Gregory Bock, Jr. was born two months after his mother married Gregory Bock, Sr. However, Gregory Jr. was the result of his mother’s previous relationship with Douglas Castellano. Gregory Sr. and Castellano both knew that Castellano was the biological father; however, the birth certificate identified Gregory Sr. as the father. When Gregory Jr. was approximately.. read more →

In 2002, J.S., a Medicaid applicant, created an irrevocable trust naming his son K.S. as trustee. Under the terms of the trust, all of the annual net income generated by the trust was to be paid to J.S., while the beneficiaries of the trust corpus was K.S. and his family. The trust gave the trustee.. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising previously prohibited lawyers licensed in New Jersey from stating that they are “experts,” have “expertise,” are “specialists,” or “specialize” in an area of law unless they are certified by the Supreme Court or an organization approved by the American Bar Association. Use of these terms by lawyers who are.. read more →

We are please to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli has been named to the 2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers list for Elder Law. This is the 13th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to New Jersey’s Super Lawyers list. Of over 85,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey in 70.. read more →

(This post was prepared by guest bloggers, Beth Manes and Jessica Weinberg, attorneys whose practice is focused on special education law. Their law firm is located in Westfield, NJ at Manes & Weinberg | Special Needs Lawyers, LLC.) Once the first marking period in the new school year is over, it is time to assess.. read more →

Following their father’s death and the appointment of Brandon Marrazzo (“Brandon”) as executor of the estate, Brandon’s brother Todd Marrazzo (“Todd”) filed a caveat against probate of the will. The brothers litigated the estate case, and eventually executed a consent order resolving their issues. One provision of the consent order permitted Todd the option to.. read more →

Every year we release the key dollar amounts that are frequently used in elder law, estate administration and special needs trust planning, including Medicaid figures, Medicare premiums, Social Security Disability, and Supplemental Security Income. Be sure to check back often, as we will add any information that has not yet been released and update the page.. read more →

It’s not always easy to recognize elder abuse when it happens to someone you love or care for. There are several types of elder abuse: Physical Abuse – An act, rough treatment or punishment that may result in injury, pain or impairment Psychological Abuse – Psychological, verbal or emotional abuse causing suffering, emotional pain, or distress.. read more →

The decedent, John F. Piazza, died a widower in 2012, survived by three children: Barbara Piazza (“Barbara”), John H. Piazza (“John”), and Debra Elly Shaefer (“Debra”). His will appointed Barbara as executrix, and left his residuary estate to his three children equally. However, there was a purported codicil to his will, which disinherited Debra. Following.. read more →

With the aging population becoming increasingly tech savvy, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has moved a lot of services online. From applying for Social Security benefits to replacing a card, the SSA has online tools to help. To access most of the online services, you need to create a my Social Security account. This account allows you to.. read more →

To improve advance health care planning, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging developed advance care planning principles for attorneys as set forth in the publication found below, entitled “Advance Directives: Counseling Guide for Lawyers.” The advance care planning principles in the guide provide a conceptual framework and guidelines for lawyers and health.. read more →

(The following article is reprinted from NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) A once prominent Ocean County attorney known for his work representing senior citizens was sentenced Friday to 10 years in state prison after he admitted to stealing millions of dollars from his clients, according to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Robert Novy, 67, of Brick, pleaded guilty on.. read more →

In a comprehensive, published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division provided guidance regarding the appointment and functions of a guardian ad litem, this time in the context of a personal injury litigation. While exiting the defendant’s business premises, plaintiff was struck on the head by a falling object and sustained severe injuries. She filed a.. read more →

Nursing home care is growing ever more expensive. Contact your elder law attorney to learn how you can protect some or all of your family’s assets. For the first time, the median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States increased to $100,375 a year in 2018, up 3 percent from 2017,.. read more →

If an applicant for Medicaid signed a contract with an assisted living facility agreeing to a pay privately for a period of time, any penalty resulting from a transfer of assets cannot begin until the end of the private pay period, even if the applicant is otherwise eligible for benefits. B.K. v Division of Medical.. read more →

The following article appeared in the October 18, 2018 edition of the Star-Ledger newspaper: STUDY Caregivers Neglect Their Own Health Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press Skipping your checkup but not grandma’s? Caring for an older loved one is a balancing act, and a new poll shows that too often it’s the caregivers’ health that’s neglected. The survey,.. read more →

