the spouse of a Medicaid recipient from an annuity purchased with the spouse’s “resource allowance” were properly considered “income” to the spouse under the Medicaid rules. J.G. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services J.G., who was married to M.G. for 67 years, suffered from Alzheimer’s.. read more →

In this case, a New Jersey appeals court held that a disabled New Jersey resident eligible for Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services since 2009 was no longer eligible for PCA services under the Medicaid requirements. J.R. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, Docket No. A-0648-14T3 (App. Div.,  April 18, 2016 J.R. was diagnosed.. read more →

Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a husband’s separation from his wife and subsequent extramarital affairs deprived him of his right to an intestate share of the deceased spouse’s estate. Estate of Kathleen Talerico, __ A.3d __ (No. 728 MDA 2015, filed March 18, 2016). Kathleen and Donald Talerico were married in 2006. The couple resided in.. read more →