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 →

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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 →

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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 →

The decedent’s will was admitted into probate in Bergen County, New Jersey, after the court found that he was a New Jersey domiciliary at the time of his death. His ex-wife sought to challenge New Jersey’s jurisdiction, claiming that the decedent was a New York domiciliary. The decedent had died unexpectedly in July 2016, during.. read more →

Following their divorce, the decedent, John Garay, and his ex-wife owned a parcel of real property as equal tenants in common. Upon John’s death, the property was owned equally by John’s estate and the ex-wife. The co-executors of John’s estate were two of the Garays’ thirteen children. In 2013, the property was sold to one.. read more →

    New YouTube Video about the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is committed to protecting the legal rights and financial resources of seniors, the disabled and their families, and families in conflict. We provide legal services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, trust administration, special.. read more →

A New Jersey appellate court ruled that a court can alter the plain and unambiguous language of a trust when extrinsic evidence suggests that the trust language is not what the settlor intended. In the Matter of the Trust of Violet Nelson, Deceased, Docket No. A-4004-15T1 (App. Div. March 28, 2018). Violet and Joseph Nelson had.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court vacated an order approving a settlement and placing it in a special needs trust (SNT), ruling that there was no “meeting of the minds” between the parties. V.M. v. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., A-0781-16T1, Nov. 3, 2017). LaTanya Murphy and her adult son V.M… read more →

The defendant, who was the agent under his aunt’s power of attorney and executor of her estate, was sued by beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate for breach of fiduciary duty as her agent and executor. The power of attorney and will were executed in 1998. The plaintiffs alleged that, beginning in 2001, the defendant wrongfully.. read more →

Following two days of trial in a probate litigation among the decedent’s children, the parties notified the trial court that it had settled the case. They placed the settlement terms on the record. Those terms included a provision that the parties’ legal fees would be paid by the Estate “following the submission of certifications of.. read more →

Following Joan McBride’s death, her sons from her first marriage asserted claims against her second husband Charlie, who had served as Joan’s power of attorney and executor of her will. Joan and Charlie married in 1997 and remained married until Joan’s death in 2016. The sons claimed Charlie unduly influenced Joan in connection with certain.. read more →