Financial abuse of the elderly has been called the “crime of the 21st century.” The average victim of abuse is a female, age 75 or older, with limited resources. Generally, the victim is widowed, frail and vulnerable because of mental or physical impairments. When a loved one is a victim of abuse, there are certain.. read more →

A California court of appeals affirmed a jury award against the owner of a construction company who fraudulently induced a special needs trust trustee who was himself disabled to transfer title of the beneficiary’s family home to him, and that the conduct warranted punitive damages ten times the amount of compensatory damage award.  Haworth v… read more →

The federal Nursing Home Reform Law was enacted in 1987, and became effective in October 1990. The Reform Law governs any nursing facility that accepts reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid, and applies to all residents in any such facility, regardless of the individual resident’s payment source. In other words, the law applies whether the resident’s.. read more →

The plaintiff, Marjorie Fister, is the mother of defendant Kevin Edward Fister. In 2010, the defendant, along with his wife and four adult children, moved into plaintiff’s home with her. Mrs. Fister’s health declined and, in 2012, she moved into her daughter’s New York home. However, the defendant and his family remained in Mrs. Fister’s.. read more →

The Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, recently issued Opinion 53 in which the Court considered weather non-lawyers who assisted applicants and beneficiaries in applying for Medicaid benefits were engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The Court identified the non-lawyers providing Medicaid assistance as “Medicaid.. read more →

McHugh Fuller, a law firm which focuses on nursing home abuse and neglect, ran a full-page ad in The Toccoa Record, a Georgia newspaper. The ad stated that Heritage Healthcare of Toccoa, a nursing home owned by PruittHealth, was cited for deficiencies in the care of its residents. Also in the ad, the law firm invited.. 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 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 →

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 →

[gview file=”http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Resources/Publication/docs/Archstone-Caregiver-Brochure-Web.pdf” save=”1″] 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… read more →

A lawyer who was found to have exerted undue influence over his mother must reimburse her estate for legal fees and costs, along with paying prejudgment interest from the date the estate monies were wrongfully taken, an appeals court ruled. Matter of the Estate of Sogliuzzo, Docket No. A-0882-14T2 (App. Div., December 17, 2015) Jane P… read more →

In 2003, Michael Yahatz opened a bank account. The following year, the bank was acquired by Bank of America (“BOA”) and the account was converted to a money market account. In 2005, Mr. Yahatz signed a BOA signature card, which included an acknowledgement that the account would be governed by BOA’s deposit agreement. The deposit.. read more →

In a case of first impression, a trial judge in Ocean County ruled that victims of domestic elder abuse can use New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act to obtain restraining orders against their abusers. J.C. v. B.S., Docket No. FV-15-352-16 (Chan. Div., Family Part, Ocean County, September 14, 2015) In an unpublished opinion, Superior.. read more →

Nancy Gimenez-Watson was a resident of Brighton Gardens of Edison, an assisted living facility (ALF) operated by Sunrise Senior Living and its parent company. Mrs. Watson was in the “Reminiscence Plus” program for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In April 2008, Mrs. Watson choked on her food. After a Brighton Gardens nurse administered.. read more →

Contrary to popular opinion, under the law of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other states, an unlimited gifting authority in a power of attorney does not protect the agent from criminal liability for self-dealing. A recent appeals court decision in Pennsylvania demonstrates this legal principal. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Patton David L. Patton was arrested in.. read more →

A New Jersey trial judge dismissed a lawsuit asserted by an alleged abuser against a group of defendants who had either reported or investigated claims of elder abuse and neglect by the abuser. Rizzo v Bergen County Board of Social Services, Docket No. BER – L – 2926 – 12 (Law Div., June 10, 2014)… read more →

Reversing state agency and appeals court rulings, the highest court of the State of Washington ruled that a guardian cannot be charged with neglect based on the guardian’s good-faith decision to provide care for the ward in her home rather than place her in a nursing home against the ward’s wishes. Raven v. Department of Social and.. read more →

After an individual’s death, litigation regarding the decedent’s estate can arise in a variety of contexts. A common claim asserted in a lawsuit challenging the validity of a decedent’s Last Will and Testament is that the will was the result of “Undue Influence.” “Undue Influence” is defined by our courts as “’mental, moral or physical’.. read more →

After an individual’s death, litigation regarding the decedent’s estate can arise in a variety of contexts. A common claim asserted in an estate litigation is that the decedent lacked “testamentary capacity” (the capacity to make a will). An individual’s mental capacity is judged based upon the transaction or act that the person is undertaking. One.. read more →

When a party believes that the decedent’s estate was depleted prior to his or her death as a result of gifts allegedly made by the decedent, an improvident gift claim may be asserted. In contrast to testamentary dispositions, in which both a confidential relationship and suspicious circumstances are required to raise a presumption of undue.. read more →

  Several weeks ago, on Sunday, November 20th, I was a guest on The Caring Generation, a radio show airing on 630 KHOW-AM, a Talk Radio Station broadcasting from Denver, Colorado, and on the internet. The show is hosted by Pamela D. Wilson, who identified herself as the “Care Navigator.” The Caring Generation is about.. read more →

I am presently involved in a lawsuit in which my clients, three adult children of their now deceased father, are suing their deceased father’s former agent under a Power of Attorney. As alleged in the Verified Complaint filed by plaintiffs, the adult children claimed that the decedent either was incompetent when he signed the Power.. read more →

Matter of Mildred B. Trocolor involved a dispute between two of the decedent’s adult children who were co-executors of the decedent’s estate. The decedent’s daughter, Daryl, brought the lawsuit, alleging that, while the decedent, Mildred B. Trocolor, was alive, the defendants, her brother Robert and his wife, Genevieve, stole substantial sums of money from the.. read more →

Below are figures for 2010 that are frequently used in an estate planning / elder law practice or of interest to clients. Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2010 Unchanged From 2009: The minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) remains $21,912, as does the maximum CSRA, $109,560. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance remains $1,821.25 until.. read more →

[I received the following email from the National Senior Citizens Law Center and affiliated groups concerning a survey being conducted in order to “raise awareness of the issues facing older adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) and live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities.” Because I believe.. read more →