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 →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., who has focused in planning for the elderly, disabled, and people with special needs for over 30 years, has been board-certified as an Elder Law attorney since 1998.  What is Elder Law? Elder Law is a legal specialty focusing on the special needs and legal problems of seniors, the disabled and.. read more →

Although it is common practice to add the name of a family member to a bank account as a convenience, the existence of a “convenience” account can have negative results when that family member applies for Medicaid benefits. In F.J. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, the applicant’s daughter testified that she opened.. read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: https://vanarellilaw.com/special-needs-disability-planning/   read more →

A New Jersey appeals court upheld the denial of Medicaid benefits to an applicant who failed to provide necessary verifications, rejecting the claim that the Medicaid agency’s failure to assist with the application prejudiced the applicant. P.B. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-5405-15T2, Dec. 8, 2017). P.B.’s daughter.. read more →

Before Mr. Trotman was admitted to a nursing home, he resided in a home that he owned. He had difficulty maintaining the home and paying the bills, so his daughter began paying his bills in 2007. In December 2011, Mr. Trotman asked his daughter to assume full responsibility for the property, which then was also.. read more →

For additional information concerning New Jersey elder law, visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

Happy Holidays to clients, supporters, friends and readers. Listed below are the ten (10) eleven (11) posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership in 2017. After each hyperlinked blog post title, the original post date is included. Check out the list to see this year’s highlights. Our sincere thanks for taking.. read more →

Louis Acerra, the decedent, died at the age of 30 from injuries he suffered in a house fire. He survived more than two years after the fire before finally succumbing to those injuries. During those two years, he was cared for by Richard Litwin. Litwin had been in a relationship with the decedent’s mother when.. read more →

From Our Entire Team, We Wish You, Your Family and Friends a Joyous Holiday Filled with Peace, Love, and Prosperity. Best Wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year! * ♫ * ♫ * ♫ * ♫ * ♫ * We Also Wish to Express Gratitude to Our Wonderful Community of Clients and Cooperative Professionals. We.. read more →

Ohio’s highest court suspended an attorney who advised his client to transfer assets in order to qualify for Medicaid and then lied to the state Medicaid agency about whether the client transferred assets. Stark County Bar Association v. Buttacavoli (Ohio, No. 2017-Ohio-8857, Dec. 7, 2017). Attorney Glen Buttacavoli’s law practice consisted of providing financial-planning advice.. read more →

This appeal concerned the trial court’s ruling that a 2013 deed was valid. The appellants, who were appointed co-executors of the decedent’s will, claimed that the deed was the product of undue influence. The decedent had owned a condominium and, in 2012, she executed a deed conveying that interest to herself and her niece, as.. read more →

Payments for Pre-eligibility Medical Expenses (PEME) are available to individuals eligible for Medicaid who reside in a nursing home (NH) or an assisted living facility (ALF). This blog post attempts to clarify the procedure for processing requests for payments of PEME made by or on behalf of residents of NHs and ALFs. Residents of NHs.. read more →

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers  Who Can Help Me Fill Out the Forms? Any non-accredited individual may assist with completing the forms; however, this individual is allowed to assist ONLY one person. A VA accredited organization, such as your local State Veterans Office, VFW, or American Legion, etc. may help you, as well as an.. read more →

Plaintiff, a son of the decedent, filed a complaint in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, challenging the validity of the decedent’s will. A hearing in the matter was scheduled for June 2015, but plaintiff was unable to obtain a visa to come to the United States for the hearing. The hearing was postponed four times… read more →

Many public benefit programs are adjusted annually after receiving a cost-of-living, or COLA, increase. Following are the increased benefit amounts of selected public benefit programs Including the 2018 COLA adjustment. Social Security There will be a 2.0% COLA increase for Social Security benefits. Maximum Social Security benefit for a single individual retiring at full retirement.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its Spousal Impoverishment Standards for 2018. The official spousal impoverishment allowances for 2018 are as follows: Community Spouse Resource Allowance The “community spouse resource allowance” is a protection provided under Medicaid law for the healthy spouse of an applicant for benefits (called the “community spouse”) to.. read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: https://vanarellilaw.com/special-needs-disability-planning/ read more →

General Qualifications for VA Non-Service Connected Pension Benefits Plus Aid and Attendance Supplement  Veteran, Widowed Spouse and Dependent or Disabled Child (Any May be a Claimant) Veterans Must Typically Have Served Ninety Days Active Duty with One Day During Wartime (Those Who Enlisted After September 7, 1980 Have Additional Time Requirements) Veteran Cannot Have Had.. read more →

The amount that people with disabilities can deposit in an ABLE account each year without jeopardizing eligibility for needs-based governmental benefits will rise from the current $14,000 to $15,000 starting in 2018. Under the law, total annual deposits to ABLE accounts are limited to the federal gift tax exclusion limit set by the IRS. The.. read more →

After being sued by Medicaid applicant in federal court, the Director of New Jersey Medicaid, who had previously denied benefits because the applicant transferred assets to a trust more than 5 years before, instead stated the application was denied because, under the terms of the trust, the trustee was permitted to pay the applicant’s rent… read more →

E.H. submitted a Medicaid application to the Hudson County Division of Welfare (HCDW) and designated Future Care Consultants (FCC) as her designated authorized representative (DAR). Shortly thereafter, the HCDW denied the application because E.H. failed to provide her husband’s bank records for the five-year look-back period. FCC appealed the denial, submitting a request for a.. read more →

Contrary to the recent decision in the G.V. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services case which held that assets transferred to an Income Only Trust more than 5 years before a Medicaid application was filed were still available, rendering  the applicant ineligible for benefits, the M.K. v. Morris County Board of Social Services.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2017 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on December 14, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza, located at 690 Route 46 East, Fairfield, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of the new laws governing guardianships in New Jersey.. read more →

The 19th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium was held on November 9, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. As in past years, I presented the case law update at the opening plenary session. This year I summarized 40 elder and disability law cases decided from September 2016 through August.. read more →

A Superior Court judge in Ocean County dismissed a lawsuit filed by a nursing home for unpaid bills against a power of attorney appointed by a former resident, and ordered the nursing home to pay legal fees incurred by the power of attorney, ruling that the law prohibited the nursing home from requiring the power.. read more →

The plaintiffs in this case were sisters Ashley Nelson-Guedez and Lyndsay Nelson-Nugent, whose father died in 2007. The plaintiffs’ father, Paul Nelson, predeceased their grandfather. Upon their grandfather’s death, his estate was probated in New Jersey, and Paul’s current wife (Jacqueline Limoli) received Paul’s share of Paul’s father’s estate. Plaintiffs alleged that Jacqueline agreed to.. read more →

The House Republicans tax proposal introduced today ends the Medical Expense Deduction. This change will cause major harm to individuals and families trying to pay for the catastrophic costs of long-term services and supports (LTSS). About half (52%) of Americans turning 65 today will develop a condition that requires LTSS. Individuals needing LTSS are those.. read more →