As many hospital patients have discovered, there are huge financial implications when a hospital designates one of its patients as an outpatient on “observation status.” In order to receive Medicare coverage for a subsequent nursing home stay, Medicare requires that the patient first have a three-day inpatient stay. The “observation status” designation is an outpatient.. read more →

On August 10, 2017, I presented at the 2017 Sophisticated Elder Law Program on Medicaid litigation strategies. I provided an overview of various strategies and tactics which have been used successfully in litigation involving Medicaid and other needs-based public benefits in state and federal courts and in administrative agencies. I prepared a paper and PowerPoint slides.. read more →

Nursing home resident Joseph Gamma died after falling off his bed at the facility. His estate sued the nursing home. One of the claims the estate asserted was that the nursing home had violated the New Jersey Nursing Home Responsibilities and Residents’ Right Act (“the Nursing Home Act”). At the conclusion of the trial, the.. read more →

Applying New Jersey’s filial support law, an appeals court in Pennsylvania affirmed a decision denying a Pennsylvania residential facility’s effort to hold the elderly New Jersey parents of an adult resident liable for the unpaid balance of his specialized services. Melmark v. Schutt (Pa. Super., No. 2253 EDA 2016, July 19, 2017). New Jersey resident Alexander (Alex).. read more →

In the Matter of the Estate of Anna Fabics involved multiple lawsuits, motions, and other pleadings filed by the decedent’s son Joseph against Joseph’s brother Laszlo. Their mother’s will left her residuary estate to her two sons equally, and appointed Laszlo as executor. The will directed the executor to sell all property of the estate.. read more →

A U.S. district court ruled that a group of Medicaid applicants do not have a private right of action to sue the state for not issuing Medicaid eligibility determinations with 45 days and that the applicants were not denied due process by the delay. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Inc. v. Randol  (U.S. Dist. Ct., D… read more →

Following Alice Malsberger’s death, her niece by marriage, Patricia White (the plaintiff in this lawsuit) found a handwritten document in Alice’s kitchen. It read: I’m Alice Malsberger – I wish to be cremated upon my death – along with my husband Joe – our ashes placed in a similar (illegible) and placed in mausoleum. I.. read more →

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program created under Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965. It provides a source of funding for long-term care to those aged, blind and disabled individuals who qualify financially.  42 U.S.C. §1396 et seq.; N.J.A.C. 10:71-1 et seq. Eligibility for Medicaid is based upon financial need. For.. read more →

In this case, the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS), New Jersey’s state Medicaid agency, affirmed the denial of a Medicaid application filed by Grace M. Vinci (G.V.) by the Monmouth County Division of Social Services (MCDSS) finding that G.V. had resources in excess of $2,000 available to her, namely, resources contained in.. read more →

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a New Jersey attorney is liable for damages for using undue influence to take $391,000 from an elderly relative. Jane Adkins sued her brother, New Jersey attorney John Sogliuzzo, in federal court, claiming that her brother misappropriated assets belonging to Mary Grimley, their mother’s.. read more →

A joint opinion by three New Jersey Supreme Court committees bans web-based services that match litigants with attorneys run by Avvo, LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer due to ethics concerns. A bar association in New Jersey requested a formal opinion on “whether it is ethical for New Jersey lawyers to participate in on-line lawyer referral services.. read more →

The testator, Harold Becker, executed a Last Will and Testament leaving his estate to his youngest son, Brandon (the child of the Mr. Becker’s second marriage), to the exclusion of his older sons, Scott and Stuart (the children of his first marriage). Mr. Becker’s will appointed his second wife (the couple were divorced but later.. read more →

The New York Times, June 15, 2017 The Opinion Pages | Editorial Daughters Will Suffer From Medicaid Cuts Nearly one in five adult children at some point provide care for at least one elderly parent, according to a new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The burden is particularly demanding for.. read more →

In McDermott-Guber v. Estate of McDermott, parents deeded a one-half property interest in a vacant parcel to their daughter in 1986. The daughter and her husband began building a home on the property. According to the daughter, after her father died and left her mother as the sole owner of the remaining one-half interest, her.. read more →

Reversing a lower court, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that two Medicaid applicants’ trusts were not available assets even though the applicants retained the right to use the houses that were put into the trusts. Daley v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (Mass., No. SJC-12200, May 30, 2017) and Nadeau v. Director of the Office.. read more →

Plaintiff Neil Epstein sued Barbara Epstein Petka, claiming that, as a result of her fraud and misrepresentation, the decedent had removed the plaintiff as a beneficiary of his will and living trust. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer, claiming that the complaint failed to state a claim pursuant to.. read more →

In a recent opinion, the Massachusetts Committee on Judicial Ethics ruled that a judge may ethically maintain a Twitter account as long as the judge complies with the Code of Judicial Conduct and the judge is cautious about selecting accounts to follow on Twitter. The opinion said that the judge requested the Committee’s advice concerning the judge’s continued use of Twitter… read more →

In a case of first impression in New Jersey, Hon. Stephan C. Hansbury, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Court in Morris County permitted service of process through postings on Facebook. The court held that when service of process cannot be served on a defendant by traditional means, the rules of civil procedure permit an alternate.. read more →

In a major new ethics opinion, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility indicated that lawyers must take reasonable efforts to ensure that communications with clients are secure and not subject to inadvertent or unauthorized security breaches. Notably, and for the first time, the opinion says that, in some circumstances, lawyers would.. read more →

Under regulations governing needs-based pension benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, adult children providing care to an applicant veteran or his or her spouse can be paid for work performed even if the children are NOT licensed care professionals as long as the applicant has been rated either Housebound or A&A. The regulation.. read more →

Kindred v. Clark involves two Kentucky cases, in which family members of deceased Kindred nursing home residents, Joe Wellner and Olive Clark, filed lawsuits against Kindred. They alleged that Kindred’s substandard care led to the deaths of the decedents. In response, the nursing home moved to dismiss the cases, claiming that arbitration agreements barred the.. read more →

New Jersey’s Medicaid rules are complicated, and always changing. One such change in the rules occurring on a regular basis is the State Medicaid agency’s amendment to the Medicaid program’s “penalty divisor.”  On May 12, 2017, a Medicaid Communication, or notice from the agency, was released by New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health.. read more →

James Patterson entered Care One at Moorestown on September 3, 2014. He had various serious health conditions. Approximately 2 months after he entered Care One, during which period he was hospitalized four times, he died. Plaintiff, the administrator ad prosequendum of Mr. Patterson’s estate, sued Care One, alleging that its negligence and/or recklessness had caused.. read more →

Financial abuse of the elderly has been called the “crime of the 21st century.” The average victim of abuse is a female, age 75 or older, with limited resources. Generally, the victim is widowed, frail and vulnerable because of mental or physical impairments. When a loved one is a victim of abuse, there are certain.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: https://vanarellilaw.com/legal-services/ read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the “2017 Sophisticated Elder Law” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on August 10, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of strategies and tactics which have been used successfully in litigation.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2017 “Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on July 10, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of the various trusts utilized in planning for.. read more →

Before his death, Arthur Zito was the subject of a contested guardianship litigation, in which his sons Arthur Jr. and David had sought to become Mr. Zito’s guardian. (A third son, Stephen, was not a party to this litigation.) After the court appointed Mr. Zito’s daughter Laura as guardian, Arthur Jr. and David moved to.. read more →

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 →