For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit: NJ Guardianship and Fiduciary Services For additional information concerning Medicaid applications and appeals, visit: NJ Medicaid Applications   read more →

If a person declared to be incapacitated wishes to execute a Last Will and Testament, there a judgment must first be entered by a court declaring that the proposed testator has regained capacity to do so. See N.J.S.A. 3B:12-27; In re Estate of Frisch, 250 N.J. Super. 438 (Law Div. Probate Part 1991); In re.. read more →

Every day the lives of older adults are profoundly and negatively impacted in both the criminal and civil justice systems based on mistaken assumptions and inadequate assessments of their capacity to make decisions for themselves. In order to raise greater awareness of these issues and improve how elder justice professionals approach these issues, the Department.. read more →

Being able to make health care decisions for ourselves is very important, but what happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice an opinion concerning your medical care?  If you don’t have a health care proxy or guardian in place, state law chooses who can make those decisions. A few states, such as.. read more →

2021 Elder Law College–Second Semester Format/Skill Level: Webinar  Location: Online  Date: December 1, 2021  Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2021 Elder Law College–Second Semester given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on December 1, 2021 via ZOOM videoconference webinar. Mr. Vanarelli.. read more →

2021 Elder Law College Format/Skill Level: ZOOM Webinar Location: Online Date: June 15, 2021 Time: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM ET Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2021 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on June 15, 2021 via ZOOM videoconference webinar. Mr. Vanarelli will.. read more →

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse.  Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that many cases go unreported – only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported.. read more →

The Quick Guide for Families summarizes the information in the Policies and Procedures Manuals prepared by the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) for the DDD’s Medicaid waiver programs, the Supports Program and Community Care Program. The Quick Guide summarizes the eligibility rules and regulations governing the Supports Program and.. read more →

Based on reports from the local police department, Sussex County Division of Social Services, Adult Protective Services (“APS”) opened an investigation into the well-being of 85-year old Sally Dinoia, who was living with her son. Her son actively opposed the investigation, and his efforts included filing a federal complaint against APS and others involved in.. 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 National Center on Law & Elder Rights recently published the following 10 Tips for Guardians of Older Adults: When courts appoint a family member or friend as a guardian or conservator of an adult, the guardian is sometimes left with minimal training on their new role. The family member or friend must step into the.. 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’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 →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning read more →

On December 18, 2018, I presented at the 2018 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the Crowne Plaza, located at 690 Route 46 East, Fairfield, New Jersey. Basically, my presentation was an overview of the laws governing Medicaid Planning by Guardians in New Jersey. (I first wrote about the.. read more →

The Handbook for Helping People Living Alone with Dementia Who Have No Known Support provides practical guidance as well as tools for helping a person living alone who does not have informal supports, including people with dementia who have a caregiver that cannot provide support. The handbook includes practical strategies for identifying people who are.. read more →

It’s not always easy to recognize elder abuse when it happens to someone you love or care for. There are several types of elder abuse: Physical Abuse – An act, rough treatment or punishment that may result in injury, pain or impairment Psychological Abuse – Psychological, verbal or emotional abuse causing suffering, emotional pain, or distress.. read more →

 On his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver provided a scary and funny explanation of how guardianship works, ending with a public service announcement by William Shatner, Lily Tomlin and others explaining steps you can take to avoid the guardianship. The video is embedded above. The show focused on the abuses of a professional.. read more →

A New York end-of-life agency, named End Of Life Choices New York, has approved a new form of advance directive document that allows people to stipulate, in advance, that they don’t want food or water if they develop severe dementia. The new advance directive is called the “Advance Directive for Receiving Oral Food and Fluids in.. read more →

Although the decedent had four children, she left her entire estate to two of the children. However, the will did not mention her two omitted daughters, or the fact that they were being omitted. One of the omitted daughters sued, claiming the will was the result of undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity. The.. read more →

In 1997, Evelyn Worley’s son Dwight assisted her in opening a $100,000 Transfer On Death (“TOD”) account where he worked. Dwight was designated as the sole beneficiary of the account. In 2005, Evelyn signed a power of attorney (“POA”) naming Dwight as her agent. In 2008, she signed a will naming Dwight as her executor.. read more →

The Appellate Division affirmed a summary judgment ruling by a trial court in a probate lawsuit involving disputed issues of material fact relating to alleged incapacity and undue influence. In the Matter of the Estate of Tornaben, New Jersey Superior Court, App. Div., Docket No. A-5181-14T4 (Sept. 27, 2016). The Essex County Surrogate admitted the.. 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 →

A New York surrogate turned down a guardianship petition filed by the parents of a 34-year-old woman with Down syndrome, holding that courts should always seek to impose the least-restrictive terms of oversight that meet the needs of the person alleged to be incapacitated. Matter of Michelle M., 2016 NY Slip Op 51114(U) (Surrogate’s Court,.. read more →