NJ Allows Terminally Ill to Get Life-Ending Meds

HNW Elder Care, Hospice

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Monmouth County, Freehold, NJ Elder Care Attorney Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed legislation making New Jersey the seventh state to enact a law permitting terminally ill patients to end their lives. Murphy, a Democrat, signed the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act in private. His office would not answer why the signing was not public. The law goes into effect in August. He earlier indicated he would support the bill, but in a personal statement, Murphy — a lifelong Catholic — revealed that he wrestled with whether to sign the legislation. The state’s Catholic Conference testified against the measure. “I have concluded that, while my …

If the County Medicaid Office Fails to Give You Clear Response Why They Denied Your Medicaid Application, You Can Appeal… And Win

HNW Elder Law, Medicaid

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey Medicaid Application and Eligibility Attorney As I’ve often written in my blogs New Jersey’s unofficial Medicaid philosophy is delay, frustrate and deny. Most denial are vague, unclear and wrong but few people know what to do. A recent case outside New Jersey slammed the State and overruled their denial because the stated reasons for the denial were unconstitutional. Let’s take a look at this case. Background of the Case The state medical agency mailed the plaintiffs notice of its determination that the plaintiff had countable assets exceeding the federal and state mandated limits for Medicaid eligibility. This denial notice was representative of the …

Does a Guardian of an Estate Have the Power to Execute a Beneficiary Designation Form?

HNW Elder Law, Guardianship, Probate

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Guardianship Attorney I was recently asked a question about the title of this blog wherein the Judgment of Incapacity and Appointment of Guardian did not have a specific provision authorizing the Guardian of the Estate of an incapacitated person to complete a beneficiary designation form for the person’s inherited IRA. In this case, the person had no estate plan and he inherited a substantial account from his predeceased spouse but now he was incapacitated. The judgment approving the guardianship did not specify an estate planning power for non-probate assets. In my research, I cannot find any broad power which permits a guardian to designate …

Here Are the Federal Laws on Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation

HNW Elder Abuse, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a Freehold Township, Monmouth County New Jersey Elder Abuse Attorney The Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq., as amended) (the “OAA”) expresses the nation’s commitment to protecting vulnerable older Americans.   In 1992, Congress created and funded the Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection Act which includes provisions for a long-term care ombudsman programs and state legal assistance development. In 2000, provisions were added to the Federal law encouraging states like New Jersey to foster greater coordination of elder abuse laws with law enforcement and the courts. In the 2006 the Older Americans Act, added new language emphasizing collaborative approaches to addressing elder mistreatment when developing programs and long term strategic plans for elder …

How to Use a Reverse Mortgage for Elder Care Medical and Home Expenses

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a Freehold Township, Monmouth County New Jersey Elder Care Attorney Reverse mortgages have been an on again, off again way for individuals to stay at home for as long as possible. In 2006 with the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), the Federal Government gave permission to all states to create Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership programs.   Each state’s Long-Term Care Partnership Program is designed to encourage residents to engage in Medicaid Asset Protection by purchasing Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance.  Each state’s Partnership Program allows individuals to protect assets that otherwise might have to be paid to a nursing home prior to obtaining eligibility for Medicaid benefits.  A Partnership-qualified policy enables policyholders to protect …

The Ins and Outs of a Lawsuit Because of the Wrongful Death of a Person

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon, Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey Estate Administration Attorney When a person dies because of someone else’s intentional or negligent conduct, a lawsuit often follows: This type of legal claim is called a “Wrongful Death Action” N.J.S.A. § 2A:31-l sets forth when an action for wrongful death exists.  Specifically, a cause of action for wrongful death exists when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default, such that the· person injured would have been entitled to maintain an action for damages resulting from the injury if death had not ensued. The estate representative has a two-year statute of limitations for a wrongful death action following …

Elderly and Disabled Planning – What Are the Tax Implications?

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a Freehold Township, Monmouth County New Jersey Elder Care Attorney Planning for individuals who need elder care is generally not particularly tax driven.  However, there are some special tax benefits (and liabilities) that should not be overlooked.  While income and self employment taxes are not dependent upon age, persons over 65 and those who are blind are entitled to an increase in their standard deduction in filing their income tax returns.  Widows and widowers may use joint income tax returns for two years following the death of the spouse. Taxpayers who are supporting dependent family members may be entitled to additional dependency exemptions on their income tax returns.  These include parents and grandparents, among others.  There …

What If the Estate Is Broke?  Who Gets Paid First? Understanding the Priority of Unpaid Claims in Estate Administration

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration, Probate

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Estate & Probate Administration Attorney What if estate assets are insufficient to pay all the claims that need to be paid in full? What is the personal representative of the estate to do? Well he/she is required to pay claims in the following order: (Please note that this order is non-negotiable so read it closely).   Reasonable funeral expenses; Administration costs and expenses; Debts and taxes with preference under Federal law or the laws of New Jersey, including debts for the reasonable value of services rendered to the decedent by the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults; Reasonable medical and hospital expenses associated …

Can a Surviving Spouse Who Commits Elder Abuse Against Their Deceased Spouse Inherit His or Her Estate?

HNW Elder Abuse, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a Freehold Township, Monmouth County New Jersey Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Attorney Here’s a very interesting case regarding the right of a disinherited surviving spouse who committed financial elder abuse to inherit from her deceased spouse’s estate. A court affirmed the legality of the marriage in the face of claims it was a “sham” marriage and enforced the surviving spouse’s legal right in a portion of the decedent spouse’s estate.  The issue raised was whether the surviving spouse was prohibited from later being sued for financial elder abuse against the decedent spouse? The trial court believed that it did; the appellate court, however, overruled the trial court. Here’s the background: The surviving spouse was sued …

Understanding What Posting a Bond Means When Administering an Estate

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration, Probate

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Estate & Probate Administration Attorney Many individuals when faced with probating an estate are required to post a bond but few really understand what this means or what is involved. Let me explain the process to you in this blog. As a general rule a court or surrogate will require that a fiduciary post a bond to protect against theft, embezzlement, fraud etc. and to ensure him or her diligently performs of his/her statutory responsibility to the estate or trust. This law also sets forth other circumstances when posting a bond is warranted.  These circumstances include: When any written instrument creates a fiduciary relationship …