The testator, Harold Becker, executed a Last Will and Testament leaving his estate to his youngest son, Brandon (the child of the Mr. Becker’s second marriage), to the exclusion of his older sons, Scott and Stuart (the children of his first marriage). Mr. Becker’s will appointed his second wife (the couple were divorced but later.. read more →

The Appellate Division affirmed a summary judgment ruling by a trial court in a probate lawsuit involving disputed issues of material fact relating to alleged incapacity and undue influence. In the Matter of the Estate of Tornaben, New Jersey Superior Court, App. Div., Docket No. A-5181-14T4 (Sept. 27, 2016). The Essex County Surrogate admitted the.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 8th Annual Senior Lawyers Conference given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 3, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of elder law planning in New Jersey, including a discussion.. read more →

Powers of Attorney are common but often misunderstood estate documents in New Jersey and other states. A power of attorney is a legal document. When you sign a power of attorney, you appoint another person to serve as your agent (or “attorney-in-fact”). Legally, there are many duties and responsibilities imposed on an agent under a.. read more →

New Jersey lawmakers reached an agreement on Friday, September 30th which, among other things, will phase out New Jersey’s state estate tax. The New Jersey estate tax exemption, presently $675,000, will increase to $2 million after January 1, 2017. The estate tax will then be eliminated after January 1, 2018. An official vote on an estate.. read more →

The decedent, Byung-Tae Oh, was a citizen and resident of the Republic of Korea. His youngest son, Hyung Kee Oh, owned B & H Consulting, a New Jersey limited liability company. Before his death, the decedent had transferred $900,000 into B & H’s bank account. Following the decedent’s death, his oldest son, Won Ki Oh.. 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 →

When Helen Weste died in 2010, she was divorced with no children. In 1994, she had executed a will leaving her estate to charities and nieces and nephews. In 2001, Helen’s health began to fail. In April 2002, family members contacted her ex-husband (who was agent under her power of attorney), and he flew in.. read more →

In a recent opinion, an appellate court in Minnesota held that county officials were not liable for incorrectly telling a Medicaid applicant that his estate would not be subject to a Medicaid lien because the applicant could have hired a lawyer to learn the correct information. Benigni v. St. Louis County (Minn. Ct. App., No. A15-1154, June.. read more →

The decedent, Keith R. O’Malley, was the father of two children from two different relationships. His minor son, E.L., resided with E.L.’s mother in New York, although O’Malley was a New Jersey resident. O’Malley, who was financially successful, died unexpectedly at the age of 36. In 2008, O’Malley and E.L.’s mother had entered into a.. read more →

The decedent, Evelyn Berry, had been married twice. At the time of her death, the two children of her first marriage (Darryl and Tara) were adults. The two children of her second marriage (Garrett and Brook) were minors. Evelyn’s will included a testamentary trust for the maintenance, support and education of Garrett and Brook. Darryl.. read more →

  The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning Attorney Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: https://vanarellilaw.com/special-needs-disability-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in this video include Guardianships, Conservatorships, Power of Attorney, Representative Payeeships (SSA and SSI), Joint Tenancies (including joint bank accounts), Advance Medical Directives (living wills), Do.. read more →

In an appeal from a trial court’s decision to reduce the counsel fees sought by a litigant, the appellate division ruled that counsel fees, awarded to both proponent and contestant in a will dispute at the discretion of the trial court, are disturbed on appeal “only on the rarest of occasions.” In re Estate of Riordan,.. read more →

In re Trusts for Stefanidis-Perez is a consolidated case involving two trusts in which the plaintiff is the beneficiary and the defendant (plaintiff’s mother) is the trustee. The plaintiff-beneficiary moved for partial summary judgment seeking to compel an accounting and seeking the removal of the defendant-trustee, and the defendant-trustee cross-moved for summary judgment for advice.. read more →

When you sell a capital asset, the sale normally results in a capital gain or loss. A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use or own as an investment. Here are 10 facts that you should know about capital gains and losses: Capital Assets. Capital assets include property such as your home.. read more →

In this will contest involving the doctrine of probable intent, Hon. Robert P. Contillo, P.J.Ch. ruled that a court cannot alter the language of a trust that is plain and unambiguous even when extrinsic evidence strongly suggests that the trust language is not what the settlor intended. Violet and Joseph Nelson had three children: Jacob.. 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 →

Medicare beneficiaries may now discuss options for end-of-life care with their health care providers. Beneficiaries were always free to talk about advance care planning with their doctors or other qualified health professionals. Unfortunately, however, until recently practitioners could be reimbursed for such discussions only during a patient’s “Welcome to Medicare” visit. Under new regulations effective.. read more →

Below are figures for 2016 that are frequently used in the elder law practice or are of interest to clients. Medicaid Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2016 These figures are unchanged from 2015.  The minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) is $23,844 and the maximum CSRA remains $119,220. The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $2,980.50. The minimum monthly.. 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 this case, a surviving spouse’s claim to her deceased spouse’s life insurance proceeds was rejected by an appeals court in New Jersey because the deceased spouse named others as beneficiaries. Fromageot v. Fromageot, Docket No. A-1099-13T1 (App. Div.,  December 2, 2015) The decedent, Paul Fromageot (“Paul”), had two life insurance policies. One was a.. read more →

On March 9, 2015, I blogged about an Appellate Division case holding that marriage does not create a presumptive right to a deceased spouse’s life insurance benefits. That blog can be found here. In In re Estate of Matchuk, the Appellate Division extended that holding to funds in a deceased spouse’s retirement accounts. In Matchuk,.. read more →

An appeals court holds that the Massachusetts Medicaid is not required to recognize the reformation of an applicant’s trust after the original trust was considered an available asset. Needham v. Director of Medicaid (Mass. Ct. App., No. 14-P-182, Oct. 20, 2015). Maurice Needham, a Massachusetts resident, created two trusts. The first, a revocable trust, held the family.. read more →

Sylvia Fishbein and her husband created the Fishbein Revocable Trust in 1994. In 2005, following Mr. Fishbein’s death, Mrs. Fishbein executed a pour-over will, an advance directive naming her stepdaughter Leslie as her healthcare representative, and a power of attorney naming her nephew Eugene as her agent. In 2011, Mrs. Fishbein fractured her hip and.. read more →

Eddie and Aidaliz Jones married in 1998. They had a child in 2003, and were later divorced in 2009. When Eddie died, he was survived by his minor child as well as an emancipated adult child from a prior relationship. Before the marriage, Eddie Jones enrolled under a group life insurance policy through the Police.. read more →