An appeals court holds that the Massachusetts Medicaid is not required to recognize the reformation of an applicant’s trust after the original trust was considered an available asset. Needham v. Director of Medicaid (Mass. Ct. App., No. 14-P-182, Oct. 20, 2015). Maurice Needham, a Massachusetts resident, created two trusts. The first, a revocable trust, held the family.. read more →

A Federal court held that a special needs trust is not valid because it was created by the parents of the beneficiary while the parents were acting as the beneficiary’s agents under a power of attorney. Draper v. Colvin (U.S. Dist. Ct., D. S.D., No. 12-4091-KES, July 10, 2013). Stephany Draper suffered a traumatic brain injury.. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court has directed that the Court’s function in construing a decedent’s will is “to ascertain and give effect to the ‘probable intention of the testator.’” Fidelity Union Trust Co. v. Robert, 36 N.J. 561, 564 (1962) (further citations omitted). This function applies to the enforcement of the testator’s intent regarding testamentary.. read more →

(Below I have reproduced a portion of the legal argument section in a brief we recently filed to support an application asking the court to effectuate the intent of a decedent by reforming a trust created by the decedent into a special needs trust so that the decedent’s surviving adult disabled child could maintain her.. read more →

2009 was an exciting year of litigation in the elder and disability law arena, producing a bumper crop of significant decisions from the administrative forum, as well as state and federal courts. In stark contrast with years past, New Jersey lawyers are now in the forefront of the effort to expand legal protections to greater.. read more →

This past weekend, November 7 – 8, 2009, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) held a conference for members in Jersey City, New Jersey entitled “The Public Benefits and Guardianship Institute.” This was the first time that NAELA held one of its events in New Jersey. The conference consisted of a variety of.. read more →

In a probate case entitled In the Matter of the Estate of Rose Rappaport, 866 N.Y.S.2d 483 (Sur. Ct. Nassau County, September 29, 2008), the decedent was survived by four adult children, one of whom was disabled.  A guardian ad litem was appointed for the child with a disability.  A trust was created under Article.. read more →

As reported on my blog, Judge John Malone, Presiding  Judge of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court in Union County, entered an Order authorizing the Administrator of an intestate estate, i.e., an estate of a decedent who died without a will, to establish a Special Needs Trust, often referred to as a Supplemental Benefits.. read more →

On February 14, 2009, I blogged about the decision of the administrative law judge in the E.C. vs. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services case. In the E.C. case, the ALJ reversed a decision denying Medicaid benefits to a developmentally-disabled woman in a nursing home whose parents had established testamentary trusts in their wills.. read more →

In the ec-v-division-of-medical-assistance-and-heath-services case, the petitioner E.C. was a 67 year old physically and developmentally disabled woman who resided in a nursing home. Both of her parents were deceased. The parents had established testamentary trusts in both of their wills for the benefit of E.C. and her two brothers. The trusts gave discretion to the trustees.. read more →