A New Jersey appeals court ruled that payments to the spouse of a Medicaid recipient from an annuity purchased with the spouse’s “resource allowance” were properly considered “income” to the spouse under the Medicaid rules. J.G. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services J.G., who was married to M.G. for 67 years, suffered from Alzheimer’s.. read more →

In this case, a New Jersey appeals court held that a disabled New Jersey resident eligible for Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services since 2009 was no longer eligible for PCA services under the Medicaid requirements. J.R. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, Docket No. A-0648-14T3 (App. Div.,  April 18, 2016 J.R. was diagnosed.. read more →

Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a husband’s separation from his wife and subsequent extramarital affairs deprived him of his right to an intestate share of the deceased spouse’s estate. Estate of Kathleen Talerico, __ A.3d __ (No. 728 MDA 2015, filed March 18, 2016). Kathleen and Donald Talerico were married in 2006. The couple resided in.. read more →

The New York State Bar Association has issued a brochure to help consumers understand the benefits of utilizing an elder law attorney to assist (1) in the preparation of Medicaid applications and (2) in planning for yourself or a loved one to protect assets when seeking eligibility for public benefits based upon financial need. The.. read more →

Vicinio v. Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks, LLC is a legal malpractice action stemming from an underlying family dispute involving the Estate of Philomena Vicinio. Philomena Vicinio’s health began to deteriorate after her husband’s death. Thereafter, Mrs. Vicinio attempted to reside with her daughter, Roseann, on several occasions, with each attempt short-lived because of.. read more →

In general, Medicaid rules impose periods of Medicaid ineligibility (“penalty periods”) when a Medicaid applicant makes gifts of assets in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid. If a Medicaid applicant gifts assets within the 60-month “look-back” period, the applicant may be subject to a Medicaid penalty period, based on the value of the gift. Notably,.. read more →

The Alzheimer’s Association has issued its 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The report is “a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, as well as other dementias.” Aside from providing a definition of Alzheimer’s disease (“Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common cause of.. read more →

Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a public benefit program based upon financial need. As a result, you are eligible for Medicaid only if you are over age 65, blind or disabled, and have few assets. If an applicant is married, all assets in the sole name of the husband, in the sole name of the wife, and.. read more →

Following bench trial, a trial judge ruled that a state law designed to protect seniors and other vulnerable customers does not (1) impose a legal duty on a bank or its employees to report fraudulent wire tire transfers to authorities, or (2) create a private right of action permitting an elderly customer who was the victim.. read more →

In an appeal from a trial court’s decision to reduce the counsel fees sought by a litigant, the appellate division ruled that counsel fees, awarded to both proponent and contestant in a will dispute at the discretion of the trial court, are disturbed on appeal “only on the rarest of occasions.” In re Estate of Riordan,.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court held that a needs-based credit applied to the accounts of residents of an assisted living facility counts as income for Medicaid eligibility purposes. R.W. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-4911-13T1, Feb. 22, 2016). This case was brought by several residents of the.. read more →

In re Trusts for Stefanidis-Perez is a consolidated case involving two trusts in which the plaintiff is the beneficiary and the defendant (plaintiff’s mother) is the trustee. The plaintiff-beneficiary moved for partial summary judgment seeking to compel an accounting and seeking the removal of the defendant-trustee, and the defendant-trustee cross-moved for summary judgment for advice.. read more →

New Jersey Appellate Division rules prospective client’s correspondence with law office secretary who did not mention the matter to the attorney failed to establish an attorney-client relationship for purposes of a legal malpractice suit. Shapiro v. Rinaldi, Docket No. A-1753-14T4 (App. Div.,March 18, 2016) After falling in a pot hole on a city street and injuring.. read more →

A trial court ruled that the plaintiff, who brought but ultimately withdrew the complaint in a contested guardianship case, must pay the legal fees of both the alleged incapacitated person and the court-appointed evaluator.  Matter of Madeline H., 31441-I-2015 This contested New York guardianship case was settled after extensive conferences pursuant to a stipulation of.. read more →

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is proud to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. has been named to the 2016 Super Lawyers list in Elder Law. This is the 10th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to the Super Lawyers list in New Jersey. Elder Law, which includes Special Needs.. read more →

New Jersey appeals court ruled a surviving spouse failed to prove that her deceased spouse made an enforceable gift based on the deceased spouse’s failure to deliver the gift during his life to the survivor. Matter of the Estate of Herenchak, 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. 2014 WL 9868901 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. June 8,.. read more →

In order to protect the public and and guard against elder abuse by lawyers, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended an attorney from the practice of law for one-year after the attorney borrowed nearly $90,000 from an elderly, unsophisticated widow who he knew for many years. In the Matter of William J. Torre, an Attorney.. read more →

