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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.