John E. Travers, Jr. died unexpectedly in 2017 at the age of twenty-two. He was unmarried and died without any children, without a will, and without any written directive regarding his funeral or the disposition of his remains. Decedent’s parents, who are divorced, differed on how their son’s remains should be disposed of, and each.. read more →

The decedent, John F. Piazza, died a widower in 2012, survived by three children: Barbara Piazza (“Barbara”), John H. Piazza (“John”), and Debra Elly Shaefer (“Debra”). His will appointed Barbara as executrix, and left his residuary estate to his three children equally. However, there was a purported codicil to his will, which disinherited Debra. Following.. read more →

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Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (https://vanarellilaw.com/) participated in the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s “2018 Elder Law in a Day” Seminar held on July 11, 2018 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. Mr. Vanarelli provided the “Case Law Update: The Year In Review” – a review of the cases decided.. 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 →

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 →

After A.S. entered a nursing home, her son T.S. applied for Medicaid benefits on her behalf, listing A.S.’s sister’s address on the application. In June 2013, because the necessary financial information was not provided, Medicaid notified T.S. that the application was dismissed, and that T.S. had a right to request a fair hearing. However, T.S… read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will facilitate a discussion at the upcoming  “Unprogram” presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys on April 25, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel in the Philadelphia Historic District, 400 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA. The UnProgram is a forum in which elder law practitioners.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 20th Annual Elder and Disability Law 2-Day Retreat to be held on April 26-27, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel in the Philadelphia Historic District, 400 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder &  Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute for.. 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 →

The defendant, William Lewis, was the administrator of his deceased mother’s estate. In connection with the administration of the estate, and related litigation with his brother regarding the estate, the defendant was represented by Eileen Siegeltuch, an attorney at Cureton Clark, P.C. The Cureton firm sent him an invoice for over $68,000 in legal fees.. read more →

In 1992, Ann Mark created two irrevocable trusts for the benefit of her three children. In 1997, Jared Scharf became the successor trustee for the trusts, and used some of those assets to form a separate trust for each of Ms. Mark’s three children. Each of the trusts stated that they were governed by New.. read more →

Linda Hall was the executrix of her mother’s estate. Hall had initially had a 2005 will admitted to probate. When Hall’s sister, Carol Polak-Reid (“Reid”) filed a complaint alleging that their mother had executed another will in 2011, Hall represented that she had attempted to have the 2011 will admitted, but the surrogate had rejected.. read more →

A court in Connecticut ruled that the administrator of an estate lacked standing to appeal the denial of an application for Medicaid benefits because no appeal of the denial was filed before the decedent died.  Freese v. Department of Social Services (Conn. Super. Ct., No. CV14-6047417S, June 1, 2015). Plaintiff, Kathleen Freese, claimed that the defendant, Department.. read more →

The New Jersey appeals court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice action brought by beneficiaries of an estate against the attorney representing the estate, holding that estate attorneys may owe a duty of care to non-clients when the attorneys know, or should know, that non-clients will rely on the attorneys’ representations. Higgins.. read more →

Following the decedent’s death, one of his three children applied for summary administration of the estate pursuant to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-4, which governs intestate estates that do not exceed $10,000. More than two years later, the estranged wife of one of the decedent’s children filed an action for probate, claiming that there was a 2005 will.. read more →

A Chancery Court judge determined that the administrator of an insolvent estate in New Jersey must first exhaust all efforts to satisfy creditors from probate assets before the attachment of non-probate assets should be considered. Matter of the Estate of Turco, Chancery Div., Probate Part-Essex County (Koprowski, J.S.C., July 22, 2013) Jerry Turco died testate.. read more →

What is Probate? “Probate” is the name of the process which permits an Executor to transfer assets as directed by a deceased person, or decedent, in his or her Last Will and Testament to recipients, or beneficiaries, according to the terms of the Will. The deceased person who made the Will is called the “testator.”.. read more →

THE MULTIPLE-PARTY DEPOSIT ACCOUNT ACT Bank accounts are often established in the name of more than one party. Questions may arise regarding the rights of ownership of these accounts, during the lifetime of the owners or after an owner’s death. In New Jersey, joint accounts (using either an “and” or an “or” designation), and payable-on-death.. read more →

Where an original last will and testament is lost or cannot be found upon the testator’s death, a photocopy of that will may be admitted to probate. In determining whether such relief is appropriate, “the key issue is whether the testator had the intent to revoke the missing will.” In re Estate of Schenecker, 2011.. read more →

Two types of taxes can be assessed against property that passes to your heirs after you die. They are: estate taxes and inheritance taxes. Estate taxes are further divided into two types, depending upon the taxing authority imposing the tax. Federal estate taxes are imposed by the U.S. government, while state estate taxes are imposed.. read more →

2009 was an exciting year of litigation in the elder and disability law arena, producing a bumper crop of significant decisions from the administrative forum, as well as state and federal courts. In stark contrast with years past, New Jersey lawyers are now in the forefront of the effort to expand legal protections to greater.. read more →

Did you know that, under New Jersey law, you are entitled to receive compensation for services rendered as a fiduciary, such as an Executor, Administrator, Trustee, Guardian, Agent under a Power of Attorney and Conservator? Well, you are. Any compensation paid to a fiduciary in New Jersey is called a “commission”.  The amount of any.. read more →

Gov. Jon Corzine recently signed into law new legislation that requires fiduciaries of estates for developmentally disabled individuals to post bonds in Superior Court as a safeguard against theft and other improper conduct. The bill, S-550 , sponsored by Sen. Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, goes into effect in 60 days. S-550 requires that the amount of.. read more →