Time for a review of February’s most popular articles posted to the Vanarelli Law Office Blog. The original post date, along with a short summary of the content of each post, are included after each hyperlinked title.

New Tax Basis Rules In Estate And Elder Law Planning – January 14, 2010. This post briefly summarizes the tax law changes that became effective on January 1, 2010, including the elimination of the stepped-up tax basis for assets and the repeal of the federal estate tax.

New Jersey State Bar Association’s 2010 Elder Law Retreat – February 12, 2010. In this post, I provided the agenda for the Elder and Disability Law Retreat scheduled for April 22-23, 2010 in Cape May, NJ. This year, for the first time the Retreat is open to everyone; in prior years attendance was restricted to members of the NJ State Bar Elder and Disability Law Section.

NJ Appellate Court Rules That Awarding Attorneys Fees To The Wrongdoer In An Undue Influence Case Is An “Abuse Of Discretion” – January 28, 2010. This post describes the case of Rossius v. Krasheninnikoff, in which the trial court awarded attorneys fees in favor of defendant even through the court found that defendant exercised undue influence over decedent. The appellate division held that it was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to award attorneys fees to defendant where, as here, the wrongful conduct of one party triggers otherwise unnecessary litigation.

Medicaid Eligibility Denied Based Upon A Home Transfer To A “Caregiver Child” Who Was Employed Full-Time – December 15, 2009. This post summarizes the A.N. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services case, an administrative appeal which affirmed the denial of Medicaid benefits, after the Medicaid applicant, A.N., who I represented in the case, transferred his home to his son T.N., a caregiver child, who was employed full-time outside the home.

Certain “Blue Water” Navy Vietnam Veterans Now Eligible For Agent Orange Presumptive Service-Connected Compensation Benefits – January 23, 2010. This post described a recent change in VA policy permitting certain “blue water” navy Vietnam veterans with designated diseases to receive compensation benefits and medical care from the VA without having to prove exposure to Agent Orange during their military service.

Top 10 New Jersey Family Law Cases Decided In 2009 – February 3, 2010. This post summarizes each of the top 10 family law cases decided by New Jersey courts in 2009.

Superior Court Judge Upholds Her Decision Authorizing The Establishment Of Third Party Special Needs Trusts Within An Intestate Estate – November 20, 2009. In this case. I described a decision by Hon. Patricia Del Bueno Cleary, J.S.C., who authorized my client, the Administrator of his mother’s intestate estate, to establish and fund two Supplemental Benefits Trusts to protect the intestate shares of the estate which passed to the decedent’s two disabled adult daughters, both of whom received needs-based government benefits for which they would have lost their eligibility had their intestate shares been distributed outright. Judge Cleary also denied a motion for reconsideration filed by the State of New Jersey.