• Shirley B. Whitenack co-chairs Schenck Price's Elder and Special Needs Law Practice Group and the Estates and Trusts Litigation practice Group. She devotes a substantial portion of her practice to elder and special needs law, estate planning and administration, and trust and estate litigaiton. She is also on the State of New Jerey roster of approved mediators.

    Shirley is a Past President of the Natonal Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a NAELA Fellow, and a member of NAELA's Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP), an invitation-only group of elder and special needs planning practitioners, and has served as an adjunct professor of law in the J.D. and LL.M. in Elder Law Programs at Steton University College of Law.

    Shirley is a member of the Special Needs Alliance (SNA), an invitation-only nationwide alliance of special needs planning attorneys.  

    Shirley publishes and lectures extensively on topics related to guardianship, elder and special needs law, estate and trust litigation and probate mediation.  She is quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, Kiplinger's Personal Financial Magazine, Money and Consumer Reports.

    Shirley received the NJSBA's Legislative Service Award in 2003 for her contribution in drafting and promoting revisions to New Jersey's guardianship statutes and the NJSBA's Amicus Curiae Award in 2004. Shirley received GANJI's Recognition Award in 2003 for her contribution in advocating for the civil rights of incapacitated individuals.

    She received NJICLE's Distingished Service Award in 2007 and the Distinguished Service Award from the NJSBA's Elder & Section in 2009. Shirley received the Community Health Law Project's Ann Klein Advocate Award in 2011 for improving the lives of people with disabilities and was reocgnized in 2011 by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in a Joint Resolution for service to those with special needs. In 2012, she was honored by the NJSBA for her long service as a trustee of the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and received the NJSBA"s Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her contribution to New Jerey's enactment of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. Shirley received the Morris County Bar Association's Civil Practice Award in 2015 and is the recipient of the 2017 Alfred C. Clapp Award for Excellence in Legal Education by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Educaiton. In 2019, she was selected by the New Jersey Bar Foundation as a recipient of the prestigious Medal of Honor.

    She is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized in New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey's top 100 Super Lawyers, one of New Jersey's top 50 women Super Lawyers and as a top Elder Law "Super Lawyer."* She also has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (C)** for Trusts and Estates. 

    • Repeatedly selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers® * list, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the field of Elder Law
    • Included on the list of Morris/Essex Health & Life magazine's 2018 and 2019 "Top Lawyers" in Elder Law
    • 2018 NAELA John J. Regan Writing Award, May 2018
    • Recipient, 2017 Alfred C. Clapp Award for Excellence in Legal Education by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
    • Shirley B. Whitenack Named to New Jersey Law Journal’s 2016 Top Women in Law List
    • Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® in Trusts and Estates, The American Lawyer magazine (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
    • Recipient, Morris County Civil Practice Award 2015
    • Recipient, New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), Distinguished Legislative Service Award, December 2012
    • Recipient, Community Health Law Project, Ann Klein Advocate Award (2011)
    • Recognized by Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in a Joint Resolution for service to those with special needs (October 2011)
    • Recognized in New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey’s The Top 50 Women, and as a “Super Lawyer” * in Elder Law
    • Recognized in New Jersey Monthly magazine as one of New Jersey's The Top 100 "Super Lawyers"
    • Recognized by NJBIZ (a New Jersey weekly business journal) as a top elder law attorney
    • Featured Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), NAELA News magazine, Vol. 21, Issue 5, 2009
    • Recipient, Distinguished Service Award,  NJSBA, Elder & Disability Law Section, 2008
    • Fellow, NAELA, 2007
    • Recipient, Distinguished Service Award, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) 2007
    • Recipient, NJSBA, Amicus Curiae Award, 2004
    • Recognition Award, Guardianship Association of New Jersey, Inc., (GANJI), 2003
    • Recipient, NJSBA, Legislative Service Award, September 2003
    • AV® rated, the highest rating conferred by Martindale-Hubbell® for legal ability and professional ethics, based upon a peer review of the Bar and the Judiciary
    • Invited to join the national Special Needs Alliance
    • Invited to join the national NAELA Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP), a group of experienced elder law and special needs planning attorneys
    • Included on roster of court-appointed mediators for Superior Court of New Jersey
    • Frequently serves as court-appointed attorney and guardian ad litem in guardianship and probate matters
    • Notes and Comments editor while in law school
    Shirley Berger Whitenack
    Rated by Super Lawyers

