Following their divorce, the decedent, John Garay, and his ex-wife owned a parcel of real property as equal tenants in common. Upon John’s death, the property was owned equally by John’s estate and the ex-wife. The co-executors of John’s estate were two of the Garays’ thirteen children. In 2013, the property was sold to one.. read more →

R.S. transferred her one-third interest in a house she owned jointly with her daughter and son-in-law to her daughter. Less than five years later, R.S. applied for Medicaid, and asserted that the transfer was exempt under Medicaid’s “caregiver child” exception to the rules prohibiting any transfers of assets within five years of the Medicaid application.. read more →

Between April 2, 2018 and April 11, 2018, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, issued six separate opinions involving Medicaid. While this is unusual, what is even more striking is that all six cases involve the same appellate court panel, and the same attorney representing each of the appellants. In these cases, the law.. read more →

A judge in Los Angeles ruled that a spouse in California is the presumptive healthcare decision-maker when there is no advance directive and the partner is in a persistent vegetative state. In re the Matter of Juan Fernando Romero, Patient, Case No. 16STPB06815 (Superior Ct., March 2, 2018). The case involved Juan Fernando Romero, who suffered.. read more →

Following Joan McBride’s death, her sons from her first marriage asserted claims against her second husband Charlie, who had served as Joan’s power of attorney and executor of her will. Joan and Charlie married in 1997 and remained married until Joan’s death in 2016. The sons claimed Charlie unduly influenced Joan in connection with certain.. read more →

Louis Acerra, the decedent, died at the age of 30 from injuries he suffered in a house fire. He survived more than two years after the fire before finally succumbing to those injuries. During those two years, he was cared for by Richard Litwin. Litwin had been in a relationship with the decedent’s mother when.. read more →

A court in Australia accepted an unsent, draft text message on a mobile phone as an official Last Will and Testament. Nichol v. Nichol The decedent, Mark Nichol, a 55 year old man, committed suicide in 2016. The decedent’s mobile phone was found on a work bench in the shed where the deceased’s body was found.. read more →

In 2005, Stuart and Phyllis Rauch purchased a nursing home facility through an LLC they formed. Their son Eric convinced them to hire his wife, Shan Chin, as a bookkeeper. The business suffered financial losses; by 2008, its net losses exceeded $585,000. In 2009, after losing his job at a law firm, Eric approached his.. read more →

This case arose from the conduct of siblings who held divergent views regarding placing their parents in a skilled care facility. The parties, two brothers and their sister, are the adult children of elderly parents. They grew up in New Jersey, but defendant brother moved to Long Island, NY, 36 years ago. Defendant’s younger brother,.. read more →

As 2007 began, Arthur Brown, who was then seventy-eight years old, and his wife, Mary, lived together in a jointly-owned condominium. Several months later, Arthur began living in an assisted living facility. The following year, Arthur was admitted into a nursing home after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Soon thereafter, Arthur applied for nursing.. read more →

When he died in 2012, the decedent, retired physician Henry D. Rubenstein, left his insolvent estate to his second wife and her nephew. Although he and his second wife had a son, his will explicitly left no bequest to that son. The second wife claimed that the decedent’s extensive health problems had depleted the estate.. read more →

M.L. is the co-guardian and mother of C.L., a disabled 25-year old man with autism and epilepsy. C.L. lives with his parents in their home. He receives support and funding from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”) under their Self-Directed Services (“SDS”) program. Under the SDS program, he receives.. read more →

Reversing a federal district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a state housing authority cannot count distributions from a special needs trust as income in determining eligibility under the Section 8 housing voucher program. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority (1st Cir., Nos. 15-1458, 15-1515, June 14, 2016). Kimberly DeCambre, a disabled,.. read more →

In this case, a New Jersey appeals court held that a disabled New Jersey resident eligible for Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services since 2009 was no longer eligible for PCA services under the Medicaid requirements. J.R. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, Docket No. A-0648-14T3 (App. Div.,  April 18, 2016 J.R. was diagnosed.. read more →

A trial court ruled that the plaintiff, who brought but ultimately withdrew the complaint in a contested guardianship case, must pay the legal fees of both the alleged incapacitated person and the court-appointed evaluator.  Matter of Madeline H., 31441-I-2015 This contested New York guardianship case was settled after extensive conferences pursuant to a stipulation of.. read more →

Below, in chronological order, is the annual roundup of the top 10 national elder law decisions for the year just ended, as measured by the number of “unique page views” of case summaries on the ElderLawAnswers website. Florida’s High Court Bars Non-Lawyers From Engaging in Medicaid Planning Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that non-lawyers who engage in various.. read more →

In this case, an Ocean County judge ruled that litigants in domestic violence cases who want to introduce evidence contained on their cell phones, such as texts, emails, social media messages, or audio/visual evidence, must first provide such evidence to the court and the adversary in tangible form, such as on a printout or a.. read more →

The decedent, William Anton, was survived by his wife, with whom he was in the midst of divorce proceedings, and by his three children. A few weeks before his death, Mr. Anton, along with his son-in-law Keith, met with an estate attorney. After Mr. Anton told the attorney that he did not know where his.. read more →

The 17th Annual Elder Law Retreat, presented by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section, was held on April 21 – 23, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. At least two significant events occurred at the Retreat this year. First, I was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing my “advocacy in elder and.. read more →

A federal district court ruled that a public housing authority properly counted distributions from a special needs trust as income in concluding that the beneficiary of the trust was ineligible for a Section 8 housing voucher. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority (D. Mass., No. 14-13425-WGY, March 25, 2015) Kimberly DeCambre, a disabled, 59 year old resident.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court rejected a surviving spouse’s public policy argument to adopt a rule that marriage creates a “presumptive right” to a deceased spouse’s life insurance benefits when someone else was designated as the beneficiary of the policy, holding that the creation of any such presumptive right would have to come from the.. read more →

On December 3rd, I presented at the 72nd Semi-Annual Tax and Estate Planning Forum sponsored by the NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education. My presentation focused on recent developments in planning for disabled beneficiaries, including my recent victory in the New Jersey Supreme Court in the Thomas Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and.. read more →

New Jersey trial judge ruled that a litigant may not appear at trial in a divorce case through an agent appointed by the litigant in a power of attorney (POA). Marsico v Marsico, Docket No. FM-15-1152-13-N (Chancery Div., Ocean County, Hon. L.R. Jones, J.S.C.) Louis and Beverly Marsico are both in their eighties, and married.. read more →

Although the petitioner in this case, A.G., succeeded in obtaining Medicaid benefits after filing a complaint in federal court (which I’ve blogged about in the past here, here and here), the State of New Jersey recently denied benefits back to the date of the original application after an administrative appeal was filed in the state.. read more →

This is the agenda posted outside the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday, February 4, 2014 when the Court heard oral argument in Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in which the Court will decide whether public employees should be allowed to direct their pensions’ death benefits to special-needs.. read more →