Estate and Elder Law

Recent Posts

Deirdre Wheatley-Liss: Love is Lost - And So is Your Inheritance - Divorce Really Ends Things
Posted on 12 Apr 2013 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

A common plan among our married clients is to leave their property to their spouse, either outright or in trust - oft-referred to as the "I Love You" Will. Sometimes, love is lost and the couple divorces. We recommend our clients update their... Read More

The Cats Win, The Dogs Lose: Court Upholds the Validity of Pet Trust For Cats
Posted on 10 Jul 2014 by Peter K. Kelly

By Peter K. Kelly | Leonore Abels in her Will provided that her residuary pass in trust for her husband Joel Abels and, in the alternative should he predecease her, all of her property be sold, except her house, and held by the trustee to maintain... Read More

Top 10 Elder Law Decisions of 2009
Posted on 12 Feb 2010 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

The most important Elder Law decisions from around the country are summarized here. Each case is relevant to New Jersey as elder law often involves Medicaid, which is subject to "supposedly uniform" federal regulation as jointly funded and administered... Read More

Tags: Elder Law

Ask Liza: Reporting Foreign Gifts
Posted on 19 May 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza: Does a person receiving a gift from a sibling in another country have to pay gift tax on that gift in the United States? In the United States, gifts are not considered ordinary income, so you don’t have to report them or pay income tax... Read More

Market Woes May Spell Trouble for PBGC
Posted on 8 Jun 2009 by Susan Calistri

With the economy struggling and financial markets hard-hit, the last thing that Americans want to worry about is their pension plans. Yet, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is worried, and therefore Americans should be worried as well. In January... Read More

Tags: Elder Law

Where the 65 Year Old's Live
Posted on 30 Jan 2012 by Marc J. Soss

There are now more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history. According to a new Census Bureau report, there were 40.3 million people age 65 and older on April 1, 2010, up 5.3 percent from 35 million in 2010 (and just 3.1 million... Read More

Massachusetts Law Sets Forth Fiduciary Responsibilities For Guardians And Provides Limits
Posted on 23 Jul 2015 by LexisNexis Legal Newsroom Staff

By Honorable Jennifer Rivera Ulwick Unlike conservators, guardians do not handles finances, acting as conservators as they may have in the past when appointed as "guardian of the estate." Unless otherwise provided by the court, the guardian... Read More

Estate Failed to Prove Museum’s Laches on Claim to a 3,000 Year Old Archeological Artifact Missing Since WWII
Posted on 6 Jan 2014 by LexisNexis Legal Newsroom Staff

By John G. Farinacci, Esq. In a rather unique ceremony at the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court on December 4, 2013, Surrogate Edward W. McCarty, III ordered and presided over the physical return of an ancient Assyrian artifact from the possession... Read More

Oast & Hook News:Questions for Aging Parents
Posted on 6 Dec 2011 by Sandra L. Smith

A Real Simple magazine article discusses how adult children and their parents can have an open discussion about their concerns, and together face the challenges of aging. This discussion is often not an easy one to have; a 2001 AARP study revealed that... Read More

Potential Pitfalls of an Out of State Executor: Keep New York Estate Assets in New York
Posted on 12 Jun 2013 by Jennifer Hillman

By Jennifer F. Hillman Pursuant to New York Surrogate Court Procedure Act ("SCPA") § 711, a fiduciary cannot remove property of an estate from New York without prior approval of the Court. A violation of this duty could lead to suspension... Read More

Ask Liza: Estate Planning Beats Avoidance
Posted on 7 Aug 2014 by Liza Weiman Hanks

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: We live in Nebraska. I own a ranch with my brother. Part of it we inherited and a small part we purchased from family members. The total value of the ranch is $2.7 million. We have a buy sell agreement between us.... Read More

John G. Farinacci: Rules Concerning Non-Party Subpoenas Finally Made Uniform
Posted on 29 Apr 2014 by John G. Farinacci

