Launched in late 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) weekly podcast is a part of its ongoing effort to engage and reach out to Veterans. “Borne the Battle” recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our Veterans endure during and after their service, as well as spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits the VA offers.. read more →

This week we lost one of my favorite clients. Thomas Saccone was a retired Newark firefighter. He and his wife are the parents of a severely disabled son who receives Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and Medicaid, which are critical in providing for his care. As a firefighter, Tom was a member of the Police and.. read more →

This promotional video is presented as an introduction to the “Guardianship Practice: A Step-By-Step Guide” Video Series. This video series was presented by noted Certified Elder Law Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., as part of Elder Law College Lecture program. The Elder Law College program is sponsored annually by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing.. read more →

Yesterday, April 9th, the New Jersey judiciary launched The Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system, an electronic filing system to ease the filing of cases and slow backlogs while the state remains under an extended health emergency. The JEBS system will allow attorneys and litigants who represent themselves to file their papers electronically in most.. read more →

Did you know more than 9 million health care appointments made by veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) go unutilized each year due to missed appointments? To increase access to health care for all veterans, the VHA has developed VEText, an interactive mobile solution to remind Veterans of upcoming appointments via text messaging. The .. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court has approved temporary adjustments to the process for seeking an adjudication of incapacity of an adult and the appointment of a guardian of the person and/or estate. Based on social distancing requirements, the court rules and regulations governing the procedures for obtaining guardianship over incapacitated adults are relaxed to permit.. read more →

This promotional video for the Nursing Home Resident Rights Video Series was presented by noted Certified Elder Law Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., as part of The Medical Side of Elder Law Lecture Series. The Medical Side of Elder Law program was sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), in association.. read more →

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

To Our Family, Friends, Clients, and Community: At the Law Office of Donald Vanarelli, we understand that the coronavirus COVID-19 has resulted in a period of uncertainty for us all. We have two messages for you. First, keep in mind that this situation, while extremely challenging, is temporary. Second, consider using this period of self-isolation.. read more →

In order to qualify for Medicaid benefits, an applicant may not own more than $2.000 in countable assets. All assets are countable, with few exceptions. Annuities purchased by Medicaid applicants are countable resources unless they are irrevocable and meet certain other requirements. In this case, Jane Cushing purchased a single-premium, immediate annuity from the Croatian.. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued its First Omnibus Order on March 27, 2020 extending by 30 days the deadlines for the suspension of court proceedings and other matters in light of the ongoing public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The previous orders involved criminal, civil, family, tax and municipal courts, and suspended civil and.. read more →

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued Executive Order 202.7, which temporarily suspends the rule requiring physical appearance before a notary public until April 18, 2020. This action was taken to facilitate the process of closing sales and signing estate documents remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Executive Order allows notaries to notarize all legal.. read more →

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

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (“DHS”) has announced that its Federal Section 1135 Waiver Request has been approved by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”). On March 20, 2020, the New Jersey DHS had outlined federal Medicaid requirements that “pose issues or challenges for.. read more →

OPEN FOR BUSINESS – AND HERE TO HELP To our clients, families and friends: We are working hard to continue serving you during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. It may seem that our world is changing every day, as new information becomes available about the Coronavirus threat. It is important to remember that this situation, although.. read more →

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (“DHS”) has created a dedicated website for COVID-19 updates relating to the services and supports offered through all of its divisions. The new website can be found at: https://nj.gov/humanservices/coronavirus.html. It includes important updates for the following categories of information: Press Releases Child Care Developmental Disabilities: Individuals, Families And.. read more →

As we find ourselves spending a lot more time at home, there are many opinions about how to fill the day while maintaining a healthy balance of activities. Most recommend a mixture of productivity and what some might refer to as “self-care,” which can take many forms. It can include eating right, exercising, enjoying a.. read more →

The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) is a tax-advantaged savings account used by an individual eligible for Medicaid or other public benefits to pay for “qualified disability-related expenses” and established by an individual whose blindness or disability resulted from a condition that began before the individual’s 26th birthday. The.. read more →

