A federal court dismissed a lawyer’s $1.5 million defamation lawsuit against Avvo, Inc., a website which compiles and maintains an electronic directory of lawyers, for posting a low attorney rating on the internet and false information that negatively impacted the lawyer’s ability to attract new clients. Straw v. Avvo, Inc., 2020 BL 326152, W.D. Wash.,.. read more →

Millions of Americans manage money or property for a loved one who’s unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. To help financial caregivers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to prepare four (4) consumer guides: Help for agents under a.. read more →

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

Many VA Medical Centers across the country are re-opening their doors and expanding services. To ensure the protection of both patients and staff, the VA’s Office of Information and Technology launched the COVID-19 digital pre-entry screening tool. The digital pre-entry screening tool allows Veterans, caregivers, and employees to answer questions on their mobile phones and share their.. read more →

The New Jersey Director of Medicaid approved the transfer of an applicant’s home to a “caregiver child” who worked full-time because the applicant qualified medically for comprehensive home-based services under the Medicaid program. A.H. v. Bergen County Board of Social Services, OAL DKT. NO. HMA 09215-19 (June 26, 2020) When she was 92 years old,.. read more →

An Ohio appeals court dismissed a nursing home’s lawsuit to recover a resident’s unpaid fees from his son who signed an admission agreement as his father’s agent under a power of attorney. Village at the Greene v. Smith (Ohio Ct. App., 2d, No. 28762, August 14, 2020). On June 22, 2018, Robert Smith (“the father”) granted.. read more →

Millions of Americans manage money or property for a loved one who’s unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. To help financial caregivers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to prepare four (4) consumer guides: Help for agents under a.. read more →

The New Jersey Appellate Division held that the state Medicaid agency is required to screen a Medicaid recipient for eligibility for all other Medicaid programs before terminating the recipient from the Medicaid program for which the recipient is presently eligible. D.C. v. Div. of Med. Assistance & Health Servs., 2020 WL 4290056 (N.J. Super. Ct… read more →

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that forcing a defendant to reveal the passwords to his password-protected iPhones which were properly seized by police authorities does not run afoul of the state or federal constitutions. State v. Robert Andrews, Docket No A-72-18 (NJ Supreme Ct., August 10, 2020). The.. read more →

Planning the long-term future of a child with special needs can be the source of enormous stress for parents. Among the challenges of raising a child with special needs is figuring out how to provide for that child once you’re gone. If the child will never be able to earn a living, how can you determine.. read more →

Based on reports from the police department, Adult Protective Services of Sussex County (APS) opened an investigation into the well-being of then eighty-five-year-old Sally DiNoia, who was living in her home with her adult son, John. Sally’s husband Paul had passed away, and John had been Sally’s primary caregiver for several years. . APS’s investigation.. read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning read more →

In New Jersey, all guardians are appointed by the Superior Court of New Jersey. A “guardian” is a person appointed by a court to make decisions regarding the person or property of an incapacitated adult. A person is “incapacitated” under the law if he or she “is impaired by reason of mental illness or mental.. read more →

Millions of Americans manage money or property for a loved one who’s unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. To help financial caregivers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to prepare four (4) guides: Help for agents under a power.. read more →

Members of the military may qualify for special tax benefits. For instance, they don’t have to pay taxes on some types of income. Special rules could lower the tax they owe or allow them more time to file and pay their federal taxes. Here are some of these special tax benefits: Combat pay exclusion: If.. read more →

With the coronavirus pandemic responsible for more than a hundred thousand deaths and disrupting life across the United States, the only way for the country to return to normal is an effective vaccine. When a vaccine is available, Medicare will cover the cost. Medicare covers vaccines in a variety of ways, depending on the vaccine… read more →

U.S. states offer Veterans a wide range of benefits. State representatives provided the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with a list of the most popular benefit available to Veterans in each state. Readers can find the list of the most popular VA benefit in each state on the VA website, here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/76439/veterans-benefits-2020-popular-state-benefit/ A description of.. read more →

