“Fern J. Finkel, Esq. has been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer in the field of Elder Law.”
At Finkel & Fernandez, LLP., co-founding partners, Fern J. Finkel and Julie Stoil Fernandez, bring decades of experience in elder law, estate planning, asset protection, benefits, guardianships, and special needs advocacy to their clients. The firm represents clients in all counties of New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. They offer a wide variety of services and practical planning solutions and instruments for the protection of older adults, persons with disabilities and their loved ones. They work closely with clients and their families to plan for future financial and personal safety through estate and asset protection planning, special needs trusts, Medicaid and benefits planning, and advance directives including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills and other planning instruments. They take pride in their commitment to compassionate listening and to protecting vulnerable seniors and disabled persons.
Fern brings a wealth of experience and compassion to her clients. She is known for her skillful analysis of financial and personal circumstances and for providing practical planning to enable seniors and disabled clients to remain independent through advance directives, asset protection, benefits planning and trusts.
Fern has been selected by the Courts, as well as by family members, to serve as the appointed Guardian and/or Trustee for many individuals in need of personal needs and/or property management. She represents clients in all aspects of guardianship proceedings and has been appointed as Counsel and as Court Evaluator by the New York State Supreme Court in countless cases. She has helped thousands of seniors through her extensive community outreach and pro bono services on behalf of the indigent elderly of New York City. Fern spearheaded the Legal Education and Assistance Project, known as LEAP, at the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. LEAP’s mission is to train and support pro bono attorneys in providing community outreach and education on all aspects of advance planning to seniors, with the goal of maximizing their independence and ability to remain at home long term.
Fern graduated with honors from New York University College of Business and Public Administration in 1981. She received her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law in 1984. She has been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer in the field of Elder Law in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Fern is the co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section, a Director of New York National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), an Executive Board Member of Legal Services New York City, the Chair of the Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation Law Committee, Vice Chair of the Brooklyn Bar Association Elder Law Committee, co-facilitator of the Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS), and a Co-Founder of the Touro Center Aging and Longevity Institute Guardianship Quality Initiative. She served for years as a volunteer certified mediator with Safe Horizons for community disputes, PINS cases and custody matters, as well as with the United States District Court, Eastern District.
Fern lectures for various Bar Associations and Continuing Legal Education providers on topics including the Role of the Guardian, Role of the Court Evaluator, Advance Directives, Supplemental Needs Trusts, Benefits Planning, Aging in Place, and Guardianships. She is a mentor attorney at the Brooklyn Law School HELP (Helping Elders Through Litigation and Policy) Clinic, the Touro Law School Externship Program, and the New York Law School Elder Law Clinic. Fern serves on the Committees on Character and Fitness for the Second Judicial Department.
Fern has received numerous awards for her pro bono service including the Brooklyn Bar Association Frieda S. Nisnewitz Award for Pro Bono Service (1996), an Award of Merit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1997), the New York State Bar Association Pro Bono Award for the Second Judicial District (2003), the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Hanna S. Cohn Pro Bono Award (2004), and the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project Building Bridges Award (2013). She was the 2009 and 2013 recipient of the Brooklyn Bar Association Distinguished Service Award.
The Top Attorneys of North America, a New York based publication, distinguishes and profiles leading attorneys who have reached a recognizable degree of success and leadership in their field. The directory is valued for promoting awareness of the accomplishments within the North American legal community.