Christine D. Cenaffra (decedent) had six children, two of whom were the parties in this lawsuit. Diane Cenaffra was the plaintiff, and her sister Patricia Stollenmaier was the defendant. Decedent died in 2015. Her Last Will and Testament named defendant as the executrix. Defendant also was her mother’s power of attorney (POA). Decedent resided with.. read more →

The decedent, Virginia Ogborne, executed a 2016 will leaving her estate to two of her sons, including David, who she named executor. She left only a nominal bequest to another son, James. After James filed a caveat to the will, David filed an Order to Show Cause to strike the caveat and admit the will.. read more →

Question: How to ensure that clients have an opportunity to sign their Last Wills and Testaments, Powers of Attorneys, Special Needs Trusts, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, Advance Medical Directives and the myriad of other estate documents we typically prepare for clients during a coronavirus pandemic when social distancing is mandatory? Answer: Conduct.. read more →

The estate documents of the decedent, Lois N. DeConca, included a revocable trust naming “Alzheimer’s Association, New Jersey,” with a Denville New Jersey address, as a beneficiary. After her death, her estate filed a Verified Complaint seeking direction from the court regarding which charity was the intended beneficiary: the National Alzheimer’s Association (AA), headquartered in.. read more →

As we find ourselves spending a lot more time at home, there are many opinions about how to fill the day while maintaining a healthy balance of activities. Most recommend a mixture of productivity and what some might refer to as “self-care,” which can take many forms. It can include eating right, exercising, enjoying a.. read more →

The decedent’s daughter had been disinherited under her mother’s 2013 Last Will and Testament. Following the decedent’s death, the daughter sought to admit a 2016 draft will, in which she was a beneficiary. The decedent had contacted her attorney beginning in 2015 regarding changes to her 2013 will, and advised the attorney that she did.. read more →

The decedent died without a will, and without a spouse, domestic partner, or children. Under the New Jersey laws of intestacy, if a decedent dies without a spouse or domestic partner, the decedent’s “descendants” inherit the estate. A “descendant” is defined to include a “child,” which in turn is defined as “any individual, including a.. read more →

The decedent, Felix Fornaro, had two children: his daughter Linda (plaintiff) and his son Carmine (defendant). In December 2011, the decedent executed a Last Will and Testament leaving 80% of his estate Carmine and 10% to Linda, with the remainder passing to his grandchildren. A year later, Mr. Fornaro died. Linda challenged the 2011 will… read more →

2019 Elder Law College Format/Skill Level: Meeting Location: Doubletree By Hilton, 690 Route 46 E Fairfield, NJ 07004 Date: December 10, 2019 Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2019 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on December 10,.. read more →

On October 11, 2016, the decedent’s 2014 will was admitted to probate by her niece Frances (the “defendant-executor”). Therefore, pursuant to R. 4:85-1 of the New Jersey Rules of Court, a complaint seeking to contest the will should have been filed within 4 months of probate, or in this case, by February 10, 2017. However,.. read more →

The decedent’s eldest daughter Francine was the executrix of her estate. In 2011, the attorney for the executrix forwarded an informal accounting and Refunding Bond & Release (the “Refunding Bond”) to the executrix’s sister Susan (a beneficiary of the estate), who signed and returned the Refunding Bond the next day. Eight years later, Susan sued.. read more →

The decedent’s godchildren sought to probate a purported will that the decedent had neither reviewed nor signed. The decedent, who was 90 and in fragile health, had had a telephone conversation with an attorney she had never met. Based upon that conversation, the attorney drafted the decedent’s 17-page will. The decedent never had the opportunity.. read more →

After Mrs. Dreher died and her son probated her will, her daughter filed a complaint objecting to the probate. The plaintiff claimed that the will was the product of undue influence, and that her mother lacked testamentary capacity to sign the will. After four days of trial, the parties settled the case, and the terms.. read more →

The decedent’s daughter-in-law and grandchildren filed an action seeking to set aside the decedent’s 2016 will that disinherited them, and to admit a prior will and codicil. They claimed that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity to make the 2016 will, and that the decedent’s daughter had exercised undue influence to cause the decedent to disinherit.. read more →

Wayne Lippincott’s widow Anne probated a will dated two days before his death in 2015. The couple had been married 28 years, and each had grown children from prior marriages. Wayne’s children and grandchildren challenged the will, claiming undue influence, lack of capacity, forgery, and failure to comply with the formalities of execution. They sought.. read more →

Harry and Jean Sable were the parents of three adult sons, Michael, Don and Barry. Harry and two partners owned a building in Philadelphia where Harry conducted Harry Sable, Inc., a jewelry business. Harry and Jean had wills prepared in 1994 and 1998 with similar provisions. Harry left his entire estate to Jean if she.. read more →

The decedent, Kathryn Parker Blair, had executed a will bequeathing her estate to her siblings and directing that, if any of her siblings predeceased her, that sibling’s share would pass to his or her surviving children. After her brother died, the decedent executed a new will omitting the brother’s child (“petitioner”) as a beneficiary. The.. read more →

The decedent was an elderly man with no immediate family. His Last Will and Testament left his estate to a cousin, several charities and individuals, and to two Valley National Bank employees, including the defendant. One of the bank employees refused the bequest as unethical, based on the bank’s Employee Code of Conduct. The defendant.. read more →

The decedent’s wife predeceased him. Thereafter, in 2009 the decedent executed a new will leaving his estate to his wife’s niece (the defendant). At the defendant’s suggestion, the decedent also executed a revocable living trust. Shortly thereafter, he became concerned about losing control of his assets, and he retained a new lawyer to draft a.. read more →

Karen Horbatt was Theodore A. Kaczmarek’s niece by marriage. After Karen’s aunt died, Theodore executed a will in 2009 leaving Karen his entire estate, valued at over four million dollars. At the same time, Theodore executed a revocable living trust agreement, designating Karen as the sole trustee. Both documents were drafted by a lawyer procured.. read more →

The decedent was estranged from her daughter Cheryl, the defendant, for almost 25 years, but they reconciled shortly before her death, when the decedent was ill. In 1996, the decedent and her husband had executed wills and a trust, excluding Cheryl from their estates. In 2006, the decedent and her husband consulted with a special.. read more →

Robert B. Cohen was a man of “great wealth.” At the time of his death at age 86, he had suffered for years from a progressive form of Parkinson’s disease. His son James filed a complaint to declare that Cohen’s 2009 will, as later modified, was valid. In turn, Cohen’s granddaughter Samantha filed a complaint.. read more →

For additional information concerning VA compensation and pension benefits, visit: VA Compensation and Pension Benefits For additional information concerning elder abuse actions, visit: Will Contests, Probate Litigation and Elder Abuse Actions read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services For additional information concerning Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability appeals, visit: Social Security Disability Appeals       read more →

In 1998, Joan McFadden executed two powers of attorney (POAs) and a Living Will-Durable Health Care Power appointing John McFadden, her nephew, as her agent and attorney in fact, and Mary Sexton, her niece and John’s sister, as her alternative agent and attorney-in-fact. The two POAs stated that they would become effective upon the following.. read more →