Newsletters

New Jersey Elder Law, Disability Law and Family Law Newsletters

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is pleased to provide the following Newsletters.

Elder Law Newsletters

  • Enhancing Family Decision-Making Through Elder Mediation (2/07)

    Aging is a transition that poses physical, legal, financial, and emotional challenges for individuals, families, and professionals. Meeting these challenges can put a tremendous strain on all, as they try to plan for and adapt to the changes. Thus, it is not surprising that families frequently avoid making decisions when they are faced with disagreements and/or lack of information. Unfortunately, this avoidance can result in significant financial and emotional costs…
    Continued >

  • Academy of Special Needs Planners (10/06)

    Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., Certified Elder Law Attorney, is pleased to announce that he is a charter member of The Academy of Special Needs Planners. “Special needs” law deals with the financial and care needs of individuals with physical, mental or learning disabilities — many of whom are the middle-aged children of aging Americans…
    Continued >

  • Restrictive New Medicaid Transfer Rules on the Brink of Becoming Law (1/06)

    Vice President Dick Cheney cast the deciding vote in the Senate in the week before Christmas to pass budget legislation cutting the federal deficit by $39.7. Among other provisions in a bill that cuts back federal entitlement programs for the first time in a decade, the legislation would impose punitive new restrictions on the ability of the elderly to transfer assets before qualifying for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care…
    Continued >

  • Rights of Senior Citizens and Same-Sex Couples are Expanded Under New Jersey’s New Domestic Partnership Act (12/04)

    On July 10, 2004, the New Jersey Domestic Partnership Act, N.J.S.A. 26:8A-1 et seq., became effective. The Act, which was signed by Governor James E. McGreevey on January 12, 2004, affords legal status to same-sex couples and to unmarried opposite-sex couples over the age of sixty-two. With its passage, New Jersey became one of only five (5) states in the country (along with California, Massachusetts, Vermont and Hawaii) to grant to same-sex domestic partners some of the same rights afforded to married couples…
    Continued >

  • Estate Planning by Guardians for Wards in Nursing Homes Questioned in In re Keri (2/03)

    The concept of “Medicaid planning,” involving the strategic transfer of assets aimed at accelerating an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid, is generally viewed as a prudent estate planning technique by which an individual may preserve assets for his or her loved ones. However, the continued rights of an incapacitated person to engage in Medicaid planning through his or her guardian was called into question by the recent Appellate Division decision inIn re Keri, 356 N.J. Super. 170 (App. Div. 2002)…
    Continued >

  • Alternatives to Nursing Homes: Home-Based Care, Assisted Living Facilities and Adult Day Care (1/02)

    Many disabled and elderly people live independently in their communities without undue problems. However, due to poor health or financial limitations, over time some people become unable to live independently or mange their daily activities without assistance. There are several programs available in New Jersey to assist those people who remain in the community. This article addresses some of the most common options available for assistance in the home and for independent living in a congregate setting…
    Continued >

  • New Regulations Simplify Minimum Distribution Rules for Retirement Benefits (11/01)

    The IRS issued new rules in 2001 that make sweeping changes to the rules for minimum distributions from IRAs and qualified retirement plans. Surprisingly, the changes are almost all good: calculating distributions under the new rules is much simpler, smaller minimum distributions are required during the owner’s life, greater flexibility in naming beneficiaries is permitted, and tax savings result from the changes…
    Continued >

  • Government Expands Efforts to Aid Elderly in Wake of Terrorist Attacks (9/01)

    Talk in Washington of Social Security “lock boxes,” budgetary deficits, and restraints on government spending vanished last week after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Last Friday Congress appropriated $40 billion for disaster relief, essentially authorizing the Bush Administration to spend the money any way it sees fit in order to deal with the emergency…
    Continued >

  • Congress Repeals Estate Tax — in 2010 (6/01)

    In an unusual Saturday session held on May 26th, the U.S. Congress passed a ten year, $1.35 trillion tax cut bill, the largest in two decades. One of the centerpieces of the bill is a repeal of the federal estate tax — but not until 2010. Gift tax overhaul is also part of the bill. The estate and gift tax changes are part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001…
    Continued >

  • Guardianship Law in New Jersey (3/01)

    Guardianships are the legal mechanisms designed to provide surrogate decision making and financial management for an individual who is no longer able to govern himself or herself fully due to physical or mental impairments and who has not effectively made alternate arrangements, such as voluntarily appointing an agent under a power of attorney or advance medical directive…
    Continued >

  • New Law in New Jersey Substantially Changes Rules Governing Financial Powers of Attorney (1/01)

    One of the most important areas of personal and estate planning is protecting oneself legally and financially in the event of disability or incapacity. Many older persons and their families fear the possible onset of physical or mental disability in older age. A properly drafted durable power of attorney is a critical tool through which an older person may make and implement decisions concerning the management of his or her property in advance of incapacity. A new law in New Jersey, the Revised Durable Power of Attorney Act, N.J.S.A. 46:2B-8.1, et seq, has substantially changed the rules governing these important and powerful estate planning tools…
    Continued >

  • Medicaid Planning: Advance Planning for Transfers of Non-Exempt Resources is Critical for Medicaid Eligibility (4/96)

    Upon submitting a Medicaid application, the Medicaid authorities must determine whether the applicant, or his or her spouse, previously disposed of assets for less than fair market value. Tax returns, savings and checking accounts and other documents are examined for the 3 year period prior to the date of the Medicaid application, called the “lookback period”. (If a trust is involved, the lookback period may be extended to 5 years) If any assets were transferred during the lookback period, the type of asset transferred is examined to determine whether it is “countable” or “exempt”…
    Continued >


Disability Law Newsletters

  • Supplemental Needs Trusts and Planning for Disabled Children (6/07)

    Americans are living longer than they did in years past, including those with disabilities. According to one count, 480,000 adults with mental retardation are living with parents who are 60 or older. This figure does not include adult children with other forms of disability nor those who live separately, but still depend on their parents for vital support…
    Continued >


Family Law Newsletters

  • The Principles of Collaborative Family Law (2/08)

    “Collaborative Law” is the art and practice of settling cases with legal counsel, but without court intervention at any stage. The essence of collaborative law is the shared belief by the participants that it is in the best interests of parties and their families in typical family law matters to commit themselves to avoiding litigation…
    Continued >

  • Collaborative Law: An Alternative To Divorce As Usual (6/07)

    Collaborative law is a new dispute resolution model in which both parties to the dispute retain separate, specially-trained lawyers whose only job is to help the parties settle the dispute. If the lawyers do not succeed in helping the clients resolve the problem through settlement, the lawyers are out of a job and can never represent either client against the other again…
    Continued >

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Mediation (1/07)

    Mediation is an informal, voluntary and confidential way to resolve disagreements without giving the decision-making power to someone else, like a judge. A neutral person, called the mediator, helps people: figure out the important issues in the disagreement; explain and understand each others’ needs; clear up misunderstandings; explore creative solutions; and reach acceptable agreements…
    Continued >

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony In New Jersey (10/06)

    Alimony is the term that is used for payments that are made by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Alimony is used to balance the inequalities in the parties’ earning capacities. Alimony is not designed to punish the payor spouse, and it is not a reward to the payee spouse. Instead, alimony is designed to permit both parties to continue to live, as best as possible, the same standard of living that they became accustomed to during the marriage…
    Continued >

For additional information regarding New Jersey Elder Law, Disability Law and Family Law, call us at908-232-7400 or click here to contact us online.