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 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, of which she is a Board Member.  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 is the Co-Chair of the Guardianship Committee 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), Treasurer 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), and 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.  

Fern was previously an Associate Attorney at the law firm of Damashek, Godosky and Gentile, where she litigated medical malpractice and personal injury cases.

Fern J. Finkel, Esq. is a co-founding partner at Finkel & Fernandez, LLP, concentrating in elder law, estate planning, asset protection, benefits and guardianships. She has been in private practice since 1990. 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 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.

(t) 347-296-8200