A New Jersey appellate court ruled that a court can alter the plain and unambiguous language of a trust when extrinsic evidence suggests that the trust language is not what the settlor intended. In the Matter of the Trust of Violet Nelson, Deceased, Docket No. A-4004-15T1 (App. Div. March 28, 2018). Violet and Joseph Nelson had.. read more →

Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published Transmittal No. 74, revising Part 05 of SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) covering Resource Exclusions in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program pertaining to Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts.  In the introduction to the new ABLE POMS, SSA said: Background This transmittal includes the current published guidance.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court vacated an order approving a settlement and placing it in a special needs trust (SNT), ruling that there was no “meeting of the minds” between the parties. V.M. v. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., A-0781-16T1, Nov. 3, 2017). LaTanya Murphy and her adult son V.M… read more →

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

Join us, at our Law Office at 242 St. Paul Street, Westfield, NJ Free Seminar on Paying for Long-Term Care Friday, April 20th, at two (2) convenient times: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., or 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Many factors — illness, incapacity and the need for long-term care — can leave a family’s finances in disarray. Fortunately,.. read more →

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging has released the 2018 Fraud Book, listing the Top 10 Elder Scams Of 2018 based on reports to the Senate hotline.  The report is entitled “Fighting Fraud: Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors.” From January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, the Senate.. read more →

A judge in Los Angeles ruled that a spouse in California is the presumptive healthcare decision-maker when there is no advance directive and the partner is in a persistent vegetative state. In re the Matter of Juan Fernando Romero, Patient, Case No. 16STPB06815 (Superior Ct., March 2, 2018). The case involved Juan Fernando Romero, who suffered.. read more →

Our law firm has created a number of Legal Guides for our clients and website guests to provide a better understanding of important and oftentimes complex legal subjects. The Legal Guides are offered free of charge. One of the Legal Guides available to the public discusses Special Needs Trusts and Special Needs Planning. Parents of children.. read more →

The defendant, who was the agent under his aunt’s power of attorney and executor of her estate, was sued by beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate for breach of fiduciary duty as her agent and executor. The power of attorney and will were executed in 1998. The plaintiffs alleged that, beginning in 2001, the defendant wrongfully.. read more →

17 Mar 2018
March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

News Briefs 0 Comment

We will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day 2018 as follows: Drinking Green Beer, Irish Whiskey and/or (most probably “and”) Guinness; and, Eating Corned Beef and Cabbage For readers of this blog: May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face;.. read more →

Attorney Donald D. Vanarelli is proud to announce that he was awarded an “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, an acknowledgment that he has achieved the highest level of professional excellence. From the Martindale-Hubbell website: “For more than 130 years, lawyers have relied on the AV Preeminent rating when searching for their own expert attorneys. The Martindale-Hubbell.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will provide an overview of the use of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) by disabled persons so as to prevent an applicant’s financial assets and income from impacting eligibility for needs-based public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Section 8 Housing and.. read more →

Some states make it harder for those caring for an aging parent, according to a new survey by Caring.com.  While some states were praised for providing an affordable and helpful environment for caregivers, other states ended up at the bottom of the affordability list. “It hasn’t always been so expensive, but the cost of caring.. read more →

Edna M. Fone, a widow, had two children, Richard J. Fone, Jr. and Katherine Fone. Following Edna’s death, Richard sought to probate a 2009 Will allegedly signed by Edna which omitted Katherine as a beneficiary. In response, Katherine filed a lawsuit, seeking to invalidate the purported Will, alleging Richard had exerted undue influence over their.. read more →

I came across the 2018 version of a Social Security Administration (SSA) publication below. Not only has the agency updated the publication to include Special Needs Trusts, but SSA added information about Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts as well.  And the agency included hyperlinks to other helpful information. This may assist applicants with.. read more →

