A DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Order is Legal in New Jersey Without a Terminal Illness

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning

  We’ve all heard about a “Do Not Resuscitate Order” (DNR) but probably don’t know (precisely) what it means, or how it applies to you in real life. A DNR order alerts emergency personnel that you do not wish to receive Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of a medical emergency. It is a medical order that must be signed by a doctor. DNR orders are used primarily by people who are already critically ill and feel strongly that they do not want life-prolonging treatment when close to death. If you do not have a DNR order, emergency medical personnel must use all available measures, no matter how invasive, to save your life. Awhile back a client wanted to create …

New Jersey Adopts a New Law Which Will Allow You to Die With Dignity and on Your Terms

HNW Elder Law, Estate Planning

The State Legislature recently adopted a law entitled  “Aid and Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” which will allow a qualified terminally ill patient to self-administer medication to end his/her life in a humane and dignified manner. The new law provides that New Jersey’s long standing commitment to individual dignity, informed consent and the fundamental right of a competent adult to make healthcare decisions about whether to have life prolonged through medical or surgical procedures withdrawn and withheld is to be honored and affirmed.  As a result, a qualified terminally ill patient under appropriate safeguards and limitations can obtain medication that the patient may choose to self-administer in order to bring about the patient’s humane and dignified death. As I …

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

HNW Elder Care Law, 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 …

Alzheimer’s – Settling the Affairs of Someone With Alzheimer’s or Dementia

HNW Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a NJ Power of Attorney Lawyer When addressing the affairs of a person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia disease, it is important to make sure that he or she is able to continue with their normal life.  Thus, a Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive can be a powerful assistant. Undoubtedly, important decisions will have to be made.  You will have to decide who will get the power of attorney over another person’s affairs.  You will also have to decide what type of long-term care arrangements should be made for the person.  You will also have to have someone make health care decisions that are necessary, and give him or her power of attorney to …

What Is a Representative Payee Under Social Security

HNW Elder Care Law, Elder Law, Guardianship Law

By Frederick P. Niemann of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a NJ Elder Law Attorney More than eight Million People, who get monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, need help managing their money. In these cases, Social Security will approve the appointment of a relative, friend, or other interested party to serve as the “representative payee.” Prior to being appointed Social Security investigates those who apply to be representative payees to protect the interests of Social Security beneficiaries, because a representative payee receives the beneficiary’s payment and is given the authority to use on the beneficiary’s behalf. With certain exceptions, a payee may not collect a fee for services provided to the beneficiary. You can’t collect a fee …

A Guardian or Power of Attorney Who Assumes a Duty to Care for a Person Over Age 60 Can Be Charged With Elder Abuse in New Jersey

HNW Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation, Elder Law, Guardianship Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold New Jersey Elder Abuse Attorney Crimes against those who cannot realistically defend themselves are considered particularly offensive because of the one-sided nature of the relationship, especially in cases involving the aged and the disabled. One of the most common offenses involves endangering the welfare of the elderly. In all cases, one charged must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have violated the specific law explicated by state statue. What is Endangering the Welfare of an Elderly Person? Under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-8, endangering the welfare of the elderly occurs when “a person having a legal duty to care for or who has assumed continuing responsibility for the care of a person 60 …

The Bank Says I Need Guardianship for Mom

HNW Elder Law, Guardianship Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold, NJ Guardianship Attorney I hate the arrogance of many banks and brokerage firms. They often times make my professional life and that of my clients difficult, especially when it comes to Powers of Attorney (POA’s). Here’s an example of what we typically go through. A client presents to the bank the Power of Attorney (POA) we prepared for Mom which she signed in our office. It’s a general Durable Power of Attorney, giving her son/daughter the ability to do banking on Mom’s behalf as well as other powers that might be necessary on her behalf in the future, such as changing investments, accessing retirement accounts, cashing in life insurance policies, …

Can a Person With Alzheimer’s or Advanced Dementia Legally Sign a Last Will Before Death?

HNW Elder Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

If an adult in NJ is legally incompetent and does not have an existing Last Will, is there a process for having a Will prepared or does the estate of the Alzheimer’s patient follow NJ’s Intestate laws? This question and the legal issue it raises comes up fairly often. Generally, when the adult is far into dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s, the family (generally the children) will want to avoid having the estate go into probate. Pursuant to NJSA 3B:12-49, a court does not have the power to make a will for an incapacitated person. If no Will has been executed prior to incapacity, then the estate goes to beneficiaries by the law of intestacy. However, depending on the value of the …