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About Joanne Seminara

Serving Clients in the Five Boroughs and New Jersey


Photo: Joanne Seminara

Joanne Seminara


"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 is a partner at Grimaldi & Yeung LLP and an attorney licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey for almost 3 decades. Joanne practices in the areas of elder law, estate and trust planning, including estate tax and Medicaid planning, and special needs planning.

Joanne has handled trusts and estates for her entire career, drafting countless wills and trusts. Joanne is especially gratified that she has provided compassionate service to families facing the death of a loved one to make sure a decedent’s last wishes are fulfilled, personally acting as trustee and executor as needed. Joanne is an experienced negotiator of Medicaid liens for clients and has successfully developed asset protection plans for the clients who have special needs and require long term care. Joanne, who has extensive experience representing both individual and corporate clients in the sale and purchase of real estate, is known for her thoroughness, tenacity and compassion. Please click here to see Joanne Seminara speak about elder law and estate planning on the program Brooklyn Savvy.

Formerly a partner of the Manhattan firm of Kurzman, Karelsen & Frank LLP, Joanne, who has practiced many other areas of the law, including corporate, employment law and land use and zoning law, assists the firm in the development of estate plans for clients with business interests who require specialized business succession planning.

Public speaking, organizing and community service have been an important part of Joanne’s life for 30 years. She regularly speaks at legal education seminars on estate, trust and tax matters and is a popular speaker at community events. Together with Judith Grimaldi, Esq. and Pierre Lehu, Joanne recently published her first book entitled: 5@55: The Five Essential Legal Documents You Need By Age 55 (Quill Driver Books, 2015) which together with a national education campaign highlights the critical importance of having 5 legal documents in place before age 55. (For more information see www.5at55.com)

A member of Community Board 10 in Brooklyn for some 18 years, Joanne served as chair of the Board’s Land Use and Zoning committee and was the elected Chair of the Board from 2010 to 2013, priding herself on efficiently running a Board that emphasized the talents of its members and ensured inclusion of all community voices. A volunteer member of community organizations for many years, Joanne is currently an elected Democratic State committeewoman and executive committee member of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, a member of Lutheran Medical Center’s Investigative Review Board, which reviews and makes recommendations regarding new medical procedures and protocols, and is a hospitality minister at her church.

In her spare time, Joanne, a proud grandmother, enjoys politics, traveling, reading and decoupage.


Dear Joanne,
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.
Be well,

Published Works

  • 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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