New Jersey Court Decides Influential Elder Law Case

Many legal scholars and others who are impacted by elder law issues are positively responding to a landmark decision in favor of people who care for their parents at home. This decision has the potential to result in a substantial increase in the number of homes that are transferred to caregivers.

The case in question, A.M. v. Monmouth County Board of Social Services, was decided by New Jersey’s Appellate Division and reaffirmed a New Jersey regulation, which permits older adults to transfer their homes to adult caregiver children without facing Medicaid penalties. The regulation permits the transfer of homes without penalty when an adult child provides care to a parent for a period.


An Influential Victory

One of the most significant challenges to this “caregiver exemption” has been agencies that frequently argued a caregiver must either provide all care to a parent or pay for any other care provided. The court in this case, however, rejected this argument. Instead, the court found that the regulation does not require an elderly individual’s child to be the sole caregiver. Instead, the court found the issue of who should pay for additional caregivers was irrelevant. 


As a result, it’s now a good idea that given a child provides care without which the elderly individual would require a nursing facility, even though additional caregivers are paid does not prevent the asset from transfering to the child. 


This decision is a significant ruling, given that various entities have fought for the law to be more strictly interpreted over the last few years. The opinion could likely result in elderly individuals transferring their homes to children who provide essential care services without having to worry about the potential ramifications of Medicaid penalties. Also while the decision was made by a New Jersey court, it could prove highly influential to New York courts considering the same issues.


How to Decide if a Loved One Needs to Go to a Nursing Home


Children who function as caregivers should learn how to recognize some of the most common signs that a nursing home is necessary for a loved one. Some of these signs include:


  • If the loved one has dementia, late-stage Alzheimer’s, or another condition that necessitates access to medically-trained staff consistently. 
  • If the person who is functioning as a caregiver has a difficult time juggling the level of care the adult needs with other responsibilities.
  • Your loved one is isolated from loved ones in their current environment.
  • Your loved one needs complex dosages of medication or other types of medical care that trained staff can provide much easier.
  • If your loved one tends to wander outside of his or her home and has gotten lost more than once.


Obtain the Services of an Experienced Elder Law Attorney

The aging process is full of challenges, but the assistance of a skilled lawyer can make things much easier. Do not hesitate to contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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