On October 11, 2016, the decedent’s 2014 will was admitted to probate by her niece Frances (the “defendant-executor”). Therefore, pursuant to R. 4:85-1 of the New Jersey Rules of Court, a complaint seeking to contest the will should have been filed within 4 months of probate, or in this case, by February 10, 2017. However,.. read more →

The decedent’s eldest daughter Francine was the executrix of her estate. In 2011, the attorney for the executrix forwarded an informal accounting and Refunding Bond & Release (the “Refunding Bond”) to the executrix’s sister Susan (a beneficiary of the estate), who signed and returned the Refunding Bond the next day. Eight years later, Susan sued.. read more →

Louis Keppel hired Donna Thomas as a home health aide. Thomas was employed by Angela’s Angels Home Healthcare and Angela’s Angels, LLC. Keppel died intestate. Dolores Guttmann and Thomas Loikith were appointed co-administrators of his estate. Guttmann and Loikith discovered that Thomas misappropriated 192 checks from Louis Keppel over a two-year period. In that regard,.. read more →

In 1986, Plaintiff Andres Nieves, Sr. purchased a home in Dover, New Jersey (the “home”) with his son, Andres Nieves, Jr. (“Nieves, Jr.”) In 2002, plaintiff suffered a stroke rendering him unable to perform various “activities of daily living” without assistance. Plaintiff resided in the home with his son until he entered a long-term care.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2019 “Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on July 10, 2019 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide the case law update, summarizing the most significant legal developments.. read more →

New Jersey appeals court allows an assisted living facility pursue a tortious interference with contractual relationship claim against a discharged resident’s son after the son refused to move his mother out of the nursing home or allow her to discuss her removal with the facility staff. The Orchards at Bartley Assisted Living v. Schleck (N.J… read more →

After Mrs. Dreher died and her son probated her will, her daughter filed a complaint objecting to the probate. The plaintiff claimed that the will was the product of undue influence, and that her mother lacked testamentary capacity to sign the will. After four days of trial, the parties settled the case, and the terms.. read more →

Executors of the estate filed an Order to Show Cause requesting approval of the estate’s final accounting in a summary manner. The Order to Show Cause was entered and a return date was scheduled. Opposing family members filed a responsive pleading, in which they accused the executors of withholding financial information and commingling estate assets… read more →

Shortly after their father’s death, plaintiff (one of the decedent’s sons) filed a caveat against the estate, based on allegations of undue influence and payments made to his siblings prior to their father’s death. After his brother filed a complaint in the Superior Court, Probate Part to admit the father’s will to probate, plaintiff voluntarily.. read more →

The decedent, Kathryn Parker Blair, had executed a will bequeathing her estate to her siblings and directing that, if any of her siblings predeceased her, that sibling’s share would pass to his or her surviving children. After her brother died, the decedent executed a new will omitting the brother’s child (“petitioner”) as a beneficiary. The.. read more →

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

Karen Horbatt was Theodore A. Kaczmarek’s niece by marriage. After Karen’s aunt died, Theodore executed a will in 2009 leaving Karen his entire estate, valued at over four million dollars. At the same time, Theodore executed a revocable living trust agreement, designating Karen as the sole trustee. Both documents were drafted by a lawyer procured.. read more →

The decedent was estranged from her daughter Cheryl, the defendant, for almost 25 years, but they reconciled shortly before her death, when the decedent was ill. In 1996, the decedent and her husband had executed wills and a trust, excluding Cheryl from their estates. In 2006, the decedent and her husband consulted with a special.. read more →

Following the decedent’s death, Bank of America became successor trustee of four trusts created by the decedent. In 2016, the decedent’s children filed complaints against the bank, seeking accountings for the trusts. The bank submitted accountings and a complaint seeking court approval of the accountings. The decedent’s children then filed another complaint, seeking another accounting.. read more →

Gregory Bock, Jr. was born two months after his mother married Gregory Bock, Sr. However, Gregory Jr. was the result of his mother’s previous relationship with Douglas Castellano. Gregory Sr. and Castellano both knew that Castellano was the biological father; however, the birth certificate identified Gregory Sr. as the father. When Gregory Jr. was approximately.. read more →

Following their father’s death and the appointment of Brandon Marrazzo (“Brandon”) as executor of the estate, Brandon’s brother Todd Marrazzo (“Todd”) filed a caveat against probate of the will. The brothers litigated the estate case, and eventually executed a consent order resolving their issues. One provision of the consent order permitted Todd the option to.. read more →

For additional information concerning nursing home law and litigation, visit: Nursing Home Law and Litigation read more →

In 1998, Joan McFadden executed two powers of attorney (POAs) and a Living Will-Durable Health Care Power appointing John McFadden, her nephew, as her agent and attorney in fact, and Mary Sexton, her niece and John’s sister, as her alternative agent and attorney-in-fact. The two POAs stated that they would become effective upon the following.. read more →

At the time of Carol Rankins’ death in 2015, she had been married to Clyde Rankins for 28 years. She had one adopted daughter and two daughters from a prior relationship. The decedent’s surviving spouse was granted letters of administration of her intestate estate. One of her surviving daughters, Ursula, later filed a complaint seeking.. read more →

A tenancy by the entirety is a form of joint property ownership, available only to spouses, that is created when a husband and wife take title to real or personal property “under a written instrument designating both their names as husband and wife.”  Case law has recognized that property held as tenants by the entirety.. read more →

John F. McGrail, Jr. died intestate in 2016. His uncle, William J. McGrail, Jr., then filed a complaint against his nephew John’s estate, claiming ownership of a classic car that was part of that estate. The uncle had entered a nursing home in Maryland in 2009. He claimed that, after he entered the nursing home,.. read more →

The decedent was a widow with no family. She had a close relationship with her neighbors. Shortly after a birthday party for the neighbors’ daughter, she handed the neighbors a check for $100, along with a 5-page document the decedent signed using her nickname, “A.J.” At trial, there was no dispute that the decedent possessed.. read more →

The following blog post is adapted from an article on NJ.com: A few years ago, Tracey Mitchell’s dad needed to go into a nursing home. Mitchell had no complaints about the care he received, but three months before he died, a surprise arrived via regular mail. It was a lawsuit alleging Mitchell owed $49,000 to the.. read more →

On January 7, 2016, R.P.’s stepdaughter applied for Medicaid on R.P.’s behalf. At the time, the case worker asked the stepdaughter to supply certain additional information. However, the stepdaughter testified that the caseworker did not give her a written notice requesting information. According to Medicaid, it then sent a February 22, 106 letter to the.. read more →