In this case, the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS), New Jersey’s state Medicaid agency, affirmed the denial of a Medicaid application filed by Grace M. Vinci (G.V.) by the Monmouth County Division of Social Services (MCDSS) finding that G.V. had resources in excess of $2,000 available to her, namely, resources contained in.. read more →

The Memorandum of Intent is a personal letter drafted by you intended to give your trustees insight and information regarding services, supports and other personal matters affecting the beneficiary of a special needs trust you created. This letter does not convey legally binding directions like those in a trust. Rather, a Memorandum of Intent is.. read more →

A California court of appeals affirmed a jury award against the owner of a construction company who fraudulently induced a special needs trust trustee who was himself disabled to transfer title of the beneficiary’s family home to him, and that the conduct warranted punitive damages ten times the amount of compensatory damage award.  Haworth v… read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper, I divided.. read more →

In 1992, Ann Mark created two irrevocable trusts for the benefit of her three children. In 1997, Jared Scharf became the successor trustee for the trusts, and used some of those assets to form a separate trust for each of Ms. Mark’s three children. Each of the trusts stated that they were governed by New.. read more →

Reversing a federal district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a state housing authority cannot count distributions from a special needs trust as income in determining eligibility under the Section 8 housing voucher program. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority (1st Cir., Nos. 15-1458, 15-1515, June 14, 2016). Kimberly DeCambre, a disabled,.. read more →

The decedent, Evelyn Berry, had been married twice. At the time of her death, the two children of her first marriage (Darryl and Tara) were adults. The two children of her second marriage (Garrett and Brook) were minors. Evelyn’s will included a testamentary trust for the maintenance, support and education of Garrett and Brook. Darryl.. read more →

The mission of the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) is to maintain a professional organization of attorneys skilled in the complex areas of public entitlements, estate, trust and tax planning, and the legal issues involving individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The ASNP recently announced the addition of a new brochure titled “10 Costly Mistakes.. read more →

In re Trusts for Stefanidis-Perez is a consolidated case involving two trusts in which the plaintiff is the beneficiary and the defendant (plaintiff’s mother) is the trustee. The plaintiff-beneficiary moved for partial summary judgment seeking to compel an accounting and seeking the removal of the defendant-trustee, and the defendant-trustee cross-moved for summary judgment for advice.. read more →

A federal district court ruled that a public housing authority properly counted distributions from a special needs trust as income in concluding that the beneficiary of the trust was ineligible for a Section 8 housing voucher. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority (D. Mass., No. 14-13425-WGY, March 25, 2015) Kimberly DeCambre, a disabled, 59 year old resident.. read more →

As a general rule, an attorney hired to prepare a will or trust for a client is usually not liable to the beneficiaries of the will or trust because the beneficiaries are not clients of the attorney. But there are exceptions to the general rule. The general rule and its exceptions are demonstrated in two.. read more →

New Jersey’s Qualified Income Trust Template For many years, Medicaid programs available to elderly and disabled New Jersey residents to help pay for long-term care costs have been quite limited. The Medicaid-Only Medicaid program pays the care costs of nursing home residents. A companion program, Global Options for Long-Term Care, pays care costs for residents.. read more →

The annual roundup of the top 10 11 elder law decisions from across the country for 2013 as prepared by staff at the ElderLawAnswers website is reproduced below. Almost all the cases hinged on the interpretation of state or federal Medicaid law.  Those purchasing annuities or transferring property in exchange for a promissory note did.. read more →

This is the agenda posted outside the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday, February 4, 2014 when the Court heard oral argument in Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in which the Court will decide whether public employees should be allowed to direct their pensions’ death benefits to special-needs.. read more →

(A news report published in the New Jersey Law Journal on yesterday’s oral argument in the New Jersey Supreme Court is republished in full below.) Court Weighs Designating Trusts as Beneficiaries in State Pension Plans Michael Booth, New Jersey Law Journal, February 04, 2014 New Jersey’s high court is deciding whether public employees should be.. read more →

On February 4, 2014, Donald Vanarelli, Esq. argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of Thomas Saccone in a case entitled Thomas Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police & Firemen’s Retirement System. Legal counsel for four disability rights organizations filed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs on behalf of Mr… read more →

A New York judge held that the trustees of a special needs trust have a duty to the disabled beneficiary to inquire into the beneficiary’s condition and to apply trust income to improving it, and that it is not sufficient for the trustees to simply safeguard the assets in the trust. Matter of JP Morgan.. read more →

Justice Laura L. Jacobson, a  New York trial judge, held that a trustee of a special needs trust breached its fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiary and ordered reimbursement of nearly $180,000 that was misspent on private caregivers, cab rides, and medications that could have been obtained from needs-based government sources.  Liranzo v. LI Jewish.. read more →