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission (“NJLRC”) is an independent legislative commission of the State that engages in an ongoing review of statutes and case law, in order to remedy defects and clarify confusing language in those statutes. The NJLRC is proposing a revision to the New Jersey statutes in order to codify the Supreme.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently published new guidelines mandating that the agency issue detailed notices when individuals are determined to be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of excess resources that include a countable trust. The public was notified of the new guidelines via internal agency instructions published in an Emergency Message… read more →

When you sell a capital asset, the sale normally results in a capital gain or loss. A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use or own as an investment. Here are 10 facts that you should know about capital gains and losses: Capital Assets. Capital assets include property such as your home.. read more →

Legislative Update Webinar Presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Start Date: Thursday, March 03, 2016, 1:00 PM End Date: Thursday, March 03, 2016, 2:00 PM This NJ NAELA Legislative Webinar is FREE for all NY NAELA members. This webinar is a legislative update regarding implementation of the ABLE Act in New.. read more →

Plaintiff, Emmaline O’Hara, and defendant, John B. O’Hara, Jr., were married in 1955. They had two children, Robin, who is deceased, and Kevin, from whom John was estranged. John acquired approximately $6 million in assets during the marriage. In 2012, Emmaline filed for divorce. At that time, Emmaline was 80 years old, and had been.. read more →

New Jersey appellate court ruled that an anonymous online commenter must reveal his or her identity to members of a church who claim the commenter defamed them. Mauro v. Intellectual Freedom Foundation, Docket No. A-0004-15T2 (App. Div., February 26, 2016) Plaintiffs were members of the World Mission Society Church of God (WMS). WMS was founded in.. read more →

In a recent blog post, I wrote about Steven Gursten, a Michigan blogging lawyer who published a blog post in 2014 about Dr. Rosalind Griffin, a Michigan psychiatrist who testified as a medical expert for the defense in various personal injury cases Gursten filed. Attorney Gursten claimed that Dr. Griffin was one of the “notorious”.. read more →

In this case, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that gifts giving rise to a presumption of undue influence include gifts that strip the donor of all or virtually all his assets, and gifts to a donee on whom the donor depends. Pascale v Pascale, 113 N.J. 20 (1988) In 1939, plaintiff, John J. Pascale,.. read more →

Readers of this blog know that applicants for public benefits often appeal the decisions made by the various administrative agencies involved in providing benefits. Applicants appeal for various reasons, usually based on the outright denial of benefits or an award of fewer benefits than anticipated. The appeals are considered and decided by administrative law judges.. read more →

Caring for an elderly or disabled person frequently involves strenuous physical tasks as well as managing financial matters, organizing care, and more. As a result, caregivers may feel frustrated, isolated, stressed and overwhelmed. Although these feelings are perfectly normal, they can be harmful to both the caregiver and the person needing care. Over time, elder.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2016 CONFERENCE ON GUARDIANSHIP given by the Guardianship Association of New Jersey, Inc. (GANJI) on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ Contested guardianships typically involve disputes among adult siblings concerning the safety, living arrangements, autonomy and financial management of.. read more →

Below, in chronological order, is the annual roundup of the top 10 national elder law decisions for the year just ended, as measured by the number of “unique page views” of case summaries on the ElderLawAnswers website. Florida’s High Court Bars Non-Lawyers From Engaging in Medicaid Planning Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that non-lawyers who engage in various.. read more →

Two recent cases are vivid reminders that blogging can be dangerous. Bloggers are being found legally accountable and financially liable for their online postings. The take-away is clear: bloggers, beware: what you write can get you sued, or disbarred. Blogger Found Liable for $600,000 in Defamation Case  A libel lawsuit was filed in Georgia by.. read more →

In this will contest involving the doctrine of probable intent, Hon. Robert P. Contillo, P.J.Ch. ruled that a court cannot alter the language of a trust that is plain and unambiguous even when extrinsic evidence strongly suggests that the trust language is not what the settlor intended. Violet and Joseph Nelson had three children: Jacob.. read more →

In 1997, the decedent, Kathleen Boyer, executed a Last Will and Testament and a revocable trust. In the will, she directed that her residuary estate “pour over” into the revocable trust upon her death. She named herself as trustee of the revocable trust and, although she retained complete control of the trust assets during her.. read more →

After he was admitted to a nursing home in 2013, petitioner, R.P., accrued unpaid bills of $264,146 for nursing care services. As a result, three successive Medicaid applications were filed on R.P.’s behalf. It was undisputed that R.P. lacked the capacity to assist with any of the Medicaid applications. The first Medicaid application, filed in.. read more →

A Florida appeals court upheld a judgment of $350,000 in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against her former client alleging defamation based on negative reviews of the lawyer posted on the internet by the former client. Blake v. Giustibelli, __ So.3d __ (Fla. 4th DCA, No. 4D14-3231, 1/6/2016), 2016 WL _______. Florida Attorney Ann-Marie.. read more →

M.S. is a 73-year old residing in at a long-term care facility. She is a hemiplegic who suffers from obesity, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and COPD. Because she is completely paralyzed on her left side, she had been using a manual one-arm wheelchair. She filed an application to the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services.. read more →