In re Keri

Donald D Vanarelli

Case Conclusion Date:August 5, 2004

Practice Area:Elder Law

Outcome:Per Curiam decision in favor of plaintiff

Description:In Keri, an adult child sought guardianship of his mother and her estate and proposed to gift some of her assets to himself and his brother so that mother could qualify for Medicaid while in a nursing home. Reversing lower court decisions, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled, for the first time, that the mother's assets could be transferred to her children as part of an estate plan to help her qualify for government nursing home benefits. This ruling was characterized by the Star Ledger newspaper as having "broad implications for those with elderly relatives suffering from Alzheimer's and other kinds of dementia...".In reversing the Keri trial and appellate court, the NJ Supreme Court eliminated any question as to the continued viability of Medicaid planning as an estate planning tool for guardians.