Jane M. Fearn-Zimmer is a shareholder in the Elder and Disability Law, Tax, and Trusts and Estates Groups. She dedicates her practice to serving clients in the areas of elder and disability law, special needs planning, asset protection, tax and estate planning and estate administration.
Known for her dedication to helping others, Ms. Fearn-Zimmer helps families find the best long-term care and a way to pay for that care, often using public benefits. She guides families of the elderly and disabled through the nursing home admissions process and through the maze of qualifying for public benefits programs to fund long-term care, such as Medicaid and SSI benefits. She also assists the elderly and the disabled and their loved ones in tax and estate and asset protection, as well as assisting and representing clients at Medicaid Fair hearings.
For over 13 years, Ms. Fearn-Zimmer has helped countless families deal with disability related issues using general durable powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, guardianships, special needs trusts, and Medicare set aside arrangements where appropriate. She also 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. Unpingo, 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.
A frequent author and lecturer, Ms. Fearn-Zimmer speaks and writes on a variety of tax, special needs planning, Medicaid planning, guardianship and estate planning topics to a broad range of groups, including Clear Law Institute, the National Business Institute, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Burlington County Bar Association, and the Gloucester County Legal Education Association, and more. She also maintains an Elder & Disability Law Blog, which is designed to help caregivers find real-world solutions, offer support and provide practical strategies. Additionally, Ms. Fearn-Zimmer serves as the Editor of The Elder Law Report, Including Special Needs Planning, a national newsletter, through which she updates attorneys regarding new developments in elder law and special needs planning.
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, and the Burlington County Bar Association and is the Immediate Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law section. She is also an Accredited Attorney with the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.
Ms. Fearn-Zimmer has been admitted to the New Jersey Bar since 1996, and previously practiced civil litigation in New Jersey.
Ms. Fearn-Zimmer is recognized as a leader in the area of using Medicaid compliant annuities. She filed three federal district court lawsuits against the State of New Jersey on behalf of clients who used Medicaid compliant annuities in order to allow clients to 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.
- Obtained a landmark Medicaid Final Agency Decision for her elderly, ailing client and her family after a three-year long dispute with the New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance & Health Services and the Burlington County Board of Social Services. Click here to read the case study.
- 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.
Honors & Awards
- Awesome Attorney, Estate Planning/Asset Protection Law, South Jersey Magazine, 2017
- Best Attorney Award for Tax Dispute Resolution, South Jersey Biz magazine, 2015
- Attorney of the Month, Pro Bono Award, South Jersey Legal Services, 2014
- Awesome Attorney, Estate Planning, South Jersey Magazine, 2013
- Market Council Award, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 2009
- Graduate Tax Award, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2004
- New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA)
- Immediate Past Chair, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2018 – Present
- Chair, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2017 - 2018
- Vice-Chair, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2016 – 2017
- Secretary, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2015 – 2016
- Legislative Coordinator, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2014
- Member, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2005 – 2007 & 2013 - Present
- Burlington County Bar Association
- Member, 2012 – Present
- Hunterdon County Bar Association
- Member, 2017 – Present
- Gloucester County Bar Association
- Member, 2017 – Present
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Member, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
- Estate and Planning Council of Southern New Jersey
- Member, 2010 – 2017
- New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Women Owned Businesses
- Member 2010 – 2016
- Gloucester County Legal Education Association
- Member, 2017
- American Cancer Society
- Member, South Jersey Market Advisory Board, 2016 – Present
- Jane Fearn Zimmer & Steve Sacharow to Present on Family & Elder Law at Fourth Installment of FG's Tax Reform Seminar SeriesPress Release(August 16, 2018)
- Press Release(July 31, 2018)
- Press Release(March 22, 2018)
- Press Release(March 22, 2018)
- FG Expands Business & Corporate Department with the Addition of Elder Law Attorney Jane Fearn-ZimmerPress Release(February 16, 2018)
- National Business Institute(December 18, 2018)
- Medicaid Estate Recovery and Ethics in Elder Law and Estate Planning - Wilmington, DENational Business Institute(December 17, 2018)
- Medicaid Estate Recovery and Ethics in Elder Law and Estate Planning - Dover, DENational Business Institute(December 14, 2018)
- National Business Institute(December 14, 2018)
- Special Needs Trusts: New Rules & Planning StrategiesNational Business Institute(November 7, 2018)
- Ethics in Elder Law and Estate PlanningHunterdon County Bar Association(November 6, 2018)
- Gloucester County Legal Education Association(November 3, 2018)
- (September 13, 2018)
- National Business Institute(August 17, 2018)
- National Business Institute(August 15, 2018)
- NJICLE(August 10, 2018)
- Understanding Social Security & SSI Benefits and Special Needs Trusts2018 NJSBA Annual Meeting and Convention(May 16, 2018)
- NJ State Bar Association(May 16, 2018)
- National Business Institute(May 4, 2018)
- National Business Institute(May 3, 2018)
- National Business Institute(April 30, 2018)
- NJSBA & Disability Law Section in cooperation with the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education(April 26, 2018)
- Hunterdon County Bar Association(March 12, 2018)
- NJICLE, NJSBA Elder Law & Disability Law Section(March 7, 2018)
- USCIS(February 6, 2018)
Articles & Alerts
- Blog Post(September 18, 2018)
- Blog Post(September 18, 2018)
- Blog Post(September 7, 2018)
- Flaster Greenberg Law Blog(June 27, 2018)
- Blog Post(June 12, 2018)
- FG Law Blog(April 24, 2018)
- FG Law Blog(April 17, 2018)
- The ElderLaw Report - Including Special Needs Planning(April 2018)
- FG Law Blog(April 4, 2018)
- FG Law Blog(March 30, 2018)
- FG Law Blog(March 26, 2018)
- The ElderLaw Report - Including Special Needs Planning(March 2018)
- Negotiating a Medicaid Lien; How to limit government liens and preserve recoveries for injured partiesNew Jersey Law Journal(August 3, 2007)
Recent Blog PostsElder & Disability Law Blog
- New Jersey
- Temple University Beasley School of Law, LL.M.
- Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., with honors
- Chestnut Hill College, B.A., English, cum laude