This promotional video is presented as an introduction to the “Guardianship Practice: A Step-By-Step Guide” Video Series. This video series was presented by noted Certified Elder Law Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., as part of Elder Law College Lecture program. The Elder Law College program is sponsored annually by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing.. read more →

In a comprehensive, published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division provided guidance regarding the appointment and functions of a guardian ad litem, this time in the context of a personal injury litigation. While exiting the defendant’s business premises, plaintiff was struck on the head by a falling object and sustained severe injuries. She filed a.. read more →

Maria Delores Heller was in her seventies and suffering from late-stage ALS. She required round-the-clock medical care and was bedridden. Her late husband’s former legal associate, a New York attorney, filed an Order to Show Cause in New Jersey, seeking to be appointed as Ms. Heller’s guardian. The guardianship application was supported by two doctors’.. read more →

The Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota ruled that a lower court properly rejected a preference expressed by an incapacitated person for the appointment of a guardian when the incapacitated person could not provide the basis for the expressed preference. In the Matter of B.K.J, an Incapacitated Person, 2015 ND 191 (Docket No… read more →

A New Jersey appellate court ruled that a person who is incapacitated may still be able to express a preference as to his or her choice of a guardian or place of residence, both of which are entitled to consideration by the court. Matter of the Guardianship of Walter J. Macak, 377 N.J. Super. 167.. read more →

Decision-making capacity involves four (4) key abilities: the ability to understand information relevant to a decision, to retain the information relevant to the decision, to use the information relevant to the decision as part of the decision-making process and to communicate the decision once it is made. But since decision-making capacity involves mental abilities, how.. read more →

Even after a guardian is appointed for an incapacitated person, our courts will seek to preserve the incapacitated person’s right to self-determination, to the extent possible. This challenging task was addressed by the New Jersey Supreme Court in M.R., 135 N.J. 155 (1994): Unless they endanger themselves or others, competent people ordinarily can choose what.. read more →

The court establishing a guardianship in New Jersey has an obligation to ascertain that the guardian, once appointed, is functioning in the best interests of the ward. To assist guardians in the performance of their duties, the New Jersey Judiciary, Surrogates’ Liaison Committee, has published a booklet entitled “Manual for Guardians” which provides an overview.. read more →

This is the latest decision in the long-running legal drama involving Lillian Glasser which has spawned litigation in two states, Texas and New Jersey, 34 days of trial in New Jersey concerning the capacity of Mrs. Glasser, collateral litigation involving the choice of an appropriate guardian, the validity of Mrs. Glasser’s will, attorneys fees awards,.. read more →

Aging Well is a magazine for professionals involved with the aging and elderly population.  Aging Well magazine also maintains a website, here. In the July/August 2009 edition, Aging Well magazine published an article which I wrote entitled “Assessing the Need for Guardianship”. The article attempts to explain the concept of competency or capacity, and the.. read more →

(I am happy to welcome my friend and colleague Eileen A.  Kohutis, Ph. D. to Vanarelli & Li, LLC Blog as a guest blogger. Eileen is a psychologist in private practice in Livingston and Liberty Corner, New Jersey.  Eileen and I met last year when we were both helping to form the Central Jersey Collaborative.. read more →