Charles Smith and his wife purchased a house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1959. While living there, they raised three daughters: Dianne, Dionne, and Deborah. Charles Smith became the sole owner of the property in 2007 when his wife passed away. When Charles died in 2011, he bequeathed the house to his three daughters equally. Deborah,.. read more →

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

An appeals court held that an agreement to apply for Medicaid benefits for a nursing home resident made by the resident’s guardian or family members may be legally enforceable by the nursing facility in which the resident resides. Pine Brook Care Center v. D’Alessandro, Docket No. A-3197-18T1 (NJ Appellate Division, November 23, 2020) In April.. read more →

In a recent case, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that service in the state National Guard, including a period of active duty for training, without disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, did not achieve “veteran” status for purposes of non-service-connected survivors pension and burial benefits. Perry v. Wilkie (Court.. read more →

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

On December 1, 2020, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) presented at the 22nd Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium held via ZOOM Webinar by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Vanarelli spoke on planning to attain eligibility for pension benefits.. read more →

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse.  Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that many cases go unreported – only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported.. read more →

Every year we release the key dollar amounts that are frequently used in elder law, estate administration and special needs trust planning, including Medicaid figures, Medicare premiums, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Be sure to check back often, as we will add any information that has not yet been released and update the.. read more →

A U.S. district court dismissed fraud claims based on the unauthorized practice of law against a New Jersey company that provided assistance to Medicaid applicants, ruling that the estate of a nursing home resident did not provide evidence that the company misled the estate about performing legal work for it. The Estate of Cotton v… read more →

(The BiFocal e-newsletter is a publication of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging. In a recent BiFocal e-newsletter, the ABA Commission published the following guidance on defensive practices that may be used to prevent misuse of a power of attorney, such as careful selection of agents, drafting in oversight and accounting, and limiting powers… read more →

Although a Medicaid lien on the proceeds of a settlement in a personal injury action was satisfied before the net settlement funds were transferred to a Special Needs Trust (SNT), the State is not precluded from seeking upon the death of the SNT beneficiary repayment of Medicaid expenditures made on the beneficiary’s behalf after the creation.. read more →

On October 15, 2020, Attorney Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. presented a live Webinar in which attendees learned how to Protect their Assets from the Catastrophic Costs of Probate, Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Expenses. Webinar Topics Included: Care options and typical costs of care in New Jersey in various settings. How to qualify for government.. read more →

Tax Benefit Checklist for Families Caring for Special Needs Children Unique tax benefits are available to families with individuals who have special needs. A checklist compiled by Thomas M. Brinker, Jr., a professor of accounting at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, of some potential tax benefits that could be available to families who care for a special.. read more →

 22nd Annual Elder And Disability Law Symposium The COVID Cloud: Pandemic Practice Tips for the Elder Law and Special Needs Practitioner Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 22nd Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium to be held via ZOOM Webinar on December 1, 2020 by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder.. read more →

You may qualify for VA disability benefits if you have physical or mental health conditions that developed as the result of your active duty service. To receive these benefits, you must file a claim to determine your disability rating. In addition, VA pension benefits are also available to wartime veterans how are aged or disabled.. read more →

For additional information concerning elder abuse actions, visit: Will Contests, Probate Litigation and Elder Abuse Actions   For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit: NJ Guardianship and Fiduciary Services   For additional information concerning Medicaid and public benefits planning, visit: NJ Medicaid and Public Benefits Planning read more →

The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations this month providing details about how Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts should operate. ABLE accounts are designed to help people with disabilities and their families save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other government benefits based on financial need. Medicaid can.. read more →

October 18-25 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted in 2008 to help the public understand what estate planning is and why it is such a vital component of financial wellness.  The House of Representatives, in House Resolution 1499, named the third week in October of each year as.. read more →

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

The Seventh Circuit vacated a district court decision that allowed an Indiana Medicaid recipient to hire her own in-home health care providers as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, holding that more evidence was needed to determine if the recipient’s request can be granted consistent with federal requirements for funding. Vaughn v. Walthall (U.S… read more →

A new report from National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) in collaboration with the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) entitled “Mandated Reporting of Abuse of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities” is now available. This report focuses on mandated reporting of abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities to Adult Protective Services (APS) or.. read more →

The Director of the Medicaid agency in New Jersey held that income in a Qualified Income Trust which was used to pay the room and board fee for a resident of an assisted living facility was not countable in determining the resident’s eligibility for Medicaid benefits. H.H. v. Monmouth County Board of Social Services – Final.. read more →

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging, along with the Penn Memory Center, announced the release of a new voting guide, Assisting Cognitively Impaired Individuals with Voting: A QUICK GUIDE. Here’s the introduction to the new voting guide: Difficulties in communication can occur when interacting with a person who has cognitive impairment. The techniques and tips.. read more →

New York was the only state that didn’t have a look-back period for Medicaid home care, but that is now changing. New York Medicaid applicants will no longer be eligible for home care if they gave away assets within 30 months of applying. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a public benefit program based upon financial need,.. read more →

E.H., a 78 year old female, received $1,471.50 in monthly social security benefits. On April 1, 2019, E.H.’s checking account, contained $1,991.78. On April 4, 2019, E.H. applied for benefits under New Jersey’s Family Care Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid program. As part of her Medicaid application, E.H. submitted a pre-paid burial contract. Although pre-paid.. read more →