By John G. Farinacci, Esq. In New York Surrogate’s Court litigation, there are many unique discovery devices that would be foreign to an attorney that litigates primarily in State Supreme Court. An SCPA 2103 discovery proceeding is one example... Read More

Oast & Hook: 2012 Elder Law Numbers
Posted on 17 Jan 2012 by Sandra L. Smith

There are several figures of interest to seniors and their families for 2012. They include long-term care spousal standards, annual gift tax exclusion rates, long-term care premium deductibility limits, and Social Security benefit changes. The... Read More

Tags: Elder Law

Spouse vs. Charity: Estate Tax Apportionment
Posted on 14 May 2013 by John G. Farinacci

By John G. Farinacci, Esq. Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C. We know that estate taxes are to be paid in the manner of a testator's choosing, but if the testator fails to make that choice, then estate taxes are "equitably apportioned among... Read More

Deirdre Wheatley-Liss: Sequester Cuts Hurting Seniors
Posted on 25 Mar 2013 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

Will the ridiculous gridlock in Washington that has a sledgehammer instead of scalpel being used to address the cancer of a bloated budget affect your world immediately? As a working adult or family, likely not, For seniors, the cuts could have a more... Read More

  • Blog Post: The Dangers of Privatization

    Many states, as a cost saving measure, are enacting provisions that privatize parts of the state’s Medicaid program. One aspect that is often not considered is the loss of due process rights by applicants and recipients when part of the Medicaid program is turned over to private hands. The turnover...
  • Blog Post: Market Woes May Spell Trouble for PBGC

    With the economy struggling and financial markets hard-hit, the last thing that Americans want to worry about is their pension plans. Yet, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is worried, and therefore Americans should be worried as well. In January 2009, the GAO decided to keep the Pension Benefit...
  • Blog Post: Ethical Issues Facing Elder Law Attorneys

    Elder law is defined as a holistic approach to the practice of law in which the attorney focuses on the needs of the client as a whole, rather than a particular area of the law, such as tax or contracts. However, this holistic approach is often at odds with conventional attorney-client relationships...
  • Blog Post: Viatical Settlements

    A terminally ill client may be tempted to sell his life insurance policy proceeds to fund medical treatments and support his family, but viatical settlements are complicated and should be thoroughly investigated. In a viatical settlement, the consumer (called a "viator") sells his or her...
  • Blog Post: Senior Community Service Employment Program

    Authorized by Congress in Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a program that was established to provide subsidized, part-time, community service work-based training for low-income persons age 55 or older who have poor employment prospects...
  • Blog Post: Health Care Reform and Elder Law

    Health care reform is a big topic in Washington, D.C. right now. The Senators have adjourned for their summer break and have been holding town halls to discuss health care reform. The town halls have been “spirited” to say the least. The main topic of the discussions seems to be who will...
  • Blog Post: Hot Topics in Elder Law for the Week of 12-29-09

    An Illinois appeals court found that a trust that prevented the trustee from making distributions if it would interfere with public assistance is an available asset for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Vincent v Dept of Human Services , Ill. Court App. 3rd Dist. No 3-08-0096, June 18, 2009. Reverse...
  • Blog Post: Hot Topics in Elder Law for the Week of 1-4-10

    The Department of Human Services adopted emergency amendments to the OIG’s investigations of alleged abuse or neglect in state-operated facilities and community agencies (59 Ill Adm code 50; 33 ill reg13489) implementing public act 96-407. This covers financial exploitation, mental, physical, and...
  • Blog Post: Hot Topics in Elder Law for the Week of 1-18-10

    For Illinois practitioners… Alzheimer’s sufferers can benefit from familiar activities such as golf. (Chicago Tribune local Oct 1 2009) A will depository for orphan wills effective 1-1-10 (Public Act 96-137) Convenience Accounts available 1-1-2010 (Pub Act 96 -123) ...
  • Blog Post: Top 10 Elder Law Decisions of 2009

    The most important Elder Law decisions from around the country are summarized here. Each case is relevant to New Jersey as elder law often involves Medicaid, which is subject to "supposedly uniform" federal regulation as jointly funded and administered by the federal and state governments....
  • Blog Post: Personal Care Agreements

