Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. Will Present At The 25th Annual Elder And Disability Law Retreat

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. ( will present at the 25th Annual Elder and Disability Law Retreat to be held at the Wind Creek Casino and Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on April 20 – 21 by the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Elder and Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Mr. Vanarelli will join his colleague Beth Manes, Esq. to speak on the topic of “Supporting and Protecting People with Mental Illness.” After an introduction with a child development specialist, Mr. Vanarelli will focus on the legal options available for addressing mental health issues in adults, such as powers of attorney, psychiatric advance directives for health care and agreements for supportive decision-making, and will then examine guardianship cases involving mental health issues. He will also review the process of counseling clients on the next steps following guardianship. For additional information regarding this event, attorneys may contact the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) at 732-214-8500 or visit their website at

For additional information regarding guardianships and related Court procedures, as well as elder law and estate planning issues, contact Vanarelli & Li, LLC at 908-232-7400, or visit online at

Format: Meeting
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Date: April 20 – 21, 2023
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET




                                                THURSDAY 4/20


9:10-10:10 “Going After the Perpetrator: Civil Litigation and Criminal Remedies on Behalf of the Wronged Elder” – Rubin Sinins, Esq.
10:10-11:10 “Long Term Care Planning for Non-Traditional Couples” – Donald A. Dennison, III, Esq.
11:10-11:25 Break
11:25-12:30 “Probate Litigation Issues” – Donald F. Browne, Jr. Esq.
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 “Annual Case Law Update” – Melanie R. Costantino, Esq.
2:30-3:30 “Supported Decision Making: A Less Restrictive Alternative to Guardianship” – Michael R. Brower, Esq.
3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-4:15 “The Impact of Age on Bilingualism” – Crystal West Edwards, Esq.
4:15-5:00 “Aid In Dying” – Maisie Chin Smith, Esq. and Dana Bookbinder, Esq.




                                                   FRIDAY 4/21

“Where Can I Find That? Resources for Elder Law Attorneys” – Ryann M. Siclari, Esq.



“Long Term Care Delivery Models in Our Countries” –Jerold E. Rothkoff, Esq. and Eloy Van Hal


10:30-11:30 “Aging Parents of Children with Disabilities: 5 Unique Planning Considerations” – Joellen Meckley, Esq.
11:30-12:00 “Secure 2.0 – Electric Boogaloo” – Carl Archer, Esq. & Evan Kerstetter, Esq.
“Supporting and Protecting People with Mental Illness” Beth C. Manes, Esq. and Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq.



Donald D. Vanarelli

Donald D. Vanarelli is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Certified by the National Elder Law Foundation, an ABA-certifying organization. In addition to being one of only about 500 attorneys who have been Certified in Elder Law in the United States, Mr. Vanarelli is also one of about 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, selected for this honor by his fellow practitioners.

Don also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Elder and Disability Law Section. The Lifetime Achievement Award, the Elder and Disability Law Section’s highest honor, is bestowed on an attorney with an established history of distinguished service who has made significant contributions in the field of elder and disability law throughout his or her career. Don is also an Accredited Veterans Attorney,  an Accredited Professional Mediator and a Past Chair of the Elder and Disability Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Don is actively involved in trial advocacy on behalf of elderly and disabled citizens, and has successfully litigated cases in New Jersey’s Supreme Court and in federal court.  Don was lead counsel representing the plaintiff in a seminal estate planning / guardianship / Medicaid planning case entitled In re Keri, 181 N.J. 50 (2004), in which the New Jersey Supreme Court, for the first time, permitted guardians to engage in public benefits planning to obtain Medicaid eligibility for their wards. Don also represented the plaintiff in a pivotal case entitled Saccone v. Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, 219 N.J. 369 (2014) in which the New Jersey Supreme Court, for the first time, permitted a special needs trust to be designated as the beneficiary of a state pension. Don was also co-counsel representing the plaintiff in Galletta v. Velez, Civil No. 13-532 (D.N.J. June 3, 2014) in which a federal court ruled, for the first time, that a pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs may not be counted as income in determining Medicaid eligibility.

Don represents seniors and disabled persons in estate planning, financing long-term medical care, nursing home issues, qualifying for Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other public benefits, special needs planning, and litigation, including probate, elder abuse and guardianship lawsuits.