STEALING FROM ELDERLY PARENTS IS ELDER FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann a Freehold New Jersey Elder Abuse and/or Financial Exploitation Attorney

A common legal theory that we use at Hanlon Niemann in cases of claimed elder financial exploitation is breach of a fiduciary relationship by children when they steal money and property from their elderly parents and/or relatives.
 A fiduciary relationship exists as a matter of law when the relationship can be found to be:
• A close degree of family kinship between the parties, like son mother, daughter father, etc.
• A significant disparity in age.
• A significant disparity in health.
• A significant disparity in mental conditions.
• A significant disparity in education and/or business sophistication.
• A high degree of trust and confidence placed in the dominant party by the allegedly exploited person.

 Transactions or conveyances between parents and their children that can be characterized as “unfair” between the parent and his/her fiduciary child will usually be presumed invalid.  Once we establish the existence of a fiduciary relationship, the burden will shift to the fiduciary to demonstrate the transaction was,  in fact, fair and reasonable and that her/she exercised undivided loyalty on behalf of the ward.
 
Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey elder abuse and/or financial exploitation matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.

YET ANOTHER VICTORY FOR NEW JERSEY MEDICAID ANNUITIES FOR MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann Law Firm, an Ocean County Medicaid Attorney

In order to qualify for Medicaid, an individual must have very limited assets and income that is insufficient to pay for his or her cost of care.

When one member of a married couple seeks to qualify for Medicaid, the law combines the assets of both spouses.  It is irrelevant which member of the couple owns the assets.  Whatever assets the wife owns, the husband owns, and whatever assets the husband owns, the wife owns.

Income is treated differently.  The owner of the income gets to keep the income if the husband enters a nursing home, the wife may also be entitled to keep a portion of her husband’s income if her income is too low.

This income allowance is part of the spousal impoverishment provisions of New Jersey Medicaid.  The law has a provision governing income, which permits the wife to retain a certain amount of the husband’s income once he qualifies for Medicaid.  The law also has a provision that permits the wife to retain a certain amount of the couple’s resources.

The wife can retain all of the non-countable resources, such as the house, a car, and personal effects.  The wife can also retain up to $115,000 in countable resources, such as cash, stocks, bonds, etc.  Anything over the $115,000 maximum must be spent down before the husband can qualify for Medicaid; at least, that’s what the Medicaid Office will tell you.

One technique for preserving extra money for the wife involves the purchase of a Medicaid annuity in her name.  If structured correctly, the annuity takes vulnerable excess assets and converts it into income that belongs to the wife, not the husband.

The annuity gives the wife much more monthly money than New Jersey Medicaid would permit her to keep. 
A recent New Jersey federal district court decision reaffirms the use of annuities in this manner.  This is probably the tenth federal court case of which I am aware that affirms this technique.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey Medicaid eligibility matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com

A NURSING HOME CANNOT FORCE A RESIDENT’S FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO GUARANTEE THE PAYMENT OF NURSING HOME COSTS



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AMERICAN TAXPAYER RELIEF ACT OF 2012

Individual Tax Rates
For tax years beginning after 2012, ATRA makes permanent almost all of the federal income tax rates first put into place in 2001. Those rates otherwise would have increased in 2013. For high income taxpayers, a new top tax rate of 39.6%, as opposed to the previous 35%, applies beginning for tax years after 2012.

In our next blog, we will discuss how the ATRA affected the personal exemption phaseout and limitation of itemized deductions as well as the estate and gift tax.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey estate planning matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.

WHEN ALZHEIMER’S OR DEMENTIA STRIKE YOUR LOVED ONE, HANLON NIEMANN IS HERE TO HELP

New Jersey has strict criteria they force upon all applicants before the state grants you Medicaid assistance. Unfortunately, this criteria requires you to be BROKE if you are single, widowed, or divorced. If you are married, the state typically requires you to spend half of your assets before they will provide assistance. If you do not meet these requirements, you may be forced to sell your stocks, bonds, CD’s and house, or other assets simply to pay for medical bills that keep piling up.

Medicaid rules have been written in a fashion that most people typically cannot understand. The same goes for lawyers who are not experienced in the New Jersey Medicaid and Elder Law.  Don’t make the mistake of failing to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable New Jersey Elder Law attorney. You could be losing out on a significant amount of money. Allow us to help you and your family navigate through the complex maze of Medicaid paperwork and rules. We are familiar with the landmines and booby traps and know how to use the rules in your favor.  Call me, Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., an experienced NJ Elder Law Attorney today. I can help give you responsible answers to your complex Medicaid questions. I can be reached toll free at 855-376-5291 or by email at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com. I will dedicate the time and effort to you and your case that you deserve. Always remember, everything stays confidential.