Donald Vanarelli
Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli

242 St. Paul Street
Westfield, New Jersey 07090, United States
Phone: 908-232-7400
Fax: 908-232-7214
Areas of Practice
  • Administrative Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Education
  • Family Law
  • Health
  • Litigation
  • Military Law
  • Taxation
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Practice/Organization Description

I have been a practicing attorney since 1983, admitted in NJ and NY. A graduate of Rutger's Law School, I practice in the areas of elder law, estate planning and administration, special needs planning, probate and guardianship litigation, family law, mediation and collaborative law. Before attending law school, I worked for the Social Security Administration adjudicating claims for benefits under the Social Security, SSI, Medicare and Medicaid programs. I served as law clerk to Hon. Herbert S. Alterman, J.S.C. I am board-certified as an elder law attorney. I have also received accreditation by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to prepare, present and prosecute claims for veterans. In 1992, I founded my own law firm and I now employ other legal professionals and support staff. I also co-founded the Elder Mediation Center of NJ. I have litigated cases in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies.I am happily married and the father of three children.I have been blogging since 2008. My blog is called the Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli Blog


Medicaid and Public Benefits Planning; Estate Planning and Administration; Special Needs and Disability Planning; Compensation and Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs; Guardianship Services; Will Contests, Probate Litigation and Elder Abuse Lawsuits; Special Education Law; Medicaid Applications and Appeals; Family Law Services; Nursing Home Law; Social Security Disability Appeals; and, Dispute Resolution Services, including Elder Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Divorce Mediation

Bar Admissions

Admitted, New Jersey and New York


· Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, J.D. Law, 1979 – 1983

· Montclair State University, B.A. English Literature and History, 1968–1972

· California State University-Chico, English Literature and History, 1970–1971

· Somerset-Middlesex Inn of Court Program Trial Advocacy Skills, 1989

· University of Virginia Law School, Institute of Trial Advocacy, 1987

· Institute for Dispute Resolution of New Jersey, Divorce Mediation Training, 2004

· Elder Decisions, LLC, Advanced Elder Mediation Training, 2007

· Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group, Interdisciplinary Collaborative Family Law Training, 2007

Professional Associations & Memberships

Elder and Disability Law Section of the NJ and NY Bars; Family Law Section; National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; Academy of Special Needs Planners; National Association of Veterans Advocates; National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives

Honors and Awards

· Lead counsel in In re Keri, 181 N.J. 50 (2004), a landmark NJ Supreme Court guardianship / elder law case.

· Certified Elder Law Attorney by the Nat'l Elder Law Foundation, accredited by the ABA.

· Named to the NJ "Super Lawyer" list.

· Selected by NJBIZ magazine as one of the top 25 NJ mediators.

· Founding Member, Academy of Special Needs Planners.

· Accredited Veterans Attorney.

· Accredited Professional Mediator.

· "AV" rated from Martindale-Hubbell for over 10 years.

· Founder, Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey.

· Insurance Producer, Certified in Long Term Care.

· Union County Probate Early Settlement Panelist.

· Vice-Chair, NJ State Bar Elder & Disability Law Section.

· Member, Council of Advanced Elder Law Practitioners (invitation only).

· Founding Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys-New Jersey Chapter.

· Member, Nat'l Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives.

· Member, Nat'l Organization of Veterans Advocates.

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