In case you missed them, here are our top 7 most popular posts in November. The original post date, along with a short summary of the content of each post, are included after each hyperlinked title.

Federal Appeals Court Rules That Annuity Payments Made To The Spouse Of A Nursing Home Resident Are Not Countable By Medicaid – November 13, 2009. This blog post summarizes Weatherbee v. Richman, a Third Circuit Court of Appeals case in which the court ruled that the community spouse’s income from an annuity could not be considered in determining the institutional spouse’s eligibility for Medicaid, and it is permissible to convert an asset into a stream of income using an annuity without violating the Medicaid rules.

Gift Tax Annual Exclusion Amount Unchanged In 2010 – October 31, 2009. Although the subject of the post was quite simple, it caught the attention of many readers: The gift tax annual exclusion amount available to taxpayers in 2010 will remain unchanged at $13,000.

Unusual Special Needs Trust Distribution Requests – October 29th, 2009. A special needs trust allows a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds while maintaining eligibility for needs-based government programs because the trust is drafted so that the funds will not be considered in determining the beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits. This post describes unusual distribution requests made by trust beneficiaries who ask  their trustees to pay for items or services that the trustees do not personally feel good about, like cigarettes, liquor or pornography.

VA Compensation Claims and the “Medical Nexus” Requirement – April 23, 2009. This post discussed one of the three criteria that a veteran must meet in order to receive service-connected compensation from the Veterans Administration is proof of “medical nexus”, or medical evidence that the current disability and the in-service disease, injury or event are related.

New Statutory Short Form Power Of Attorney And New Major Gifts Rider Form Now Available For New York State – August 21, 2009. This was one of the most popular posts in November. In this post, I described the new statutory forms in New York: the new New York Power of Attorney form and the new Major Gifts Rider form.  The statutory Major Gifts Rider form is needed to grant an agent under a power of attorney in New York the authority to make gifts. I also made the new forms available for download in the blog post.

Federal Judge Enjoins New Jersey From Denying Medicaid Eligibility To Aged Parents Who Transferred Assets Outright To Their Blind Or Disabled Children – October 26, 2009. This post was one of the most popular posts last month. Here, I discussed an Order entered by United States District Judge Anne E. Thompson in the Sorber v. Velez case, in which she enjoined the State of New Jersey from denying Medicaid eligibility to parents who transferred assets to their blind or disabled children outright and not in trust.

Ocean County Judge Rules Against The Validity Of A Caregiver Agreement But Finds That A Promissory Note – Loan Medicaid Plan Is Valid – November 26, 2009. This post described the judgment in the A.G. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services case in which Hon. Edward J. Delanoy, Jr., Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), ruled that payments made for care services provided to A.G., a nursing home resident and Medicaid applicant, by E.G., her adult son, pursuant to a Caregiver Agreement were, in fact, uncompensated transfers for less than fair value, subject to a penalty period under the Medicaid program. ALJ Delanoy also found that that a loan made by A.G. to her son and evidenced by a promissory note was a valid, bona fide loan which was not subject to a Medicaid penalty period.