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 →

Plaintiff filed an action seeking to declare his mother, D.W., an incapacitated person, and seeking to be appointed as her guardian. D.W. contested the guardianship action, claiming that she was not incapacitated and did not need a guardian. The court had appointed Matthew Van Natten, Esq. as D.W.’s counsel. Later, D.W. privately retained Alan John.. read more →

I just read an insightful article in the Washington Post. The article, by Susan Berger, asks the question: “What’s the best way to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s?” It stems from an encounter between Berger and an acquaintance of hers who had just been diagnosed with the disease. The article explores what to do and.. 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 →

A trial court in Bergen County held that a parent’s promise to leave assets to an adult child does not give rise to an enforceable claim of interference with anticipated inheritance since parents are not prohibited from disinheriting their children under New Jersey law notwithstanding promises to the contrary made during the parent’s life.  Gong.. read more →

This was a contested guardianship case involving S.H., called “Sarah” by the court, a 28 year old incapacitated woman. The principal issue in the case was whether Sarah’s guardian should be her mother, B.H. (Barbara), who filed the guardianship action, or J.H. (Joan), Sarah’s adult sister. Joining Joan in opposing Barbara’s appointment were: Barbara’s ex-husband,.. 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 →

In an opinion that breaks sharply with established practice, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an application by a divorced spouse to pay child support for a disabled child into a special needs trust should be granted where the proponent shows that it is in child’s best interest to do so.  This is a.. read more →

Reversing state agency and appeals court rulings, the highest court of the State of Washington ruled that a guardian cannot be charged with neglect based on the guardian’s good-faith decision to provide care for the ward in her home rather than place her in a nursing home against the ward’s wishes. Raven v. Department of Social and.. read more →

A challenge to a will (as opposed to, for example, (1) a challenge to non-probate designations; (2) a challenge to pre-death transfers by a power of attorney; or (3) a challenge to the actions of an executor following probate of a will) may be initiated two ways. First, by way of a caveat; second, by.. read more →

As we age, the decrease in independence and concurrent increasing need for care which often occur can be a source of stress and conflict in many families. Adult children who must provide care to aging parents or who must make health care or financial decisions for dependent family members face tremendous challenges. Care-giving and decision-making.. read more →