Public Law 113–295, also known as The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act), was enacted December 19, 2014. The ABLE Act provides individuals with special needs and disabilities to save money for disability related expenses in tax-free savings accounts while preserving their needs-based government benefits. Modeled on 529 college savings plans, ABLE.. read more →

In September 2015, Y.M. was declared an incapacitated person, and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) was appointed as Y.M.’s guardian. Y.M. was a resident of Hudson View nursing home. The month after its appointment as guardian, OPG filed a Medicaid application on behalf of Y.M. After the application was denied, Hudson View filed.. read more →

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(“The ElderLaw Report: Including Special Needs Planning” is the premier newsletter covering elder law and special needs planning issues. This monthly newsletter keeps legal professionals current with critical developments in elder law and special needs planning, and supplies real-world solutions to the unique legal problems facing senior and disabled clients. The most recent article I prepared for The.. read more →

The decedent was a widow with no family. She had a close relationship with her neighbors. Shortly after a birthday party for the neighbors’ daughter, she handed the neighbors a check for $100, along with a 5-page document the decedent signed using her nickname, “A.J.” At trial, there was no dispute that the decedent possessed.. read more →

The following blog post is adapted from an article on NJ.com: A few years ago, Tracey Mitchell’s dad needed to go into a nursing home. Mitchell had no complaints about the care he received, but three months before he died, a surprise arrived via regular mail. It was a lawsuit alleging Mitchell owed $49,000 to the.. read more →

 On his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver provided a scary and funny explanation of how guardianship works, ending with a public service announcement by William Shatner, Lily Tomlin and others explaining steps you can take to avoid the guardianship. The video is embedded above. The show focused on the abuses of a professional.. read more →

Many taxpayers recently filed their taxes and may be waiting for a response from the IRS. Because of this summertime tends to be a period when thieves increase their scam attempts. They try to get people to disclose personal information like Social Security numbers, account information and passwords. To avoid becoming a victim, taxpayers should.. read more →

While many people take summer vacations, data thieves do not. Phishing emails and telephone scams continue to pop up around the country. The IRS reminds everyone to be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things for taxpayers to remember so they can keep their personal data safe: The IRS does not leave.. read more →

On January 7, 2016, R.P.’s stepdaughter applied for Medicaid on R.P.’s behalf. At the time, the case worker asked the stepdaughter to supply certain additional information. However, the stepdaughter testified that the caseworker did not give her a written notice requesting information. According to Medicaid, it then sent a February 22, 106 letter to the.. read more →

After suffering a stroke and spending a period of time in a rehabilitation facility, A.K. was discharged to her home, where she spent the following two years prior to moving to a long-term care facility. Her daughter lived with her for the two-year period. A.K. attended a therapeutic day care program. The daughter worked outside.. read more →

Trustees of special needs trusts are increasingly relying on “administrator-managed prepaid debit cards,” such as True Link cards, when disbursing funds to beneficiaries.  These cards offer trust beneficiaries greater independence and the ability to get what they need more quickly.  But such cards existed in a regulatory gray area as far as the Social Security.. read more →

The decedent’s will was admitted into probate in Bergen County, New Jersey, after the court found that he was a New Jersey domiciliary at the time of his death. His ex-wife sought to challenge New Jersey’s jurisdiction, claiming that the decedent was a New York domiciliary. The decedent had died unexpectedly in July 2016, during.. read more →

My law office presents this Peace of Mind Checklist as a tool readers can use to organize their thoughts about and plans for the future, and to identify the vital estate documents readers need to reach their goals. The law office staff encourages you to share this checklist with others and discuss it with your close.. read more →

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

Following their divorce, the decedent, John Garay, and his ex-wife owned a parcel of real property as equal tenants in common. Upon John’s death, the property was owned equally by John’s estate and the ex-wife. The co-executors of John’s estate were two of the Garays’ thirteen children. In 2013, the property was sold to one.. read more →

On May 8, 2018, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017. The bill would restore benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans; expand inclusive dates to those who served along the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ); and, benefit children born with.. read more →

    New YouTube Video about the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is committed to protecting the legal rights and financial resources of seniors, the disabled and their families, and families in conflict. We provide legal services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, trust administration, special.. read more →

The Stephen Komninos’ Law, enacted in 2017, went into effect on May 1, 2018. The new law is designed to protect individuals with developmental disabilities who receive services through the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by caregivers and others, to upgrade crimes committed against such individuals and to.. read more →

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

R.S. transferred her one-third interest in a house she owned jointly with her daughter and son-in-law to her daughter. Less than five years later, R.S. applied for Medicaid, and asserted that the transfer was exempt under Medicaid’s “caregiver child” exception to the rules prohibiting any transfers of assets within five years of the Medicaid application.. read more →

The decedent was survived by her incapacitated son, for whom the decedent had previously been appointed guardian. Following the decedent’s death, there was protracted litigation regarding the estate, a related trust, and the guardianship, which spanned four years. At the conclusion of the litigation, the attorneys involved submitted fee applications, seeking to be awarded payment.. read more →

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The video posted above informs viewers of the legal issues facing seniors, and the importance of seeking assistance with these issues from a Certified Elder Law Attorney. The video also describes the role of the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) in the certification process. The video that will be aired nationally on PBS affiliates. NELF, a.. read more →

In 2006, the William Mallas executed a Last Will and Testament dividing his estate equally between his brother and niece. In March 2008, he signed a power of attorney designating his neighbor, Frank Picciolo, as his agent. In November 2008, Mr. Mallas executed a new POA again naming Frank as his agent, and a new.. read more →