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility recently issued Formal Opinion 480 which opines on the ethics of lawyers blogging and comment on social media. Formal Opinion 480, entitled “Confidentiality Obligations for Lawyer Blogging and Other Public Commentary,” applies existing ethical rules to new online publications such as lawyer blogs. Excerpts.. read more →

read more →

What is Elder Law? Elder Law is broad legal practice area involving the problems of older and disabled persons. Elder Law includes counseling and dispute resolution in a variety of areas including health and long-term care planning, identifying and accessing sources of financing for long-term medical care, nursing home issues, qualifying for Medicare, Medicaid and.. read more →

A.M. appealed a gift penalty imposed by the Medicaid agency based on a transfer of assets. The penalty was imposed based on $100,000 in distributions to beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust established by A.M. with her assets. A.M. asserted that the transfer penalty was inappropriate because she established the trust and transferred assets into the.. read more →

Following two days of trial in a probate litigation among the decedent’s children, the parties notified the trial court that it had settled the case. They placed the settlement terms on the record. Those terms included a provision that the parties’ legal fees would be paid by the Estate “following the submission of certifications of.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will facilitate a discussion at the upcoming  “Unprogram” presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys on April 25, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel in the Philadelphia Historic District, 400 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA. The UnProgram is a forum in which elder law practitioners.. read more →

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

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 20th Annual Elder and Disability Law 2-Day Retreat to be held on April 26-27, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel in the Philadelphia Historic District, 400 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder &  Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute for.. read more →

Although the decedent had four children, she left her entire estate to two of the children. However, the will did not mention her two omitted daughters, or the fact that they were being omitted. One of the omitted daughters sued, claiming the will was the result of undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity. The.. read more →

The decedent, Alfred Finocchiaro, Sr., died in 2011, predeceased by his wife. The decedent had two sons (Alfred Jr. and Frank) and a daughter. His son Alfred Jr. had predeceased him, having committed suicide on December 29, 2006. The decedent’s daughter survived him, but died before the trial in this case began. The decedent resided.. read more →

read more →

Following Joan McBride’s death, her sons from her first marriage asserted claims against her second husband Charlie, who had served as Joan’s power of attorney and executor of her will. Joan and Charlie married in 1997 and remained married until Joan’s death in 2016. The sons claimed Charlie unduly influenced Joan in connection with certain.. read more →

In October 2017, Congress passed an important new law, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Protection Act (EAPPA). The EAPPA is one of very few laws which allocates federal funds to address financial elder abuse. The new law was a direct reaction to increasing incidents of financial elder abuse. Every year, thieves, swindlers and even the.. read more →

Below, in chronological order, is the annual roundup of the top 10 elder law decisions in the U.S. for the year just ended, as measured by the number of “unique page views” of the summary of each case found on the ElderLawAnswers website. ElderLawAnswers is a web-based resource available for those in the public seeking information on.. read more →

D.B., who suffered from schizophrenia, was involuntarily committed to Newton Medical Center’s short-term care facility (“STCF”) after being screened by a psychiatric emergency screening service (“PESS”). He was indigent and he completed an application under New Jersey’s Charity Care Program to cover his hospital bill, but the hospital rejected his application for failure to provide.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has emailed the following notice to all accredited attorneys and agents.  The notice identifies what the VA calls “recurring problems” with fee agreements between accredited attorneys and agents and the veterans they serve. US Department of Veterans Affairs VA Accreditation: Topics of Interest Hello!  This is the first email.. read more →

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

Named to the Super Lawyers list for twelve (12) consecutive years, 2007 – 2018 The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is proud to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. has been named to the 2018 Super Lawyers list in Elder Law. This is the 12th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to the.. read more →

Defendant Rosemary Walsh was the executor of the estate of Irene Halpecka, and had been agent under Ms. Halpecka’s power of attorney. Along with the plaintiffs, Walsh was also named as a residuary beneficiary of the estate. Following Halpecka’s death, plaintiffs sued Walsh, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence in her actions as.. read more →

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides elder mediation services, a specialized form of mediation to help elders, the disabled and their families resolve conflict. Mr. Vanarelli is co-founder of the Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey, a collaborative venture with other elder law attorneys and geriatric professionals whose mission is to educate professionals and private.. read more →