Ralph Sandor died on January 20, 2018, at the age of 107. The Court appointed an Administrator Pendente Lite of the decedent’s estate (the “Administrator”). The Administrator filed an action seeking to set-aside gifts made by decedent’s grand-nephew, Anthony Russo, Jr. (“Russo”), by and through a power of attorney. The Administrator alleged that the transfers.. read more →

The decedent and his wife had no children, and were close to the wife’s family. The decedent’s wife had predeceased him, and had left him her entire estate. In his Last Will and Testament, the decedent directed that his wife’s relatives were to receive “the total sum of moneys” that he had received from his.. read more →

A few months prior to his death in 2008, the decedent executed a codicil to his will, in which he appointed the defendant as executor of his estate, and included the defendant as a beneficiary. The defendant-executor was a relative of the decedent, and a New Jersey attorney. In 2011, a beneficiary of the estate.. read more →

Annie Rost died in 2018, leaving four surviving children. Her Last Will and Testament left her sizeable estate to her four children and to various charities. It also contained an “in terrorem” provision that excluded any beneficiary from a share of the estate if they contested the will: Any beneficiary under this, my Will, who.. read more →

Recently, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision that websites for businesses that are open to the public but inaccessible to visually impaired people who use screen-reading software are not liable under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The.. read more →

In this case, a New Jersey appeals court held that a Medicaid applicant’s transfer of her home to her adult child who lived with and cared for her for many years was entitled to Medicaid benefits under the “caretaker child” exemption to the transfer of assets rules even though the child worked full-time outside the.. read more →

In this case, a Nashville, TN attorney who posted comments on Facebook with instructions on how to shoot someone and avoid criminal conviction by making it look like self-defense was suspended from the practice of law for four years. In Re Winston Bradshaw Sitton, BPR #018440 Mr. Sitton, the attorney in this case, maintained a.. read more →

An appeals court held that an agreement to apply for Medicaid benefits for a nursing home resident made by the resident’s guardian or family members may be legally enforceable by the nursing facility in which the resident resides. Pine Brook Care Center v. D’Alessandro, Docket No. A-3197-18T1 (NJ Appellate Division, November 23, 2020) In April.. read more →

The Director of the Medicaid agency in New Jersey held that income in a Qualified Income Trust which was used to pay the room and board fee for a resident of an assisted living facility was not countable in determining the resident’s eligibility for Medicaid benefits. H.H. v. Monmouth County Board of Social Services – Final.. read more →

A federal court awarded surviving spouse benefits to the surviving partner of a same-sex couple who were prohibited from marrying because of now-unconstitutional state law that banned same-sex marriage. Thornton v. Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. C18-1409JLR, (U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, September 11, 2020) Helen Josephine Thornton and her partner, Margery.. read more →

A federal court dismissed a lawyer’s $1.5 million defamation lawsuit against Avvo, Inc., a website which compiles and maintains an electronic directory of lawyers, for posting a low attorney rating on the internet and false information that negatively impacted the lawyer’s ability to attract new clients. Straw v. Avvo, Inc., 2020 BL 326152, W.D. Wash.,.. read more →

The New Jersey Appellate Division held that the state Medicaid agency is required to screen a Medicaid recipient for eligibility for all other Medicaid programs before terminating the recipient from the Medicaid program for which the recipient is presently eligible. D.C. v. Div. of Med. Assistance & Health Servs., 2020 WL 4290056 (N.J. Super. Ct… read more →

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that forcing a defendant to reveal the passwords to his password-protected iPhones which were properly seized by police authorities does not run afoul of the state or federal constitutions. State v. Robert Andrews, Docket No A-72-18 (NJ Supreme Ct., August 10, 2020). The.. read more →

The Director of New Jersey’s state Medicaid agency overturned prior decisions to find that, when a Medicaid applicant resides in his or her home, the date on which the applicant is found clinically eligible for Medicaid benefits is the date the Mediciad agency should use in determining financial eligibility. S.W. v. Cumberland County Board of.. read more →

Below, in chronological order, is the  annual roundup of the top 10 elder law decisions across the nation for the past year, as measured by the number of “unique page views” of the summary of the decision received on the ElderLawAnswers website. ElderLawAnswers is a web-based resource available for those in the public seeking information.. read more →

In Hegadorn v. Department of Human Services, the Michigan Supreme Court approved the use of a trust established for the sole benefit of the healthy spouse as a valid method to protect the assets of a married couple when the ill spouse is a Medicaid recipient in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. The.. read more →

A nurse’s aide at a senior care facility in southern Minnesota posted a photograph of an elderly patient with on social media with a demeaning and vulgar message did not violate state law meant to protect patient privacy, a state court ruled. Furlow v. Madonna Summit of Byron, Docket No. A19-0987 (Minn. Ct. of Appeals,.. 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 →

On January 29, 2020, I presented at the 2020 ““Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I presented the case law update, summarizing the most significant legal developments over the past year in the areas.. read more →

H.R., who had significant cognitive and functional deficits, was admitted to the Hammonton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (Hammonton Center).  The Hammonton Center filed a complaint seeking the appointment of a guardian for H.R. While H.R.’s guardianship was still pending, the Hammonton Center filed a Medicaid application with the Atlantic County Board of Social Services.. read more →

P.P. had been his mother’s legal guardian, and he was executor of her estate. After her death, Medicaid asserted a statutory lien against her estate in the amount of $132,755, representing the amount of correctly paid medical assistance that had been paid on her behalf. P.P. requested a waiver or compromise of the lien based.. read more →

Happy December to clients, friends and readers. Listed below are the ten (10) eleven (11) blog posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership in 2019. After each hyperlinked blog post title, the original post date and summary of the post are included. Check the list of blog posts to see this.. read more →

The issue in this appeal is whether a widow can modify the retirement application of her recently deceased husband, who was a member of the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (Pension Fund), even though his application was never approved because he selected a retirement option for which he was ultimately ineligible. David and Christine Minsavage.. 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 →

D.N., a 38 year-old man, was seriously injured in an automobile accident, resulting in quadriplegia. D.N. cannot sit, stand, change positions on his own, or move his arms or legs. He needs to be repositioned when he sleeps to avoid bedsores and maintain skin integrity. As a result, D.N. is eligible to receive Medicaid assistance.. read more →