In a case of first impression in New Jersey, Hon. Stephan C. Hansbury, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Court in Morris County permitted service of process through postings on Facebook. The court held that when service of process cannot be served on a defendant by traditional means, the rules of civil procedure permit an alternate.. read more →

In a major new ethics opinion, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility indicated that lawyers must take reasonable efforts to ensure that communications with clients are secure and not subject to inadvertent or unauthorized security breaches. Notably, and for the first time, the opinion says that, in some circumstances, lawyers would.. read more →

Under regulations governing needs-based pension benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, adult children providing care to an applicant veteran or his or her spouse can be paid for work performed even if the children are NOT licensed care professionals as long as the applicant has been rated either Housebound or A&A. The regulation.. read more →

New Jersey’s Medicaid rules are complicated, and always changing. One such change in the rules occurring on a regular basis is the State Medicaid agency’s amendment to the Medicaid program’s “penalty divisor.”  On May 12, 2017, a Medicaid Communication, or notice from the agency, was released by New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health.. read more →

Financial abuse of the elderly has been called the “crime of the 21st century.” The average victim of abuse is a female, age 75 or older, with limited resources. Generally, the victim is widowed, frail and vulnerable because of mental or physical impairments. When a loved one is a victim of abuse, there are certain.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the “2017 Sophisticated Elder Law” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on August 10, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of strategies and tactics which have been used successfully in litigation.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2017 “Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on July 10, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of the various trusts utilized in planning for.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) published two final regulations that will have significant impacts on the disability determination process for those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the basis of disability. The first set of regulations, Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical.. read more →

A new website has been launched to help veterans appeal a denial of VA benefits on their own or request a free attorney to help with the appeal. The website, at vetsprobono.org, was launched by two organizations: the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, which provides free legal counsel to veterans and their families, and Pro Bono.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the “Lawyer’s Guide to Veteran and Military Law” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 25, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. [gview file=”https://vanarellilaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/A-Lawyers-Guide-to-Veteran-and-Military-Law-Agenda.pdf”] Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of pension benefits available through.. read more →

Many attorneys create trusts, and some even create special needs trusts, often using pre-written templates.  So why, you may ask, do you really need an attorney whose practice focuses on special needs planning? It is important that special needs trusts not be unnecessarily inflexible and generic, which is what can happen with a “one size.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 8th Annual Senior Lawyers Conference given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 3, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of elder law planning in New Jersey, including a discussion.. read more →

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is a division of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services. The DDD provides public funding for certain services designed to assist eligible New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 21 and older, to live as independently as possible. The DDD has developed a new resource for families.. read more →

Most guardianship actions are not contested. The “typical” guardianship action proceeds as follows. Upon receipt of a filed Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing, the plaintiff must: Immediately serve the initial pleadings on the court-appointed attorney by personal service, certified mail, return receipt requested, or, if acceptable to the court-appointed attorney, via facsimile, email or regular mail… read more →

Why do some older adults remain mentally agile with excellent memory and attention span while others experience a decline in cognitive skills, subject to forgetfulness or dwindling attention span? A recent study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital attempted to answer that question, and discovered information that may be useful to readers.  In the study,.. read more →

Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Non-Service Connected Disabilities The VA Pension is a disability benefits program available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, the pension program is based upon disability. However, unlike the VA compensation program, the pension program is also based on income and.. read more →

Kaiser Health News has released a Medicaid Pocket Primer. The Primer explains what the Medicaid program is, the structure of the program, identifies those covered by Medicaid and the services provided through Medicaid, and discusses the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid, how beneficiaries access care, the Medicaid program’s impact on beneficiaries’ ability.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Social Security Administration and other state and federal agencies have released the following important numbers for 2017. MEDICARE Medicare Part A deductible: $1316 for each benefit period. Medicare Part A co-payments for hospital stays: Day 1-60: $0 co-payment for each benefit.. read more →

A step-by-step guide to initiating a guardianship action in New Jersey follows. Documents To Be Filed: A guardianship action is initiated by submitting the following documents to the Surrogate for filing, with the required filing fee: Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing Verified Complaint Certification of Assets Certifications of Physician or Psychologist Case Information Statement Each of.. read more →

Question: Will the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an expense in determining the financial eligibility of an applicant for VA pension benefits? Answer: The VA WILL recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an allowable expense in determining the financial eligibility.. read more →

Powers of Attorney are common but often misunderstood estate documents in New Jersey and other states. A power of attorney is a legal document. When you sign a power of attorney, you appoint another person to serve as your agent (or “attorney-in-fact”). Legally, there are many duties and responsibilities imposed on an agent under a.. read more →

Last year, the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC), an important voice for low-income seniors for the past 43 years, launched a new name and tagline—Justice in Aging:  Fighting Senior Poverty Through Law. The focus of the organization continues to be advocacy and litigation to secure the rights of low-income seniors, and education and training of advocates.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards for 2017. SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) SSI Federal Benefit Rate for an Individual: $735.00 SSI Federal Benefit Rate for a Couple: $1,103.00 Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Limit: $1,170.00 (Blind SGA: $1,950.00) MEDICAID  Minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $24,180 Maximum Community Spouse.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of special needs trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides from the first part.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of Special Needs Trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides I prepared for.. read more →