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    Award Methodology

    • Presenter, "How to Repair Broken and Outdated Irrevocable Trusts," 16th Annual NAELA CAP Seattle, WA
    • Presenter, 2020 Case Law Update program, NAELA 2020 Conference, Seattle, WA
    • Presenter, "Ethics for Elder Law Attorneys," NJICLE 22nd Annual Elder & Law Retreat, Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn, April 23, 2020
    • Facilitator, "Complicated Guardianship Issues You LIkely Have Never Encountered," NJ-NAELA Chapter's 2020 Unprogram, Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn
    • Quoted in Consumer Reports, 3 Critical Ways to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse, February 22, 2019
    • Speaker and Moderator, "Planning for the Future Now: Advanced Issues in Elder and Special Needs Law," August 10, 2018
    • Author, ABLE Act Changes in 2018
    • Quoted in Consumer Reports magazine, Putting the Assisted Living Facility Contract Under a Microscope, October 2017
    • Quoted in the AARP Bulletin, The Second-Marriage Dilemma/New Spouse Inheritance, May 2016
    • Co-author, The Fiduciary Pitfalls of Managing Special Needs Trusts That Own Real Estate
    • Frequent lecturer on elder law, special needs law, guardianship, and trusts & estates planning and litigation for NJICLE and other professional and charitable organizations
    • Frequently quoted in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Barron's, Market Watch, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Maganzine and the AARP Bulletin
    • Has served as a contributing author to New Jersey Elder Law Practice, 3rd ed., (NJICLE), West Group’s New Jersey Practice Elder Law Guardianship & Conservatorship, Vol. 45, Trusts for Senior Citizens (ALI-ABA), Elder Law Trusts and Estates: Leading Lawyers on Strategies for Working with Clients and their Families in Estate Planning (Aspatore), and Creating a Trust: What You Need to Know Now (Quick Prep) (Aspatore)
    • Co-author, NJ Enacts Law to Prevent 'Granny Snatching', New Jersey Law Journal, December 10, 2012
    • Co-Author, “The Revival of Income-Only Trust in Medicaid Planning,” Estate Planning magazine, Vol. 36
    • Co-Author, “Special Needs Settlement Planning: Preserving Public Benefits and Enhancing the Injured Party’s Quality of Life,” New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, August 2010, No. 265
    • Former Faculty, Superior Court of New Jersey's Judicial College
    • Is Getting Paid to Care for Our Parents Ever OK? Wall Street Journal MarketWatch podcast
    • Recognizing the Importance of Living Wills, NJTV News
    • Trustee, New Jersey State Bar Association
    • Member, Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court for Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Vice-Chair of the Surrogate Decision Making Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law 2012-2013
    • Adjunct Professor, J.D. and LL.M. in Elder Law programs, Stetson University College of Law (2012-2014)
    • Member, NAELA Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP)
    • President of the Board of Directors, NAELA (2015-2016)
    • President-Elect, NAELA (2014-2015)
    • Vice President, NAELA (2013-2014)
    • Treasurer, NAELA (2012-2013)
    • Member, NAELA’s Guardianship/Capacity Section Steering Committee
    • Former Chairperson, NAELA’s Advocacy/Litigation and Membership Committee
    • Member, Special Needs Alliance
    • Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section and Real Property, Probate & Trusts Section
    • Member, New Jersey State Bar Foundation, Program Development Committee
    • Member, Morris County Bar Association, Estate and Trust Committee
    • Former Trustee, Guardian Assocaition of N.J., Inc.
    • Member, NJSBA, Continuing Legal Education Advisory Committee
    • Former Chairperson, NJSBA—Elder and Disability Law Section
    • Former Trustee, NJICLE
    • Successfully represents corporate and individual fiduciaries in litigation
    • Represents financial institutions serving as executors, trustees, guardians, and individuals
    • Represents litigants in interstate contested and uncontested guardianship matters
    • Represents seniors and their families in planning for incapacity
    • Represents and provides advocacy for individuals with special needs and their families
    • Assists personal injury attorneys in structuring settlements and awards for their clients who have special needs and establishing special needs trusts