Plaintiffs, who were beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate, sued the defendant-executor for misappropriation of estate assets. The parties engaged in mediation, and their settlement agreement was memorialized in a handwritten agreement that the mediator prepared. Thereafter, the plaintiffs’ attorney sent the defendant’s attorney a proposed consent order incorporating the terms of the agreement. When the.. read more →

(“The ElderLaw Report: Including Special Needs Planning” is the premier newsletter covering elder law and special needs planning issues. This monthly newsletter keeps legal professionals current with critical developments in elder law and special needs planning, and supplies real-world solutions to the unique legal problems facing senior and disabled clients. The most recent article I prepared for The.. read more →

    New YouTube Video about the Law Office of Vanarelli & Li, LLC Vanarelli & Li, LLC is committed to protecting the legal rights and financial resources of seniors, the disabled and their families, and families in conflict. We provide legal services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, trust administration, special education, trial.. read more →

Vanarelli & Li, LLC provides elder mediation services, a specialized form of mediation to help elders, the disabled and their families resolve conflict. Mr. Vanarelli is co-founder of the Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey, a collaborative venture with other elder law attorneys and geriatric professionals whose mission is to educate professionals and private individuals on the.. read more →

I just read an insightful article in the Washington Post. The article, by Susan Berger, asks the question: “What’s the best way to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s?” It stems from an encounter between Berger and an acquaintance of hers who had just been diagnosed with the disease. The article explores what to do and.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. ( will present at the 2016 CONFERENCE ON GUARDIANSHIP given by the Guardianship Association of New Jersey, Inc. (GANJI) on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ Contested guardianships typically involve disputes among adult siblings concerning the safety, living arrangements, autonomy and financial management of.. read more →

Following the death of Kenneth Kanter, his son contested the validity of Mr. Kanter’s will and several quitclaim deeds Mr. Kanter had purportedly executed. These documents were drafted and/or prepared by the decedent’s brother, Sidney Kanter, who is a suspended New Jersey attorney. The parties mediated the case and reached a settlement of the matter… read more →

A state appeals court ruled that a will contestant waived the mediation privilege, prohibiting disclosure of mediation communications to non-participants, when both he and his opponent authorized the mediator to inform the trial judge of the results of the mediation. Rutigliano v. Rutigliano, Docket No. A-2797-11T1 (App. Div., October 15, 2012) Plaintiff Vincent Rutigliano and.. read more →

Our Estate/Probate and Elder Mediation Training program, held yesterday at the New Jersey Law Center, was very successful. Excellent turn-out and program quality. The attendees were very diverse, including attorneys, care managers, social workers, financial professionals, medical providers and others. Wonderful audience feedback. Many thanks to all presenters, including geriatric care managers Judith Parnes, Connie.. read more →

Established in 1978, the New Jersey Mental Health Players Program (NJMHP), celebrating its 34th year, is the longest-running mental health education program in New Jersey. NJMHP provides interactive, educational sessions which depict realistic scenarios involving mental health issues. The sessions provide audiences with a dynamic way to receive basic education about mental illness and become.. read more →

Keeping the Peace Through Elder Mediation Training Schedule Registration and Breakfast 1. Introduction (Donald Vanarelli) Elder Mediation in New Jersey NJAPM Special Interest Section Goals of Training Session Housekeeping items 2. “Setting the Stage” (Theater Group/Gabrielle Strich/Benni Versaci) 3. What is Elder Mediation? (Donald Vanarelli) Goals of Elder Mediation Overview of Presenting Issues in Elder.. read more →

(The Fall 2011 issue of Mediation News, the newsletter of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM), contains a short article on NJAPM’s newly-formed Estate and Elder Mediation Special Interest Group. The article is reproduced below. If you have an interest in this emerging practice area, please contact me or simply come to a.. read more →

(The following is part of a discussion, taken from a listserv, or electronic bulletin board, maintained by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators.) Question: I am a new mediator. I am also finding the ‘equal balance of power’ issue challenging. … I have been wondering if balance of power is even possible … if.. read more →

A New Jersey appellate court held that intentionally withholding information in mediation does not invalidate the resulting settlement agreement. Matter of the Estate of Lillian L. Fischer, Deceased (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-0091-10T2, June 14, 2011)(unpublished). This matter involved a probate dispute between Catherine S. Richards, the 91 year old domestic partner of.. read more →

Mediation is generally recognized as a process in which parties in conflict (often on their own, but sometimes represented by separate attorneys) attempt to negotiate a settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator (who may or may not be an attorney, but who does not represent either party)… read more →

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal provides an overview of Elder Mediation that may be interesting to readers of this blog. According to the article, Elder Mediation is taking off as a profession “as baby boomers seek help with aging parents.” From the article, I derived a good, one sentence description of what Elder.. read more →

Problem:     Communication / Negotiation Issues Example:    Siblings’ long-standing mistrust of each other prevents them from putting differences aside and focusing on the needs of the aging parent. Solution:    Address the underlying issues and explain the need to put anger / mistrust aside to effectively assist the parent. Emphasize common goals and positives in the.. read more →

The Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey (EMC-NJ), a collaborative alliance of elder law mediators / attorneys, Tony Serra, Nina Weiss and Donald D. Vanarelli, and geriatric care manager Marcie Cooper; recently held a training session in the specialized field of elder mediation. The training was held on November 10, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. –.. read more →

A recent article in the August 2009 edition of the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal (found here) identified mediation as a legal practice area that is thriving in these recessionary times. The article stated that businesses and private individuals seeking to avoid the high cost of litigation in the present economic downturn have turned to.. read more →

The Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey (EMC-NJ), a collaborative alliance of independent mediators, attorneys and a geriatric care manager, will present a training session for mediators who wish to expand their knowledge of the specialized field of elder mediation. The training session, to be held on November 10, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00.. read more →

Elder conflicts typically involve disputes among adult siblings about issues surrounding an aging parent’s changing care needs and medical treatment; the independence issues that accompany the aging process, including housing and living arrangements; and issues regarding financial management and the elder’s estate plan. Caregiving/Healthcare Issues How will the family members divide responsibility for the elder’s.. read more →

The founders of the Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey (EMCNJ) presented a program entitled “Elder Mediation: An Ethical Approach,” at the ABA’s Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference held in New York City on April 16th. The founders of the Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey are: Marcie Cooper, Marcie Cooper Care Management LLC,.. read more →

The issue of capacity is a critical threshold issue in the elder mediation process. The legal standard for determining “capacity” varies, depending upon the transaction in issue. For example, testamentary capacity (the capacity to make a valid will), is said to exist if, at the time the will is made, the testator is able to.. read more →

The Canadian Centre for Elder Law (“CCEL”) is a national, non-profit body dedicated to exploring the particular legal issues which affect older Canadians. The mandate of the CCEL includes research, law reform, and education relating to legal issues of interest to older adults. Today, the CCEL is recognized for its expertise in elder law issues.. read more →

As opposed to litigation, mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party helps guide the parties in conflict toward an understanding of their dispute; control of family issues and emotions; compromise and resolution of that conflict; and, perhaps, toward a new way of relating to family members. While not typical in a.. read more →