The U.S. government is extending the tax-filing deadline to July 15, a move meant to give taxpayers extra time to deal with their taxes amid the COVID-19 outbreak.  Taxpayers now have an extra three months to both file and make payments without interest or penalties. Originally, the federal government was going to give taxpayers until.. read more →

We are pleased to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli has been named to the 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers list for Elder Law. This is the 14th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to New Jersey’s Super Lawyers list in Elder Law. Of over 85,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in New.. read more →

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Offices will be closed to the public starting March 19. Regional offices will remain open, but will no longer accept walk-ins for claims assistance, scheduled appointments, counseling and other in-person services. This decision protects our older Veterans and those with underlying conditions as well as our employees. Veterans can.. read more →

As a result of the declaration of a national emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived the requirement that Medicare beneficiaries must spend at least three days in a hospital before qualifying for coverage in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) for those beneficiaries who need to be transferred as a result.. read more →

All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. If you need help from Social Security, the agency suggests that the public proceed as follows: First, please use the Social Security Administration (SSA) secure and convenient online services available at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. You can apply for retirement,.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of nursing home residents by enforcing the standards required to help each resident attain or maintain their highest level of well-being. In light of the recent spread of COVID-19, CMS provided guidelines for visiting nursing facility residents, to help.. read more →

The decedent, Anne Jelin, was survived by four siblings, including her brother Frederick. The decedent left a 2013 will, in which she made charitable bequests, bequests to her siblings, excluding Frederick, and bequests to nieces and nephews. Upon his sister’s death, Frederick challenged the will on the basis of lack of testamentary capacity and undue.. read more →

As reported by Janet Colliton, Esq., a Pennsylvania Elder Law Attorney, in a March 4, 2020 article in The Mercury on-line newsletter, New Jersey, when compared with the rules in neighboring states, is one of the most difficult states in which to qualify for Medicaid benefits to pay for long-term care costs. Some excerpts from.. read more →

As reported by Jon Hurdle in a March 9, 2020 NJ Spotlight article, a pending bill would increase fines for failing to report that an institutionalized older adult is being exploited or abused. The bill, introduced February 13, 2020, would apply to, any caretaker, social worker, physician, registered or licensed practical nurse, or other professional.. read more →

Listed below are the top ten (10) posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership last year, in 2019. 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 the time to read our blog!    .. read more →

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

Below, in chronological order, is the  annual roundup of the top 10 elder law decisions across the nation for the past year, as measured by the number of “unique page views” of the summary of the decision received on the ElderLawAnswers website. ElderLawAnswers is a web-based resource available for those in the public seeking information.. read more →

Press Release Thursday, March 5, 2020 For Immediate Release The Social Security Administration (SSA) continues to raise public awareness about telephone impersonation schemes during the national ‘Slam the Scam’ Day on March 5. In these scams, fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number.. read more →

2020 NJ-NAELA UNPROGRAM Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Lambertville Inn Lambertville, New Jersey Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2020 UNPROGRAM presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. The NJ-NAELA UNPROGRAM will be held on April 22, 2020 at the.. read more →

The following information on staffing levels in New Jersey nursing homes in the third quarter of 2019 is from the Long-Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) website. As set forth on the LTCCC website: Sufficient staffing is one of the most important indicators of a nursing home’s quality and safety. Unfortunately, inadequate nursing home staffing is.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2020 Elder and Disability Law 2-Day Retreat to be held on April 23-24, 2020 at the Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn, located at 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, New Jersey by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute.. read more →

The New Jersey Appellate Division declared a nursing home’s arbitration agreement to be void based upon the agreement’s “dense and meandering first sentence” of more than 200 words, among other problematic features. Estate of Bright v. Aristacare at Cherry Hill. Maureen Bright was discharged from the hospital to Aristacare after undergoing a second leg amputation. Maureen.. read more →