B.S. was ninety-two years old and residing in a nursing home when she applied to the Monmouth County Division of Social Services, the County Welfare Board (CWB), for Medicaid benefits. In response to the application, the CWB inquired about two 2010 bank withdrawals from petitioner’s accounts, one for $29,955.79 and the other for $37,085.47. Petitioner.. read more →

Reversing a lower court, a Connecticut Appeals Court held that the conservator of a nursing home resident owed a duty of care to the nursing home in which the resident resided to apply for Medicaid on behalf of the resident on a timely basis. The Court allowed the nursing home to sue the conservator personally.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced the 2019 cost-of-living increases for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSA announced a 2.8% benefit increase in 2019, and an increase in the SSA taxable maximum amount to $132,900. The federal benefit amount for an individual eligible for SSI in 2019 will increase to $771 per month. The information.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that the State must hold a full evidentiary hearing before rejecting the claim of an assisted living facility resident who wanted to deduct the cost of a full-time aide from the income she paid to the facility. G.F. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App… read more →

For additional information concerning VA compensation and pension benefits, visit: VA Compensation and Pension Benefits For additional information concerning elder abuse actions, visit: Will Contests, Probate Litigation and Elder Abuse Actions read more →

For additional information concerning nursing home law and litigation, visit: Nursing Home Law and Litigation read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs-based pension program is available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, eligibility for the pension program is based upon disability. Unlike the VA compensation program, however, the pension program is also based on income and financial need. To be eligible for benefits, the veteran’s.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services For additional information concerning Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability appeals, visit: Social Security Disability Appeals       read more →

In this employment retaliation lawsuit, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit filed by two former FedEx drivers who claimed they were unlawfully fired because of an argument with another FedEx employee and postings by them on social media about the incident. Shinn v. FedEx, Docket No. 1:16-cv-777 (NLH/KMW) (D.N.J., September 7, 2018).. read more →

Before her husband’s death, the Guglielmellis’ daughter Donna lived with their parents and, after Mr. Guglielmelli’s death, she continued to reside with her mother. Mr. Guglielmelli had always handled the couple’s finances, and after his death Donna assumed that role, under a power of attorney for her mother. Donna also served as executor of her.. read more →

The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey dismissed this appeal, refusing to remand the case for administrative hearings that were never held because the applicant failed to preserve her right to those hearings. B.M. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, Docket No. A-3546-16T3 (App. Div., August 29, 2018) Esther Schulgasser.. read more →

A U.S. district court held that a claim by Medicaid applicants against New Jersey officials for wrongly denying their applications is barred by the Eleventh Amendment because it would require the state to pay retroactive benefits. Radogna v. Connolly (U.S. Dist. Ct., D. N.J., No. 1:16-cv-5477 (NLH/KMW), Aug. 24, 2018). Dominic Rodogna and Solomon Krupka both.. read more →

V.S. is a nursing home resident; her adult son is her legal guardian, and she was represented by legal counsel. V.S.’s authorized representative submitted a Medicaid application with the Bergen County Board of Social Services (BCBSS) on her behalf. In response, BCBSS requested information verifying the information on her application, including several months of bank.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

New Jersey recently changed state law governing “refundable” entrance fee agreements used by Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). State law limits the amount of time that CCRCs are permitted to retain “refundable” entrance fees after a resident vacates a facility due to relocation or death. Until recently, although New Jersey law required CCRCs to repay.. read more →

In 1998, Joan McFadden executed two powers of attorney (POAs) and a Living Will-Durable Health Care Power appointing John McFadden, her nephew, as her agent and attorney in fact, and Mary Sexton, her niece and John’s sister, as her alternative agent and attorney-in-fact. The two POAs stated that they would become effective upon the following.. read more →

After a trial court, expressing its disagreement with the legislative policy underlying special needs trusts, placed only a portion of the net settlement proceeds of a lawsuit brought on behalf of a severely disabled person into a special needs trust and ordered the remaining funds be paid directly to the disabled person, resulting in the.. read more →

An Appeals Court affirmed an agency decision denying a Medicaid applicant’s request for a fair hearing because it was filed more than seven months after a denial notice was sent advising him he had twenty days to request a fair hearing, even though the notice was sent directly to the applicant rather than to his.. read more →

Caring for a loved one who is sick or disabled? Learn more about obtaining a New Jersey state identification card for your loved one from this article published in the August 13, 2018 edition of the Star-Ledger newspaper. The article is reproduced in full below. If you do not have a driver’s license, a New.. read more →