New Jersey Elder Law Attorney

Donald D. Vanarelli established his law practice over 30 years ago in order to address the legal needs of the elder and disabled community in New Jersey. The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli is now well-regarded throughout New Jersey in the areas of elder law and estate administration, probate litigation, guardianships, will contests and special needs planning. In order to provide comprehensive services for our clients, we offer a variety of services for the elderly, the disabled and their loved ones in the complex areas of income, estate and gift tax planning, public benefits planning, trial advocacy and court procedures.


Don has established a reputation as an effective advocate whose commitment to the needs of the elder and disabled community is reflected in his community involvement, accreditations and achievements.

For example, Don has been certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (accredited by the American Bar Association) as a Certified Elder Law Attorney. He is an Accredited Veterans' Attorney and an Accredited Professional Mediator. Don is a founding member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys. Don is also a member of various organizations committed to disability rights and elder law, including the National Guardianship Association and its New Jersey affiliate, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Don is a past secretary and current member of the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a past chair of the New Jersey Bar's Elder and Disability Law Section, selected as a panelist on the New Jersey Probate Early Settlement Panel, a member of the Union County Elder Law Committee, and a past board member and current member of the New Jersey Association of Accredited Mediators.

Don was named to the New Jersey Super Lawyer list in the years 2007–2014 by a survey of his peers. Importantly, Don has been rated "AV-Pre-Eminent*" by Martindale-Hubbell, a legal services firm which has been rating attorneys nationwide for 160 years. An "AV-Pre-Eminent" rating is the highest rating available for legal skills and ethical conduct.

Don is a frequent lecturer before the New Jersey State Bar Association and other groups, educating other attorneys and elder care professionals in areas of elder and disability law.

Mr. Vanarelli is a graduate of Montclair State College and Rutgers Law School-Newark. He served as law clerk to Hon. Herbert S. Alterman, J.S.C., a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Vanarelli worked for the Social Security Administration, evaluating claims for benefits under the Social Security, SSI, Medicare and Medicaid programs. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Kathmandu, Nepal.


The law is just one aspect of a sound estate and special needs plan. Since we've worked on matters involving elders and the disabled for years, we have relationships with governmental agencies, financial service providers and other important organizations. As we handle the legal aspects of your case, we'll also ensure you know where to turn for the other help you need. We can bring in other professionals to help you, or make appropriate referrals.


When you find yourself facing any of the issues confronting the older population, the disabled or their loved ones, the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli can address your needs.

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli has provided exceptional legal service over the years in the following areas:

  • Medicaid and public benefits planning
  • Medicaid applications and Medicaid appeals
  • Special needs and disability planning
  • Guardianship and fiduciary services
  • Contested guardianships and probate litigation
  • Estate planning and administration
  • Social Security Disability appeals
  • Will contests, power of attorney abuse cases and accounting lawsuits
  • Elder mediation and collaborative law services

Even if clients don't know where to begin, we can identify problems and will clearly outline solutions to address the unique needs of each client.

Find out how we can help you identify and navigate complex legal issues, and outline solutions to address your needs. Call us at 908-264-5143.

* AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.