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 …

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 …

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 …

Appealing Medicare Denial of Benefit Coverage Benefits

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Frederick P. Niemann, Esq., a Freehold Township, Monmouth County New Jersey Elder Care Attorney There are times when Medicare issues a decision unfavorable to the coverage of your case.  Whether it is classifying you in a hospital as a patient undergoing “observation status” versus being an “in-patient” or terminating rehabilitation services because you are not improving, their decision can be financially devastating.  But their decision is not final.  If handled properly, there are ways in which you can appeal their unfavorable decision. The Medicare Appeal Process The first two stages of the appeals process are informal and usually occur hand-in-hand with one another.   Most are also unsuccessful.  Medicare contracts with third-party companies called Medicare Administrative Contractors and Quality Improvement Contractors, …

Must a Doctor or Hospital Comply with a Patient’s Living Will and Advance Healthcare Directive Under New Jersey Law

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey Elder Law and Healthcare Directive Attorney This recent case raises issues concerning the legal obligations imposed on health care providers when a patient’s health care directive conflicts with the healthcare providers’ professional opinion(s) that the requested care is medically ineffective and may cause harm. Here are the facts, Elizabeth Alexander, a 70 year old woman suffering from end stage terminal pancreatic cancer, died four days after she was transferred from a skilled nursing facility to a hospital.  Elizabeth had an advance health care directive stating she wanted all measures taken to prolong her life.   Defendants declined to provide Elizabeth with certain advanced life support measures on the basis …

Can a Creditor Execute a Judgment Against a Life Estate in New Jersey Real Estate?

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a Freehold Township, Monmouth County NJ Elder Law Attorney A client has a life estate in his home with the remainder interest (a remainder interest is an “ownership interest”) having been given to family members, specifically his children. I was asked to determine if a legal judgment would attach to his real estate during his life time or after his demise. The answer is:  A life estate does not give a creditor of a person who has a life estate a right to execute their judgment against his life estate and certainly no right to execute against the remainder interest of his real estate.  The reason is that the holder of the life estate’s interest dies …

A Nursing Home Cannot Force a Resident’s Family or Friends to Guarantee the Payment of Nursing Home Costs

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a NJ Elder Care Attorney Admission to a nursing home is a traumatic event.  No one wants to go to a nursing home, especially the incoming resident, family members and concerned friends. Sometimes a nursing home will try and secure an economic benefit by requesting that a friend, power of attorney or family member co-sign the admission contract and assume personal liability for the costs and expenses of the new residents care, room and board. A nursing home may request a financial guarantee to collect unpaid bills from a friend or family member if, a resident’s Medicaid application is mishandled or denied. This is illegal and has been illegal for quite some time in New …

Federal Medicaid Law Prevents a Nursing Home from Billing You Directly

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law, Medicaid

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, Monmouth County, NJ Elder Law & Medicaid Attorney I read an interesting case, which frankly brought up an issue I had not contemplated which is; must a medical service provider (i.e., a doctor, hospital x-Ray technician) bill a Medicare/Medicaid patient directly for services etc. rendered rather than Medicare or Medicaid directly?  I pretty much assumed that if you are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and receiving services, there would be no reason for a nursing home or other medical provider to bill anyone but Medicare/Medicaid, otherwise, the provider would go unpaid.  Apparently, in this case, the patient was a plaintiff in a fairly substantial personal injury lawsuit and …

Level of Capacity With Respect to Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney Under NJ Law

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a NJ Elder Law Attorney Legal Capacity is required for the legal execution of a will and/or a testamentary trust under New Jersey law. a. What is legal capacity and what does it mean under New Jersey Law? Legal capacity (sometimes called Testamentary Capacity) requires:A person to be at least 18 years old, and b.  A person who is of sound mind and memory. So what do these terms mean?  An easy way to establish that a person is of “sound mind and memory,” is to demonstrate that the person who signed their Last Will or trust at the time of his or her signing: i. Knows that he/she was/is making a will; ii. He or …

How Valid Are Nursing Home Visitation Restrictions

HNW Elder Care, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq; a New Jersey Elder Care Lawyer Many nursing homes have policies whereby your children can only visit you during visiting hours. But that’s not exactly true, at least under Federal law. A resident’s family member can visit at any time of the day or night. Under the Nursing Home Reform Law, a nursing home should be as homelike as possible. Consistent with this philosophy, a nursing home should not limit visiting hours for “immediate family members or relatives.” For a late night visit, federal guidelines suggest that the visit take place outside of the resident’s room – in the nursing home’s dining room, for example – to avoid disturbing other residents’ sleep. There are good …