Please Consider Nominating Us!

Six years ago, New Jersey Family launched Best NJ Lawyers for Families campaign. The website asks parents about the lawyers who’ve made a difference in their family’s lives at the most stressful of times. According to the website, the nominations by parents result in a list of professionals who’ve “gone above and beyond” to advocate for their clients. From family law to estate planning to elder law and special needs planning, the lawyers on the “Best NJ Lawyers for Families” list are, according to the website, “nominated by parents for being the best of the best.”

New Jersey Family confirms that all nominations are thoroughly vetted by NJ Family’s project management team, and every nomination is reviewed to ensure that it came from someone who used the services of the attorney being nominated.

New Jersey Family asks for the first/last name, email address and city/town of each nominator. The first and last name of the attorney, the town in which they practice and the area of law they assisted the nominator with are also mandatory questions. New Jersey Family also asks for the name and address of the law firm but this information is not mandatory. New Jersey Family encourages nominators to share testimonials but this, too, is not mandatory.

Final results and the complete Best NJ Lawyers for Families list are published in the April issue of New Jersey Family magazine each year and on

Here’s a link to the nomination page on

Thanks for voting—hopefully, nominations will help families get top-notch representation when they need it most.

But HURRY – Nominations close on November 30th.


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.