Top 10 Blog Posts in 2019

Happy December to clients, friends and readers. Listed below are the ten (10) eleven (11) blog posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership in 2019. After each hyperlinked blog post title, the original post date and summary of the post are included. Check the list of blog posts to see this year’s highlights. Our sincere thanks for taking the time to read our blog! 

  1. 2019 Elder Law Fact Sheet (Posted on November 7, 2019). As we do each year, in 2019 we released the key dollar amounts frequently used in elder law, estate administration and special needs trust planning, including Medicaid figures, Medicare premiums, Social Security Disability, and Supplemental Security Income. This blog post proved to be the most popular in 2019.
  2. Governor Signs New Law Helping Residents of CCRCs in New Jersey Get Timely Refunds of Entrance Fees (Posted on August 28, 2018). The post discussed Public Law 2018, c.98  which created a preference list for housing units in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) with resident refund obligations to insure the timely payment of refundable fees.
  3. Guardian Ad Litem Can Settle Lawsuit For A Mentally Incapable Party (Posted on October 28, 2018). In a published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division provided guidance governing the appointment and functions of a guardian ad litem in the context of a personal injury lawsuit.
  4. Get Medicare’s New, And First Official, “What’s Covered” App! (Posted on January 29, 2019). The “What’s Covered” app, the only official U.S. government Medicare app, delivers accurate cost and coverage information about Medicare on your smartphone. Using Medicare’s free “What’s Covered” app, you can quickly see whether Medicare covers your service in the doctor’s office, the hospital, or anywhere else you use your phone.
  5. New Jersey’s New Guardianship Monitoring and Training Program (Posted on December 6, 2016). This post describes the Superior Court’s Guardianship Monitoring Program, a comprehensive statewide volunteer-based court program established to monitor guardians in their handling of the affairs of incapacitated individuals, including elderly and developmentally disabled adults, to ensure that guardians of incapacitated persons are performing their duties properly.
  6. Co-Executors of New Jersey Estate Must Act in Concert; Unilateral Action by Co-Executor May Constitute Grounds for Removal (Posted on June 6, 2011). In this case, a New Jersey court held that a co-executor’s “unbridled belief she could act unilaterally in administering the decedent’s estate without the need for consent from the co-executrix … [may] amount[] to a breach of the [co-executor’s] … fiduciary duty [and] … [constitute] cause for her removal.”
  7. Supreme Court Rules New Jersey Lawyers May Now Use The Terms “Expertise,” Specialize,” and “Specialist” In Advertising (Posted on November 16, 2018). In this ethics opinion, the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising determined that lawyers may use the terms “expertise,” “specialize,” and “specialist” in advertising, provided the terms are accurate. Lawyers bear the burden of demonstrating the necessary education, training, and experience to substantiate such claims.
  8. Another Caregiver Agreement Rejected by New Jersey Medicaid (Posted on July 21, 2015). In this case, the Appellate Division affirmed the Medicaid Director’s decision rejecting a caregiver agreement between a parent and her adult child. The appeals court held that “[t]he mere existence of a pre-existing care agreement for services does not automatically establish that the services were rendered for fair market value.”
  9. Purported Irrevocable Annuity Actually Revocable??! Medicaid Denied (Posted on July 22, 2019). In this case, the Medicaid agency held that, because the applicant was able to terminate a purported “irrevocable” annuity after 2 months and convert it to a new annuity, the annuity was not “irrevocable” as required by the Medicaid rules and thus was a countable resource.
  10. Updates to SSA Rules Governing Disbursements From Special Needs Trusts (Posted on February 17, 2019). This blog post discusses recent changes in how the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates disbursements from special needs trusts.
  11. New Jersey Approves Assisted Suicide Law, Called The “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” Posted on March 27, 2019). The New Jersey legislature passed a medical aid in dying bill in 2019. Under the new law, a consulting physician must first examine the patient, confirm the diagnosis that the patient is terminally ill with less than 6 months to live, and verify that the patient has capacity to make informed decisions. Once that is done, the patient must make two oral requests and one written request for medication to bring about the patient’s death.
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