Many years after her mother’s death, plaintiff filed litigation against her sister’s husband Howard regarding plaintiff’s late mother’s estate. She claimed that Howard had been managing her mother’s money while she was alive and that, upon her mother’s death, Howard continued to manage that money on behalf of plaintiff and her sister. Plaintiff’s complaint against.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has asked the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) to share the following information with NOSSCR members, SSA and SSI disability claimants with pending appeals and other interested parties:  Dear Colleague, I want to share an update regarding ways to contact our hearing offices during the Coronavirus (COVID-19).. read more →

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

The Director of New Jersey’s state Medicaid agency overturned prior decisions to find that, when a Medicaid applicant resides in his or her home, the date on which the applicant is found clinically eligible for Medicaid benefits is the date the Mediciad agency should use in determining financial eligibility. S.W. v. Cumberland County Board of.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court upheld a Medicaid penalty period imposed on a nursing home resident who, prior to admission, paid home health care aides via checks payable to “cash” without written contract, and didn’t prove that the rates paid to the aides were for fair market value. D.Z. v. Ocean County Board of Social.. read more →

For additional information concerning nursing home law and litigation, visit: Nursing Home Law and Litigation For additional information concerning elder abuse actions, visit: Will Contests, Probate Litigation and Elder Abuse Actions read more →

The New Jersey appellate division sustained the denial of Medicaid benefits based upon the applicant’s failure to submit documents necessary to verify his eligibility. Even though the Medicaid applicant was incapacitated due to dementia, could not speak, and whose agent under his power of attorney failed to assist, the court held that the Medicaid agency.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2020 Elder and Disability Law Retreat to be held virtually via ZOOM on July 30, 2020 by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Vanarelli will participate in a panel of attorneys.. read more →

Each year on June 15, the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is celebrated by sharing resources to help prevent elder financial exploitation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency, defines “elder financial abuse” as a situation in which “someone uses an older adult’s resources improperly or deprives an older adult of access to,.. read more →

Do you have evidence of misconduct involving a New Jersey nursing home or other long-term care facility during the COVID-19 outbreak? Now you have a chance to report the misconduct to New Jersey’s Attorney General. On April 16, 2020, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that the Office of the Attorney General had opened.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a news alert recently recognizing that some nursing homes are seizing residents economic impact payments (or “Stimulus Checks”) authorized under the CARES Act.  CMS confirms that this practice is prohibited, and nursing homes that seize these payments from residents could be subject to federal enforcement actions,.. read more →

On June 5, 2020, the Administrative Office of the Courts issued Directive #18-20, allowing trial courts in New Jersey to enter a judgment granting a divorce in default and uncontested cases on the papers without requiring the parties to appear personally before the court. Judges have discretion to schedule hearings in such matters if necessary.. read more →

New Jersey Bankers Association Financial Elder Abuse Webinar Date Time: Jun 10, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: On-Line Webinar on Financial Elder Abuse Financial Elder Abuse is a growing concern, with 4 million cases of elder abuse reported last year. The elderly are often bilked out of their savings, investments, and.. read more →

For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit: NJ Guardianship and Fiduciary Services   For additional information concerning Medicaid applications and appeals, visit: NJ Medicaid Applications read more →

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli has been working hard to continue serving you during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  Many clients have limited access to their important planning documents and must create new ones. We have created new processes to assist our clients in a time when we are forced to socially distance ourselves.. read more →

The decedent, Virginia Ogborne, executed a 2016 will leaving her estate to two of her sons, including David, who she named executor. She left only a nominal bequest to another son, James. After James filed a caveat to the will, David filed an Order to Show Cause to strike the caveat and admit the will.. read more →

OPEN FOR BUSINESS — AND HERE TO HELP COVID-19 Update from the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli We are open for business, physically and virtually Our law firm is open for business, with social distancing. Several staff members are working remotely, others remain at our Westfield, New Jersey office. Client conferences are conducted via.. read more →

For additional information concerning estate planning and administration, visit: Estate Planning and Administration For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit: NJ Guardianship and Fiduciary Services read more →