Jane M. Fearn-Zimmer

Jane M. Fearn-Zimmer – Senior Associate Attorney

Jane M. Fearn-Zimmer, Esquire received her LL.M. in Taxation with distinction from Temple University in 2004.  She dedicates her practice to serving clients in the areas of elder and disability law, asset protection, tax and estate planning and estate administration.

Ms. Fearn-Zimmer is recognized as a leader the area of using Medicaid compliant annuities. She filed three separate federal district court lawsuits against the State of New Jersey on behalf of clients who used Medicaid compliant annuities in order to allow clients obtain Medicaid eligibility to assist in covering their long term care costs. Each of the three cases involved the purchase of an immediate annuity pursuant to applicable Medicaid law in order to achieve Medicaid eligibility. In each case, the State of New Jersey denied Medicaid benefits.

In Roccia v. Velez (U.S. Dist. Ct. D.N.J., Civ. No. 12-07346, June 6, 2013), the client was a single individual who purchased an immediate annuity for $40,000 in order to achieve Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care. In order to have some additional funds set aside to cover ancillary nursing home costs not covered by Medicaid, an immediate annuity was purchased. Pursuant to a federal court order, the client’s Medicaid application was approved.

In Carlini v. Velez (U.S. Dist. Ct. D.N.J., Civ. No. 12-07290, June 4, 2013), the client resided in a skilled nursing facility. His wife purchased an immediate annuity in the sum of approximately $300,000 from spousal assets which otherwise would have had to be used to pay her husband’s nursing home bills. The wife needed additional funds to allow her to pay her own monthly assisted living bill of approximately $5,000 per month. Without the annuity, both spouses would have been paying over $14,000 per month for long-term care. The annuity purchase allowed her to remain in an assisted living setting. Pursuant to a federal court order, the client’s Medicaid application was approved.

In Flamini v. Velez, (U.S. Dist. Ct. D.N.J., Civ. No. 12-07304, July 19, 2013), the husband purchased an immediate annuity in the amount of $200,000 from his IRA proceeds, which otherwise would have had to be used to pay for his wife’s skilled nursing care. The IRA funds represented the man’s life savings intended to support himself and his wife in retirement. A federal court ordered the State of New Jersey to approve the annuity and to process the Medicaid application for his wife.

Representative publications include Planning with Medicaid Annuities, Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern NJ, November/December 2014, Gay Marriage in Transition: Recent Developments in the Legal Rights of Same-Sex Couples, 183 N.J.L.J. 95 (January 9, 2006), Negotiating a Medicaid Lien: How to Limit Government Liens and Preserve Recoveries for Injured Parties, 189 New Jersey Law Journal 543 (August 7, 2007), Real Estate Assets May Include Indirectly Held Lease Rights and Certain Goodwill, published on PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP’s internal Knowledge Gateway (October 17, 2008), and Special Needs Trusts Update, Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern NJ, September/October 2010.

Ms. Fearn-Zimmer has presented on tax, Special Needs planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, and estate planning topics to a broad range of groups, including Clear Law Institute, the National Business Institute, Lorman Educational Services, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the Central New Jersey Society of Enrolled Agents, the Tax Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Burlington County Probate Committee, the Gloucester County Legal Education Association, the Tourette’s Syndrome Association of New Jersey, Inc., religious and other community groups.

Jane brings an exceptionally broad perspective to her work due to her strong litigation background.  She was a former federal judicial clerk to the Honorable John S. Unpingco, Chief Judge of the District Court of Guam, where she served on the Civil and Criminal Justice Reform Act Committees for the District of Guam.  Jane has been admitted to the New Jersey Bar since 1996, and previously practiced civil litigation in New Jersey.

Ms. Fearn-Zimmer is an active member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Burlington County Bar Association, the Gloucester County Bar Association, and is presently serving as the Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section.  She is an active member of the American Cancer Society South Jersey Market Board. She resides in Mount Laurel with her family and their border collie, Blitzen.

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