A California court of appeals affirmed a jury award against the owner of a construction company who fraudulently induced a special needs trust trustee who was himself disabled to transfer title of the beneficiary’s family home to him, and that the conduct warranted punitive damages ten times the amount of compensatory damage award.  Haworth v… read more →

In Simonsen v Bremby(2d Cir., No. 16-204-cv, Feb. 15, 2017), the daughter/Medicaid applicant filed suit in federal court and sought a preliminary injunction barring Medicaid from imposing a penalty period as a result of trusts established for her benefit by her mother. The two third-party trusts were considered as available resources by Medicaid, and when.. read more →

Robert Grafer, Jr. was the executor of his mother’s estate. He and his sister Laura were Mrs. Grafer’s only children, and the estate was to be divided between them in equal shares. The probate estate was valued at approximately $237,000, including a house. Non-probate assets totaling $184,000 had been held by Robert and his mother.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 8th Annual Senior Lawyers Conference given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 3, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of elder law planning in New Jersey, including a discussion.. read more →

As 2007 began, Arthur Brown, who was then seventy-eight years old, and his wife, Mary, lived together in a jointly-owned condominium. Several months later, Arthur began living in an assisted living facility. The following year, Arthur was admitted into a nursing home after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Soon thereafter, Arthur applied for nursing.. read more →

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is a division of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services. The DDD provides public funding for certain services designed to assist eligible New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 21 and older, to live as independently as possible. The DDD has developed a new resource for families.. read more →

To ensure that all beneficiaries can receive their payments and make proper use of funds, Congress has granted the Social Security Administration (SSA) the authority to appoint third parties, known as representative payees, to receive and manage payments when the beneficiary is unable to do so. A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed.. read more →

The federal Nursing Home Reform Law was enacted in 1987, and became effective in October 1990. The Reform Law governs any nursing facility that accepts reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid, and applies to all residents in any such facility, regardless of the individual resident’s payment source. In other words, the law applies whether the resident’s.. read more →

Most guardianship actions are not contested. The “typical” guardianship action proceeds as follows. Upon receipt of a filed Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing, the plaintiff must: Immediately serve the initial pleadings on the court-appointed attorney by personal service, certified mail, return receipt requested, or, if acceptable to the court-appointed attorney, via facsimile, email or regular mail… read more →

Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the Final Rule establishing a presumption of service-connection for eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The Final Rules establishes that veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at Camp Lejeune or New River Air Station (not Cherry Point).. read more →

Why do some older adults remain mentally agile with excellent memory and attention span while others experience a decline in cognitive skills, subject to forgetfulness or dwindling attention span? A recent study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital attempted to answer that question, and discovered information that may be useful to readers.  In the study,.. read more →

Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Non-Service Connected Disabilities The VA Pension 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.. read more →

Kaiser Health News has released a Medicaid Pocket Primer. The Primer explains what the Medicaid program is, the structure of the program, identifies those covered by Medicaid and the services provided through Medicaid, and discusses the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid, how beneficiaries access care, the Medicaid program’s impact on beneficiaries’ ability.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Social Security Administration and other state and federal agencies have released the following important numbers for 2017. MEDICARE Medicare Part A deductible: $1316 for each benefit period. Medicare Part A co-payments for hospital stays: Day 1-60: $0 co-payment for each benefit.. read more →

A New York appeals court ruled that a Medicaid applicant successfully rebutted the presumption that transfers to her daughter made one and two years before entering a nursing home were for purposes other than to qualify for Medicaid, based on evidence that the money was used to help her grandson purchase a house. Matter of.. read more →

A step-by-step guide to initiating a guardianship action in New Jersey follows. Documents To Be Filed: A guardianship action is initiated by submitting the following documents to the Surrogate for filing, with the required filing fee: Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing Verified Complaint Certification of Assets Certifications of Physician or Psychologist Case Information Statement Each of.. read more →

From our entire team, we wish you, your family and friends peace, joy, & prosperity this holiday season and in the coming year. We also wish to express our gratitude to our wonderful community of clients and collaborative professionals. Thank you for your loyalty and continuing support.  The Vanarelli Law Firm remains committed to providing effective legal.. read more →

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 →

[gview file=”https://vanarellilaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Proclaimation.pdf”] 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.. 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 →