Guardianships and Medicaid Planning – Video 1

On June 15, 2021, I participated in the 2021 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education via ZOOM videoconference webinar. I presented a paper and discussed Medicaid planning in the contest of guardianships in New Jersey.

Medicaid planning involves the strategic transfer of assets to accelerate eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Medicaid planning is legally permissible and generally accepted as a prudent estate planning technique by which an individual may preserve assets for his or her loved ones.

However, when an individual becomes incapacitated, and an appropriate power of attorney is not in place, a guardian contemplating Medicaid planning on behalf of an incapacitated person must be careful in order to avoid running afoul of his or her duties as guardian.

I am very familiar with the legal hurdles that must be overcome in order to engage in Medicaid planning for a person under a guardianship in New Jersey. I represented the plaintiff in a seminal elder law / guardianship case entitled In re Keri, 181 N.J. 50 (2004). In Keri, an adult child sought guardianship of his mother and her estate and proposed to gift some of her assets to himself and his brother so that mother could qualify for Medicaid while in a nursing home. Reversing lower court decisions, the state Supreme Court ruled, for the first time, that the mother’s assets could be transferred to her children as part of an estate plan to help her qualify for government nursing home benefits. This ruling was characterized by the Star Ledger newspaper as having “broad implications for those with elderly relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia…”.

During the webinar, I provided an overview of the laws governing guardianships in the context of Medicaid planning. I covered the case law framework for Medicaid planning in New Jersey and set forth the additional requirements an applicant must meet when requesting Court authorization for Medicaid planning during a guardianship lawsuit.

I recorded the webinar, edited it and divided the video into three parts in order to make it easier to understand. Video 1 is posted below, and the other 2 videos will be posted later. Video 1 topics include:

  • Strategic transfer of assets
  • Prudent estate planning technique
  • Guardian fiduciary duty to incapacitated ward
  • Power of attorney and the need for guardianship
  • Power of attorney types
  • Power of attorney gifting permission
  • Power of attorney authority
  • Guardian gifting permission
  • Guardian and Medicaid planning requests
  • Guardian’s fiduciary duty
  • Guardianship status types
  • Guardian and the power to make a will
  • Guardian and public assistance planning
  • Guardian and estate planning


The paper I presented at the Elder Law College is annexed here –

Download (PDF, 157KB)

For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit:

NJ Guardianship and Fiduciary Services

For additional information concerning Medicaid applications and appeals, visit:

NJ Medicaid Applications

For additional information concerning Medicaid and public benefits planning, visit:

NJ Medicaid and Public Benefits Planning