    A recent Wall Street Journal article addressed an issue that is becoming a concern for more than 25% of the adult population in the U.S.: Providing voluntary care for elderly or sick family members and friends. This percentage will continue to increase as people live longer because of advances...
  • Blog Post: Hot Topics in Elder Law – Week of March 8, 2010

    1. The Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act was effective January 1, 2010. 2. Watch HB 1826 , i.e., Civil Union Act as to guardian and probate rules as to same sex relationships (See CBA Record Sept 2009). 3. Scams with deed transfers: refinance fraud, lease...
  • Blog Post: Compassionate Allowance Initiative

    Did you know that today as many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's Disease? A disease which destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior, severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life? Alzheimer's gets worse over time, and it is fatal...
  • Blog Post: At-Home Technology Allows Seniors to Remain Independent

    Most seniors would agree that one of their biggest concerns about growing older is the eventual loss of their independence. They worry that as they become unable to engage in certain activities of daily living, they will become a burden on loved ones or have to move into an expensive nursing home or...
  • Blog Post: Compassionate Allowances Initiative

    In October of 2008, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the commencement of the national Compassionate Allowances Initiative, a means to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet the Social Security's...
  • Blog Post: Top Elder Law Decisions of 2010

    Courtesy of ElderLawAnswers.com, below is a roundup of the most influential elder law court decisions of 2010, together with my thoughts as to how those cases might carry into New Jersey. The Medicaid Annuity is still generating decisions across the county, as well as questions as to when a penalty period...
  • Blog Post: America's Best Nursing Homes 2011

    U.S. News & World Report recently provided rankings of America's Best Nursing Homes. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collects data on nursing homes and rates them in its Nursing Home Compare program, with over 15,000 nursing homes ranked. CMS's information is...
  • Blog Post: New Medicare Rules For Homebound Patients

    Medicare patients typically receive home care services because it is difficult or impossible for them to leave their homes. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) has now implemented a new Medicare requirement that doctors must meet face-to-face with their patients who are receiving...
  • Blog Post: When Should Your Elderly Client Turn Over the Car Keys?

    Here are some possible scenarios: An elderly man runs through a red light and says he didn't see it. An elderly woman gets on the freeway, cruising along at 35 mph in the passing lane and wonders why everyone is honking their horns. One night, an aging relative calls for help in getting...
  • Blog Post: What Does the Debt-Limit Deal Mean to Seniors?

    Besides the negative effect we are seeing in the market today from the S&P downgrade of the US credit rating, the debt deal may have far reaching consequences to seniors. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are a huge proportion of the US budget. Elderlawanswers.com has provided a summary of what...
  • Blog Post: Taking Over Aging Parents' Finances

    As our parents age, there is an almost inevitable probability that they will require assistance with financial or health issues. One or both parents may become ill or incapacitated and unable to keep up with their financial affairs as their mental and physical abilities decline. This can mean that bills...
  • Blog Post: Oast & Hook News:Questions for Aging Parents

    A Real Simple magazine article discusses how adult children and their parents can have an open discussion about their concerns, and together face the challenges of aging. This discussion is often not an easy one to have; a 2001 AARP study revealed that three-quarters of adult children think about their...
  • Blog Post: Oast & Hook: 2012 Elder Law Numbers

    There are several figures of interest to seniors and their families for 2012. They include long-term care spousal standards, annual gift tax exclusion rates, long-term care premium deductibility limits, and Social Security benefit changes. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)...
  • Blog Post: Florida Elder Law Numbers for 2012

    Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2012 The new minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) is $22,728, and the new maximum CSRA is $113,640. The new maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $2,841. The minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance remains $1,838.75...
  • Blog Post: Where the 65 Year Old's Live

    There are now more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history. According to a new Census Bureau report, there were 40.3 million people age 65 and older on April 1, 2010, up 5.3 percent from 35 million in 2010 (and just 3.1 million in 1900). The 65-and-older population jumped...