Donald D. Vanarelli Named to the 2023 Super Lawyer’s List in Elder Law for the 17th Consecutive Year

We are pleased to announce that Donald D. Vanarelli was named to the New Jersey Super Lawyer’s list in Elder Law in 2023. Out of over 85,000 attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey, and the numerous attorneys who practice in the area of Elder Law in our state, Mr. Vanarelli is one of only 33 attorneys to be named to the Super Lawyer’s list in Elder Law this year. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. This is the 17th consecutive year in which Mr. Vanarelli has been named to New Jersey’s Super Lawyer’s list in Elder Law.

“I’m honored to be selected to New Jersey’s 2023 Super Lawyers list in Elder Law. My selection this year is particularly significant in that it is the 17th consecutive year in which I was named as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in Elder Law. Super Lawyers is one of the most respected ratings organizations in the legal field. I am honored that my colleagues thought highly enough of me to nominate me again this year, and that I have been repeatedly selected as a Super Lawyer in Elder Law for many years,” Vanarelli said.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

In 2007, the New Jersey Supreme Court appointed a Special Master to conduct an investigation into the validity of the selection methodology used by “Super Lawyers” and other attorney ranking services. After a year-long investigation, the Special Master issued a 300+ page report, concluding that the “Super Lawyers” methodology for selecting outstanding attorneys was valid. As a result, in 2008 our Supreme Court, for the first time, permitted attorneys to publicly identify themselves as having been selected for inclusion in the list of “New Jersey Super Lawyers.” In re Opinion 39 of the Committee on Attorney Advertising, 197 N.J. 66 (2008)

Elder Law, which includes Special Needs Planning, is a legal specialty focusing on the legal needs of seniors and people with disabilities. The major legal practice areas within Elder Law and Special Needs Planning include estate planning and trust administration; probate litigation and will contests; disability planning, including guardianships and special needs trusts; the protection of the elderly and disabled against abuse, neglect, and  exploitation; and, public benefits planning for long-term care, including Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and Veterans benefits.

The digital version of the 2023 New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine, which  contains the entire print publication, is accessible here – 2023 New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine.

The Super Lawyers website, containing information and other resources about Elder Law and access to New Jersey attorneys named to the 2023 Super Lawyers list in Elder Law, is accessible here – 2023 Super Lawyers in Elder Law website.

Vanarelli & Li, LLC congratulates Mr. Vanarelli on being named to New Jersey’s Super Lawyers List in Elder Law in 2023, for the 17th consecutive year.


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.


About Vanarelli & Li, LLC

The law office of Vanarelli & Li, LLC, located in Westfield, New Jersey, provides a broad range of legal services for seniors, the disabled and their families. The law firm guides clients through complex legal areas including public benefits planning, trial advocacy and court procedures, the administrative process, as well as estate and gift tax laws. Call 908-232-7400 or e-mail for an appointment.