(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper,.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper, I divided.. read more →

“Use of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce”  to be presented by leading NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., who will also act as Moderator of the Symposium Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will moderate and present at the Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium given by the New Jersey Institute.. read more →

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission (“NJLRC”) is an independent legislative commission of the State that engages in an ongoing review of statutes and case law, in order to remedy defects and clarify confusing language in those statutes. The NJLRC is proposing a revision to the New Jersey statutes in order to codify the Supreme.. read more →

The 17th Annual Elder Law Retreat, presented by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section, was held on April 21 – 23, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. At least two significant events occurred at the Retreat this year. First, I was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing my “advocacy in elder and.. read more →

On December 12, 2014, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 (NDAA). Among other provisions in the NDAA, Section 624 protects the disabled children of military families by allowing their parents’ survivor benefits to go into a special needs trust. This new law permits a disabled child to benefit from a parent’s military.. read more →

On December 3rd, I presented at the 72nd Semi-Annual Tax and Estate Planning Forum sponsored by the NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education. My presentation focused on recent developments in planning for disabled beneficiaries, including my recent victory in the New Jersey Supreme Court in the Thomas Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and.. read more →

Appearing Above, Left to Right: NAELA Board member Ron Landsman, Esq., CAP, who filed a brief for the Special Needs Alliance and argued the cause before the Court; NAELA member Donald Vanarelli, CELA, CAP, who represented Mr. Saccone and argued before the Court; and NAELA members Robert F. Brogan, CELA, CAP, and Dan Jurkovic, CELA,.. read more →

Court OKs Trusts for Disabled Kids of Cops and Firefighters For Plaintiff-Appellant Thomas Saccone: Donald D. Vanarelli (Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli, attorney; Mr. Vanarelli and Whitney W. Bremer, on the brief). For Defendant-Respondent Board of Trustee of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System: Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General (John J. Hoffman, Acting.. read more →

(In the midst of my oral argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court held on February 4, 2014 on behalf of Thomas Saccone. A video of the entire oral argument can be found on my website here.)  Reversing contrary decisions by lower courts and administrative agencies, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the disabled.. read more →

Summary of Presentation: Pensions and Special Needs Trusts Special Needs Trusts (SNTs): Special needs trusts are estate planning devices that are specifically permitted under federal and state Medicaid law, which further New Jersey’s public policy regarding the rights of the disabled. Types of SNTs: Special needs trusts may be “first party” or “self-settled” trusts (“d(4)(a).. read more →

Video of Oral Argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court in Thomas Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System held on February 4, 2014 in Trenton, NJ. Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., legal counsel for Thomas Saccone, a retired Newark, NJ fireman with a severely disabled adult child who receives Medicaid.. read more →

On Thursday, February 4, 2014, I, along with amicus counsel, argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of Thomas Saccone, a retired Newark fireman with a disabled adult child named Anthony. Anthony, now 40 years old, has received public benefits based on need, specifically SSI and Medicaid benefits, since he was age 18… read more →

This is the agenda posted outside the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday, February 4, 2014 when the Court heard oral argument in Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in which the Court will decide whether public employees should be allowed to direct their pensions’ death benefits to special-needs.. read more →

(A news report published in the New Jersey Law Journal on yesterday’s oral argument in the New Jersey Supreme Court is republished in full below.) Court Weighs Designating Trusts as Beneficiaries in State Pension Plans Michael Booth, New Jersey Law Journal, February 04, 2014 New Jersey’s high court is deciding whether public employees should be.. read more →

On February 4, 2014, Donald Vanarelli, Esq. argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of Thomas Saccone in a case entitled Thomas Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police & Firemen’s Retirement System. Legal counsel for four disability rights organizations filed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs on behalf of Mr… read more →

(From the website of the New Jersey Judiciary)  The following is the Supreme Court’s schedule for oral arguments on Feb. 4, 2014. The issues before the Supreme Court are outlined in the Appellate Division opinion in each case. (The following statements of issues on appeal are prepared by the Office of the Clerk for the.. read more →

(Recently, I was the featured speaker at a meeting of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. The subject was special needs planning for disabled spouses and/or disabled children in the context of divorce. The brief introduction to the subject given by the moderator follows, which is followed by a portion of the paper I.. read more →

The following post contains a summary of the noteworthy trust cases decided by New Jersey courts in the past year and a half, in chronological order. I also included links to the articles about the cases posted on this blog.  (1)    Pfeifer v. Langone, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 429 (App. Div. Feb. 29, 2012)… read more →

Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted a Petition for Certification I filed asking the Court to review a decision of the appellate division denying a request by my client, a retired fireman, to designate as beneficiary of his public pension death benefits a special needs trust he established in his Last Will and Testament. This.. read more →

For the past several years, I have represented Thomas Saccone, a retired Newark, NJ firefighter with a severely disabled adult child named Anthony. Anthony lives with his parents, is unable to work, has been found to be totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, and for many years has received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and.. read more →

(This is part 4 of a 4-part blog post on the subject of the assignment of various types of income to a special needs trust. This post discusses the assignment of annuities, IRAs and other retirement benefits to a special needs trust. Prior blog posts on this subject can be found here, here and here.).. read more →

(This is part 3 of a 4-part blog post on the subject of the assignment of various types of income to a special needs trust. This post discusses the assignment of child support to a special needs trust. Prior blog posts on this subject can be found here and here.) Child Support   SSI’s treatment.. read more →

(This is part 2 of a 4-part blog post on the subject of the assignment of various types of income to a special needs trust. This post discusses the assignment of alimony to a special needs trust. The first post in this series can be found here.) Alimony and Child Support In a nation with.. read more →

(This is the first of a 4-part blog post on the subject of the assignment of various types of income to a special needs trust. The upcoming posts discuss the assignment of alimony, child support, annuities, IRAs and other retirement benefits to a special needs trust. This first post discusses the public policy background of.. read more →