Christine D. Cenaffra (decedent) had six children, two of whom were the parties in this lawsuit. Diane Cenaffra was the plaintiff, and her sister Patricia Stollenmaier was the defendant. Decedent died in 2015. Her Last Will and Testament named defendant as the executrix. Defendant also was her mother’s power of attorney (POA). Decedent resided with.. 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 →

An Ohio appeals court dismissed a nursing home’s lawsuit to recover a resident’s unpaid fees from his son who signed an admission agreement as his father’s agent under a power of attorney. Village at the Greene v. Smith (Ohio Ct. App., 2d, No. 28762, August 14, 2020). On June 22, 2018, Robert Smith (“the father”) granted.. read more →

Many years after her mother’s death, plaintiff filed litigation against her sister’s husband Howard regarding plaintiff’s late mother’s estate. She claimed that Howard had been managing her mother’s money while she was alive and that, upon her mother’s death, Howard continued to manage that money on behalf of plaintiff and her sister. Plaintiff’s complaint against.. read more →

On June 5, 2020, the Administrative Office of the Courts issued Directive #18-20, allowing trial courts in New Jersey to enter a judgment granting a divorce in default and uncontested cases on the papers without requiring the parties to appear personally before the court. Judges have discretion to schedule hearings in such matters if necessary.. read more →

The decedent was admitted to the defendant facility, Regency Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation, in 2013. On the admission date, her daughter accompanied her to the nursing home. The daughter alleged that she was separated from her mother and brought to a conference room, where she was presented with a stack of documents to sign. She.. read more →

Yesterday, April 9th, the New Jersey judiciary launched The Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system, an electronic filing system to ease the filing of cases and slow backlogs while the state remains under an extended health emergency. The JEBS system will allow attorneys and litigants who represent themselves to file their papers electronically in most.. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued its First Omnibus Order on March 27, 2020 extending by 30 days the deadlines for the suspension of court proceedings and other matters in light of the ongoing public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The previous orders involved criminal, civil, family, tax and municipal courts, and suspended civil and.. read more →

Listed below are the top ten (10) posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership last year, in 2019. After each hyperlinked blog post title, the original post date is included. Check out the list to see this year’s highlights. Our sincere thanks for taking the time to read our blog!    .. 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 →

The New Jersey Appellate Division declared a nursing home’s arbitration agreement to be void based upon the agreement’s “dense and meandering first sentence” of more than 200 words, among other problematic features. Estate of Bright v. Aristacare at Cherry Hill. Maureen Bright was discharged from the hospital to Aristacare after undergoing a second leg amputation. Maureen.. 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 patient was age 53 when he was transferred to Kindred Hospital. He had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder in his twenties. When he signed the arbitration agreement in issue, he had required 24-hour nursing care for the previous 13 years, although he was not cognitively impaired at the time of the.. read more →

The decedent died without a will, and without a spouse, domestic partner, or children. Under the New Jersey laws of intestacy, if a decedent dies without a spouse or domestic partner, the decedent’s “descendants” inherit the estate. A “descendant” is defined to include a “child,” which in turn is defined as “any individual, including a.. read more →

In 1995, Frances and Larnie Shaw, prepared a number of estate planning documents. One of the documents, a testamentary trust created by Frances, was known as “Credit Shelter Trust.” Larnie and Janice, one of the Shaws’ three daughters, were designated as co-trustees of the Credit Shelter Trust. The Shaws’ other daughters were Carolyn and Shirley… read more →

We are pleased to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli has been recognized as a 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyer in Elder Law. This is the 14th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to New Jersey’s Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have.. read more →

21st Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium Presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Elder and Disability Law Section Format/Skill Level: Meeting Location: APA Hotel Woodbridge, 120 S. Wood Ave Iselin, NJ 08830 Date: December 18, 2019 Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 21st Annual Elder and Disability.. read more →

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 →