Julie Stoil Fernandez
Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Brooklyn, NY
Julie Stoil Fernandez has dedicated her entire professional life to advocating on behalf of people with mental illness and other special needs that cause functional impairments to help provide financial, social and residential tools to reach the highest potentials of autonomy. She has also worked tirelessly on behalf of caregivers, to afford them the legal protections to better care for persons with limited capacity. Julie Fernandez has also represented clients in contested guardianship proceedings for 30 years.
Ms. Stoil Fernandez started her career as a counselor, and later became a director, of a state-run emergency overflow shelter for 500 men in Boston, Massachusetts. She later attended Northeastern University School of Law and interned with the Mental Health Legal Action Center in Boston, Massachusetts and Legal Action Center for the Homeless (now known as the Urban Justice Center), in New York City, representing children in psychiatric facilities and homeless adults in their applications for and hearings regarding their public benefits.
In her first position as an attorney, Ms. Stoil Fernandez worked for Mental Hygiene Legal Service, First Judicial department for seven years, representing psychiatric patients in hearings on their involuntary retention in hospitals, treatment over objection and discharge planning. She also represented insanity acquittees in conditional release hearings against various county District Attorneys' offices and The New York State Attorney General's Office.
Ms. Stoil Fernandez started her own practice in 2000, which combined elder law - advance directives, special needs planning, and Medicaid eligibility work with representation of petitioners in guardianship proceedings, and the subjects of guardianship proceedings by Court appointment. She has also represented hospitals and respondent patients in Assisted Outpatient Treatment (MHL 9.60) hearings, Mental Hygiene Warrants and inpatient medical and psychiatric treatment-over-objection proceedings.
In addition to providing representation, Ms. Stoil Fernandez has served as a Court Appointed Guardian and Special Needs Trustee herself for more than 30 individuals –addressing all of their personal needs and property management to maximize their autonomy in the community and to represent and enforce their wishes for the rest of their lives. She is also frequently appointed as a Court Evaluator in guardianship proceedings in all counties of New York City, reporting to the Courts on the conditions and circumstances of respondents in guardianship proceedings and recommending resources and powers that a Guardian would require to protect their ward, while maintaining the person’s individuality and freedom.
In 2015, Ms. Stoil Fernandez partnered with Fern J. Finkel, a prominent elder law attorney also in solo practice in Brooklyn, to form Finkel & Fernandez, LLP, an all-services elder law and special needs practice combined with mental health litigation and advocacy.
Ms. Stoil Fernandez' experience with mental health issues and consumer rights, and her knowledge of the responsibilities of fiduciaries, uniquely qualifies her to work with the family members of mentally ill individuals as well as families of persons with functional limitations as a result of injury, accident or developmental disabilities, to balance rights and protections and to plan the futures of individuals who may outlive their caregivers.
She regularly speaks at senior centers and support groups in Brooklyn to better inform families and mature adults of their rights and responsibilities to maintain their autonomy and to age in place. She is also a speaker at bar associations and home care agencies on issues related to mental health advocacy and elder abuse. Closely related to Ms. Stoil Fernandez' work to educate groups, Finkel & Fernandez, LLP also serves as a mentor practice to elder law clinic students at New York Law School, Brooklyn Law School and Touro Law School.
Ms. Stoil Fernandez is certified and trained in family, divorce and elder law mediation, and while she is a fierce and zealous advocate for clients in Court, she also is skilled at finding amicable solutions between parties to reduce the expense and length of litigation, when possible and warranted.
Ms. Stoil Fernandez is the Chair of the Mental Health Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Special Needs Section. She is the former Co-Chair of the Elder Abuse Committee and is additionally a member of the Brooklyn Women's Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). She has been practicing law since 1993.
About Julie Stoil Fernandez
First Admitted: 1993, New York
Professional Webpage: https://www.ffelderlaw.com/julie-stoil-fernandez-esq
- Bachelor of Arts Degree - Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, 1985
- Family and Divorce Mediation, 2000
- Elder Law Mediation, 2014
Pro bono/Community Service
- Brooklyn Bar Association - Legal Education and Assistance Program "LEAP" Volunteer Lawyers' Project. Visit and speak at senior centers throughout Brooklyn, facilitate Health Care Proxy executions., 2015
- A short piece to alert attorneys to the plight of undocumented persons in hospitals, who are incompetent to care for themselves and ineligible for public benefits which would enable needed-nursing home beds. Without a safe discharge plan, the patient may remain for years in a hospital bed, the cost of which must be absorbed by the individual hospital., Author, Ready to Leave the Hospital with No Way Out -For Hospitalized Immigrants, COVID 19 can be a life sentence, New York State Bar Association Journal, 2020
- An overview of Article 81 Guardianships from the filing of the petition throug the conclusion of the initial hearing. , Panelist/Presenter, Guardianship to Go - CLE presentation, The Bronx Women's Bar Assocation, Bronx County Bar Association and Dominican Bar Association, Prospective Applicants And Appointees From The Judiciary Rules Part 36 List, 2019
- An Op Ed on the perils of failing to execute durable powers of attorney, living wills and other advance directives to protect our most important determinations about our lives, if/when we become unable to act for ourselves. , Author, Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail, Queens Daily Eagle, 2018
- CLE Course on specifics of Guardianship Litigation, Panelist/Presenter, Dos and Don'ts of Article 81 Guardianship Proceedings, Brooklyn Bar Association, 2018
- A live presentation with my partner, Fern J. Finkel on Guardianship in New York for Lawline, a national CLE provider., Speaker, Guardianship in New York, Lawline, 2017
- Presented with Fern Finkel on the Selection and Responsibilities of Court Evaluator at CLE on "Intermediate Elder Law" given by New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section, Fall 2017., Presenter, Selection and Responsibilities of Court Evaluator, New York State Bar Association, 2017
- Presented on Post-Guardianship Remedies and Proceedings during the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section Fall Meeting, October 2017., Speaker, Post-Guardianship Remedies and Proceedings, New York State Bar Association, 2017
- Presented at the Brooklyn Bar Association with Robin Goeman on "Interim Motions in Guardianship", June 2017., Presenter, Interim Motions in Guardianship, Brooklyn Bar Association, 2017
- Training to home care attendants in spotting elder abuse, reporting requirments and addressing trauma., Panelist/Presenter, Elder Abuse Training for Home Care Providers, Renewal Care Partners Home Care Agency, 2016
- Lectured on "Advance Directives" during the "Basics of Elder Law" CLE Program, given by the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section, December 1, 2015, Presenter, Advance Directives, New York State Bar Association, 2015
- Chair, Mental Health Committee, NYSBA, Elder Law & Special Needs Section, 2021
- Chair, Mental Health Committee, NYSBA Elder Law & Special Needs Section, , 2020
- Co-Chair Mental Health Committee - NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, 2019
- Co-Chair Elder Abuse Committee - NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, 2018
- Co-Chair, Elder Abuse Committee, NYSBA Elder Law & Special Needs Section, 2017
- Co-Chair Elder Abuse Committee, NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, 2016
- Co Vice-Chair, Elder Abuse, NYSBA Elder Law & Special Needs Section, 2015
- Co Vice-Chair Elder Abuse Committee- NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, 2014
- Co-Chair Mental Health Committee, NYSBA Elder Law & Special Needs Section, 2013
- Co-Chair of Mental Health Committee - NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, 2012
- Co Vice-Chair Mental Health Committee, NYSBA Elder Law & Special Needs Section, 2011
- Co-Vice Chair Mental Health Committee NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, 2010
- Contested Guardianships
- Mental Health Litigation and Advocacy
Last Updated: 5/15/2022