Joanne Seminara, Esq.
Serving Clients in New York City and the New York Metropolitan Area
“Estate and Special Needs Planning can be stressful. It is rewarding and humbling each time a client places her or his unique needs in our hands and see their tension ease when they leave our office, knowing we have made a difference in their lives.”
Joanne Seminara has been an attorney licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey for over 3 decades. Joanne is a partner of the elder law firm of Grimaldi Yeung Law Group.
Joanne practices in the areas of elder law, estate and trust planning, including estate tax and Medicaid and special needs planning. An attorney known for her thoroughness, tenacity and compassion, Joanne is experienced in other practice areas, including residential and commercial real estate, corporate law, employment law and land use and zoning matters.
Passionate public speaking, organizing and community service has been an important part of Joanne’s life. She regularly speaks at community education seminars on estate, trust and tax matters and conducts continuing legal education seminars. In 2015, Joanne, with Judith D. Grimaldi, authored her first book entitled: Five @ Fifty- Five; Five Essential Legal Documents You Need by Age 55, as part of a public education campaign that highlights the critical importance of having 5 legal documents in place by mid-life. Her various television appearances include the 6 PM News on Fox 5 New York, Brooklyn Savvy, NY1, Good Day New York and WPIX Channel 11 News.
Joanne Seminara has received numerous awards and recognitions, among them: 2017 Bay Ridge Third Avenue Merchant’s Civic Award; 2016 Power Women in Business Award from Home Reporter & Spectator News; 2016 Community Service and Law Award from the Brooklyn Real Estate Board; 2014 Winner of New York City Council Women’s Community Service Award; 2012 Winner of Top Women in Business Award from Home Reporter & Spectator News. Joanne was recently named “Best Lawyer” 2020. This recognition is based solely on peer review and recommendations.
Joanne is an active member of the Elder Law and Special Needs (ELSN) Section and the Trusts and Estate Section of the NYS Bar Association (NYSBA). She is co-Chair of the ELSN Ethics Committee, co-chair of ELSN’s Committee on Long-Term Care Facility Reform, and a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, the Bay Ridge Bar Association, and the Brooklyn Bar Association. As member of Community Board 10 for over 2 decades, Joanne served as Chair of Board 10 from 2010 to 2013. A volunteer member of community organizations for many years, Joanne is past President and member of her local chapter of Business Networking International and an elected NYS Democratic Committeewoman and Executive Committee member of the NYS Democratic Party.
A life-long Bay Ridge, Brooklyn resident, Joanne enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her husband, Pierre A. Lehu, children and grandchildren.
To whom it may concern:
I have the highest regard for Joanne Seminara. She is absolutely the best, most detailed and thorough attorney with whom I have ever worked.
I hired Joanne to work with me on my guardianship case. My partner had a severe stroke three years ago and I became his guardian. To pay for his medical, housing and legal needs, I spent nearly the entirety of my savings. With my partner’s permission, I sold a house that he owned – and hired Joanne to petition the court to reimburse the money I had spent on my partner’s expenses from the proceeds of the sale of the house. That money is needed for my son’s college tuition and my retirement.
In addition, Joanne was tasked with establishing a supplemental needs trust (SNT) for my partner with money to pay his future expenses.
This was a complicated case and one which required extreme attention to detail.
Joanne immersed herself in the case to learn all the circumstances and to create a detailed plan in order to successfully secure reimbursement and establishment of the SNT.
Throughout my time with her, Joanne paid attention to every small detail – and managed the case in such a way that she was prepared to the top degree. She organized expenses I had incurred and made sure I had backup for everything – so that my case would be as compelling as humanly possible.
Joanne looks at the big picture and creates a viable plan – but where she is equally strong is in attention to even the smallest detail. She follows through on everything.
I am happy to report that my case had the best possible outcome and Joanne should get all the credit for that.
She is ethical, kind, business savvy and detail oriented. She is literally everything you need your attorney to be.
– John McCook
I just wanted to say thank you for all your help. I know when my daughter and I came into your office three years ago, it did not seem that this day would ever come. I choose your company from the internet, because it was a professional looking group of women. I told myself that they are women, they will understand. I am so very happy that I choose you. Thanks for your patience while working with us.
– Julie I.
I am always grateful to you because you take such good care of your clients. I am glad that you are so diligent in helping them. My friends have been very impressed and appreciative of your services.
Thank you so much!
I want to thank you for the excellent work that you do for our family. You are a kind person and a thorough attorney. I admire both qualities.
- 5@55: The Five Essential Legal Documents You Need By Age 55, Quill Driver Books, 2015
- Lecturer, Real Estate, Bay Ridge Real Estate Institute, 1992 – Present
Honors and Awards
- 2014 Winner of New York City Council Women’s Community Service Award
- 2012 Winner of Top Women in Business Award from Home Reporter & Spectator News
- 2010 Keynote Speaker on women’s voting rights at Ft. Hamilton Army Base
- 30th Anniversary Service Award from the Union Center for Women
- Service Award from the Golden Flame Society of St. Rosalia-Regina Pacis Church
- Community Service Award from the Guild for Exceptional Children, Inc.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Member
- Member NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section
- New York City Bar Association
- Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, Member
- Business Networking International
- Former lecture, Bay Ridge Real Estate Institute
Past Employment Positions
- Wolff, Seminara & Lehu, Partner, 1990 – 1994
- Wolff, Seminara & Mitherz, Associate Attorney, 1986 – 1990
- Kurzman Karelsen & Frank, LLP , Partner
- Bay Ridge Real Estate Institute, Lecturer
Pro Bono Activities
- Democratic State Committeewoman, 64th Assembly District, 2002 – Present
- Chair, 2010-2013, New York City Community Board 10, member since 1993
- Past President, Alliance of Bay Ridge Block Associations
- Guild for Exceptional Children, Inc. past director and parliamentarian
- Community member of Lutheran Medical Center’s Investigative Review Board
- Candidate for New York City Council
- President, Alliance of Bay Ridge Block Associations
- President, Bay Ridge Forum
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