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 on legal and.. read more →

In this case, a New Jersey appeals court held that a Medicaid applicant’s transfer of her home to her adult child who lived with and cared for her for many years was entitled to Medicaid benefits under the “caretaker child” exemption to the transfer of assets rules even though the child worked full-time outside the.. read more →

Listed below are the top ten (10) thirteen (13) posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership in 2020, as measured by the number of “unique page views” of each blog post. The title of each article is hyperlinked to the original posting on the blog so that each article is accessible.. read more →

A New York appeals court held that transfers made by a Medicaid applicant before she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease were not transfers for less than market value subject to penalty because the transfers were made as part of a history of gifting to her children done exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify.. read more →

G.S. is a 24 year-old woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. G.S. took medication for her mental health issues, attended therapy, and lived in a group home for people diagnosed with mental illness. In 2015, G.S. applied for and was granted Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). G.S. did.. read more →

Plaintiff, Oliver V. Short III, filed an eight-count, seventy-nine-page complaint and order to show cause seeking to compel the Presiding Judge of the Probate Part, Chancery Division, Union County, to issue a final order in his deceased mother’s probate lawsuit. Plaintiff alleged that the Union County Chancery judge issued a final judgment on December 31,.. read more →

In this case, a Nashville, TN attorney who posted comments on Facebook with instructions on how to shoot someone and avoid criminal conviction by making it look like self-defense was suspended from the practice of law for four years. In Re Winston Bradshaw Sitton, BPR #018440 Mr. Sitton, the attorney in this case, maintained a.. read more →

Charles Smith and his wife purchased a house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1959. While living there, they raised three daughters: Dianne, Dionne, and Deborah. Charles Smith became the sole owner of the property in 2007 when his wife passed away. When Charles died in 2011, he bequeathed the house to his three daughters equally. Deborah,.. read more →

An appeals court held that an agreement to apply for Medicaid benefits for a nursing home resident made by the resident’s guardian or family members may be legally enforceable by the nursing facility in which the resident resides. Pine Brook Care Center v. D’Alessandro, Docket No. A-3197-18T1 (NJ Appellate Division, November 23, 2020) In April.. read more →

In a recent case, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that service in the state National Guard, including a period of active duty for training, without disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, did not achieve “veteran” status for purposes of non-service-connected survivors pension and burial benefits. Perry v. Wilkie (Court.. read more →

A U.S. district court dismissed fraud claims based on the unauthorized practice of law against a New Jersey company that provided assistance to Medicaid applicants, ruling that the estate of a nursing home resident did not provide evidence that the company misled the estate about performing legal work for it. The Estate of Cotton v… read more →

Although a Medicaid lien on the proceeds of a settlement in a personal injury action was satisfied before the net settlement funds were transferred to a Special Needs Trust (SNT), the State is not precluded from seeking upon the death of the SNT beneficiary repayment of Medicaid expenditures made on the beneficiary’s behalf after the creation.. read more →

The Seventh Circuit vacated a district court decision that allowed an Indiana Medicaid recipient to hire her own in-home health care providers as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, holding that more evidence was needed to determine if the recipient’s request can be granted consistent with federal requirements for funding. Vaughn v. Walthall (U.S… read more →

The Director of the Medicaid agency in New Jersey held that income in a Qualified Income Trust which was used to pay the room and board fee for a resident of an assisted living facility was not countable in determining the resident’s eligibility for Medicaid benefits. H.H. v. Monmouth County Board of Social Services – Final.. read more →

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 →