E.H., a 78 year old female, received $1,471.50 in monthly social security benefits. On April 1, 2019, E.H.’s checking account, contained $1,991.78. On April 4, 2019, E.H. applied for benefits under New Jersey’s Family Care Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid program. As part of her Medicaid application, E.H. submitted a pre-paid burial contract. Although pre-paid.. read more →

A federal court awarded surviving spouse benefits to the surviving partner of a same-sex couple who were prohibited from marrying because of now-unconstitutional state law that banned same-sex marriage. Thornton v. Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. C18-1409JLR, (U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, September 11, 2020) Helen Josephine Thornton and her partner, Margery.. read more →

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 →

In this case, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, (1) restricted a guardian’s ability to make gifts to those individuals expressly named as residuary beneficiaries of the ward’s Last Will and Testament; (2) limited the amount of gifts to $14,000 per person each year pursuant to a power of attorney which the ward executed.. read more →

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the widow of veteran was not eligible for VA compensation and death benefits because veteran received a dishonorable discharge. Garvey v. Wilkie (Court of Appeals Federal Circuit 08/28/2020) John P. Garvey served in the Army from 1966 to 1970. After training, Garvey was.. 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 →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

The New Jersey Director of Medicaid approved the transfer of an applicant’s home to a “caregiver child” who worked full-time because the applicant qualified medically for comprehensive home-based services under the Medicaid program. A.H. v. Bergen County Board of Social Services, OAL DKT. NO. HMA 09215-19 (June 26, 2020) When she was 92 years old,.. 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 →

The New Jersey Appellate Division held that the state Medicaid agency is required to screen a Medicaid recipient for eligibility for all other Medicaid programs before terminating the recipient from the Medicaid program for which the recipient is presently eligible. D.C. v. Div. of Med. Assistance & Health Servs., 2020 WL 4290056 (N.J. Super. Ct… read more →

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that forcing a defendant to reveal the passwords to his password-protected iPhones which were properly seized by police authorities does not run afoul of the state or federal constitutions. State v. Robert Andrews, Docket No A-72-18 (NJ Supreme Ct., August 10, 2020). The.. read more →

Based on reports from the police department, Adult Protective Services of Sussex County (APS) opened an investigation into the well-being of then eighty-five-year-old Sally DiNoia, who was living in her home with her adult son, John. Sally’s husband Paul had passed away, and John had been Sally’s primary caregiver for several years. . APS’s investigation.. 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 →

The Director of New Jersey’s state Medicaid agency overturned prior decisions to find that, when a Medicaid applicant resides in his or her home, the date on which the applicant is found clinically eligible for Medicaid benefits is the date the Mediciad agency should use in determining financial eligibility. S.W. v. Cumberland County Board of.. read more →

The New Jersey appellate division sustained the denial of Medicaid benefits based upon the applicant’s failure to submit documents necessary to verify his eligibility. Even though the Medicaid applicant was incapacitated due to dementia, could not speak, and whose agent under his power of attorney failed to assist, the court held that the Medicaid agency.. read more →

The decedent, Virginia Ogborne, executed a 2016 will leaving her estate to two of her sons, including David, who she named executor. She left only a nominal bequest to another son, James. After James filed a caveat to the will, David filed an Order to Show Cause to strike the caveat and admit the will.. read more →

When she was admitted to a skilled nursing facility, petitioner owned a home.  Following her admission, petitioner’s son, who was petitioner’s power of attorney, applied for Medicaid benefits on her behalf. Personnel at the facility informed the son that, in order to attain Medicaid eligibility, petitioner could have no assets. As a result, petitioner’s son.. read more →

B.M. was incapacitated since birth. E.M. and plaintiff L.M. are her siblings. L.M. lived with B.M. for twenty-seven (27) years. and she provided for B.M.’s care, After her mother’s death, B.M. was declared mentally incompetent. L.M. was the appointed guardian of B.M.’s person, and E.M. was the appointed guardian of B.M.’s property. The two guardians.. 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 →

Plaintiffs, who were beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate, sued the defendant-executor for misappropriation of estate assets. The parties engaged in mediation, and their settlement agreement was memorialized in a handwritten agreement that the mediator prepared. Thereafter, the plaintiffs’ attorney sent the defendant’s attorney a proposed consent order incorporating the terms of the agreement. When the.. read more →

The estate documents of the decedent, Lois N. DeConca, included a revocable trust naming “Alzheimer’s Association, New Jersey,” with a Denville New Jersey address, as a beneficiary. After her death, her estate filed a Verified Complaint seeking direction from the court regarding which charity was the intended beneficiary: the National Alzheimer’s Association (AA), headquartered in.. read more →

In order to qualify for Medicaid benefits, an applicant may not own more than $2.000 in countable assets. All assets are countable, with few exceptions. Annuities purchased by Medicaid applicants are countable resources unless they are irrevocable and meet certain other requirements. In this case, Jane Cushing purchased a single-premium, immediate annuity from the Croatian.. read more →

The decedent, Anne Jelin, was survived by four siblings, including her brother Frederick. The decedent left a 2013 will, in which she made charitable bequests, bequests to her siblings, excluding Frederick, and bequests to nieces and nephews. Upon his sister’s death, Frederick challenged the will on the basis of lack of testamentary capacity and undue.. 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 →

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