Kindred v. Clark involves two Kentucky cases, in which family members of deceased Kindred nursing home residents, Joe Wellner and Olive Clark, filed lawsuits against Kindred. They alleged that Kindred’s substandard care led to the deaths of the decedents. In response, the nursing home moved to dismiss the cases, claiming that arbitration agreements barred the.. read more →

Financial abuse of the elderly has been called the “crime of the 21st century.” The average victim of abuse is a female, age 75 or older, with limited resources. Generally, the victim is widowed, frail and vulnerable because of mental or physical impairments. When a loved one is a victim of abuse, there are certain.. read more →

The plaintiff, Marjorie Fister, is the mother of defendant Kevin Edward Fister. In 2010, the defendant, along with his wife and four adult children, moved into plaintiff’s home with her. Mrs. Fister’s health declined and, in 2012, she moved into her daughter’s New York home. However, the defendant and his family remained in Mrs. Fister’s.. 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 →

Vicinio v. Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks, LLC is a legal malpractice action stemming from an underlying family dispute involving the Estate of Philomena Vicinio. Philomena Vicinio’s health began to deteriorate after her husband’s death. Thereafter, Mrs. Vicinio attempted to reside with her daughter, Roseann, on several occasions, with each attempt short-lived because of.. read more →

Following bench trial, a trial judge ruled that a state law designed to protect seniors and other vulnerable customers does not (1) impose a legal duty on a bank or its employees to report fraudulent wire tire transfers to authorities, or (2) create a private right of action permitting an elderly customer who was the victim.. read more →

In order to protect the public and and guard against elder abuse by lawyers, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended an attorney from the practice of law for one-year after the attorney borrowed nearly $90,000 from an elderly, unsophisticated widow who he knew for many years. In the Matter of William J. Torre, an Attorney.. read more →

Caring for an elderly or disabled person frequently involves strenuous physical tasks as well as managing financial matters, organizing care, and more. As a result, caregivers may feel frustrated, isolated, stressed and overwhelmed. Although these feelings are perfectly normal, they can be harmful to both the caregiver and the person needing care. Over time, elder.. read more →

Happy New Year to clients, supporters, friends and readers. Last month, an article on this blog ranked the 25 most popular blog posts and website articles on the Vanarelli Law Office website in 2015. Since then, I decided to narrow my focus a little. In this post, I focused solely on blog posts, and created.. 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 →

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 →

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 →

Contrary to popular opinion, under the law of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other states, an unlimited gifting authority in a power of attorney does not protect the agent from criminal liability for self-dealing. A recent appeals court decision in Pennsylvania demonstrates this legal principal. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Patton David L. Patton was arrested in.. read more →

A New Jersey trial judge dismissed a lawsuit asserted by an alleged abuser against a group of defendants who had either reported or investigated claims of elder abuse and neglect by the abuser. Rizzo v Bergen County Board of Social Services, Docket No. BER – L – 2926 – 12 (Law Div., June 10, 2014)… read more →

A New Jersey appeals court upheld a substantial fee award exceeding the amount in controversy for work preformed by law firm in a probate litigation when representing the estate of a man manipulated into modifying his will through undue influence because the wrongdoer’s actions contributed to, and greatly increased, the time and effort required to.. 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 →

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (“CCRCs”) are considered “a viable choice for relatively healthy seniors with upper-middle-class or upper-class incomes.” Begley, T. and Barrett, C., Representing the Elderly or Disabled Client, ¶9.03 at 9-10 (Thomson Reuters 2013). As described in a GAO report entitled “Older Americans: Continuing Care Retirement Communities Can Provide Benefits, but Not Without.. read more →

Federal district court in New Jersey denied a Medicaid applicant’s request for an injunction directing the state to disregard his wife’s purchase of a life estate in their daughter’s home when determining his eligibility for nursing home Medicaid benefits.  The Court ruled that issues of fact were in dispute, preventing an injunction from being issued… read more →

The Journal of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA Journal”) is a semiannual law journal containing substantive and scholarly articles by practicing members, professors, and other elder law professionals. The NAELA Journal covers elder law and special needs planning topics including: preservation of assets, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, disability, health insurance, tax planning,.. read more →

State v. Kennedy, 61 N.J. 509 (1972) explored the issue of “legally authorized” transfers made by an agent under a power of attorney. Kennedy obtained a power of attorney that was assumed to have been executed by the elderly victim, authorizing Kennedy to draw upon the victim’s bank accounts. Kennedy misappropriated most of the money.. read more →

Lately, I have seen a deceptive business practice beginning in New Jersey and the Northeastern states which, until recently, was largely confined to California and other western states. That is, the practice by certain companies of presenting themselves as non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting veterans by offering to prepare a veteran’s application for Aid and.. read more →

In the recent case of Rossius v. Krasheninnikoff, plaintiff filed a complaint in which she alleged undue influence by the defendant upon the decedent after she discovered that defendant had obtained letters testamentary from the Ocean County Surrogate’s Court by falsely claiming that he was kin to the decedent. After a three day trial, the.. read more →

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) is an organization, founded in 1997, dedicated to the global dissemination of information as part of its commitment to the world-wide prevention of the abuse of older people. INPEA’s mission is “to increase society’s ability, through international collaboration, to recognize and respond to the mistreatment.. read more →

It is not uncommon for an elderly or disabled person to entrust his or her finances to a third party. For example, an elder may execute a power of attorney as a simple estate planning tool in order to ensure that his or her affairs are properly handled in the event that the elder is.. read more →

A U.S. district court in California refused to throw out a case against Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America) alleging elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty after one of the brokerage’s financial advisors persuaded an elderly client to exchange a fixed annuity for a variable annuity and then annuitize it. Sakai v. Merrill Lynch.. read more →