Robert M. Freedman

Partner

P 212.216.8066   F 212.216.8001
1350 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

 

Robert M. Freedman

Partner

P 212.216.8066   F 212.216.8001   rfreedman@tarterkrinsky.com

Robert Freedman is a partner in the Trusts and Estates Group. Within the general trusts and estates practice, Robert has focused his practice to address the issues facing the elderly and persons with disabilities and their families. Robert’s clients can depend not only on his deep knowledge of the law and forty years of experience, but also the compassionate practical approach he brings to his practice.

Representation of individuals with special needs and their families is a cornerstone of Robert’s practice. In addition to helping families qualify for and secure government benefits like Medicaid, Robert counsels families on a multi-generational level to ensure that special needs beneficiaries are appropriately provided for in the family’s estate plan. Beyond the intricacies of the legal issues that arise, he appreciates and understands the daunting circumstances that persons with special needs and their families face. Robert is nationally recognized for advising clients on planning for individuals with disabilities and their families, especially Autism and other developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental illness and physical disabilities.

Robert has extensive experience in addressing the legal and financial issues of the elderly population and focuses much of his work on elderly clients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS and other debilitating illnesses. He is a founder of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and was elected as one of its first fellows. He also founded the Elder Law section of the New York State Bar Association, served as its chair and was honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Robert’s clients come to learn that elder law is “more than just Medicaid” and is appropriate and necessary for individuals in all socioeconomic situations.

In 1985, Robert founded the elder law firm Freedman and Fish, which was one of the first firms specializing in the field of elder law. Robert began working in elder law as a law student and then as a staff attorney at the Institute on Law and Rights of Older Adults of the Brookdale Center on Aging in 1978. He was a staff attorney at Legal Services for the Elderly until he left to assist in starting the Bet Tzedek Legal Clinic at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, which provides legal services to indigent elderly and disabled clients. Prior to joining the firm, Robert was a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP and at Mazur Carp & Rubin, which combined with Schiff Hardin in July 2013.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a couple with an 18-year-old child on the autism spectrum. The parents became the child’s guardian for his person and property. Robert then took the steps necessary to qualify the child for programs and residences, which require Medicaid eligibility, and assisted in locating those programs. Robert also did the estate planning for the parents, as well as other family members, to assure that the child with the disability would be financially provided for but maintain eligibility for Medicaid.
  • Represented a couple with a 50-year-old disabled son who had $1 million in accounts in his name funded by his parents when he was a child. Qualified the son for Medicaid, which was required for placement in the best community residence. Prepared an estate plan for the parents that provided for them for the rest of their lives, and for their disabled son and other children. The planning documents were drafted to provide for their son without jeopardizing his government benefits and ensuring he would be cared for even after their deaths.
  • Drafted a prenuptial agreement for a client who wanted to protect her assets for the benefit of her disabled sibling. Worked with her matrimonial attorney and her financial advisers to be sure that the team protected her assets.
  • Advised a trustee regarding whether, and how, to make distributions from a Supplemental Needs Trust for a disabled beneficiary without jeopardizing the beneficiary’s eligibility for Medicaid and for a New York State benefit that was paying for her day program and job placement assistance.
  • Developed and implemented a planning strategy for a 35-year-old client with multiple sclerosis to meet her medical and financial needs as the disease progressed.
  • Advised and assisted a client whose husband was being admitted to a nursing home for long-term care. Qualified the husband for Medicaid, thereby protecting their home, retirement accounts and most of her income and assets. She was able to preserve their assets for future generations, rather than spending it during her lifetime on her husband’s long-term care.
  • Counseled a client with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease on long-term care planning. Advised him of his options for his care, including nursing home and home care. Guided him in evaluating the planning options that would allow him to preserve his assets for the rest of his life and protect his assets in case he needed to go into a nursing home. The planning also provided for distribution of his assets upon his death, giving him comfort in knowing that his wishes would be respected and implemented.
Education
  • New York University School of Law, J.D. 1980
    • Fiorello LaGuardia Award for Distinction in Urban Law
  • Tufts University, B.A. 1976
Admissions
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Awards and Honors
  • New York Super Lawyers, 2006-2019
  • Best Lawyers in America, Elder Law, 2008-2020. Lawyer of the Year, 2013, 2017, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America, New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016
  • Elder Law Attorney of the Year, Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program, 2013
  • Trustee Award, Council of Senior Centers and Services, 2010
  • Advocacy Award, Council of Senior Centers and Services, 1999
Memberships
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc., Founder, Fellow
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Elder Law Section: Founder, Past Chair, Executive Committee
    • Trusts and Estates Section: Executive Committee, Chair Special Committee on Powers of Attorney
  • Alzheimer's Association, Board of Directors emeritus
  • Calvary Hospice Services, Professional Advisory Committee
  • Carter Burden Network for the Aging, Board of Directors

News

Events

  • Robert M. Freedman and Alexis Gruttadauria to Present CLE Program on What Every Attorney Needs to Know About Elder Law

    On December 12, Trusts & Estates, Elder Law and Special Needs partner Robert M. Freedman and associate Alexis Gruttadauria will present the CLE program, “What Every Attorney Needs to Know About Elder Law.”

    The program, which is part of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin’s CLE series, will focus on the most important legal and financial issues facing the growing aging population. Elderly clients worry about how they will manage their health care and finances for the rest of their lives and are particularly concerned about the effects of memory loss and dementia. About 15% of the population is affected by dementia by age 70 and that percentage increases to about 40% by age 90.

  • Robert M. Freedman and Alexis Gruttadauria to Present NYSBA CLE Program on the Basics of Elder Law and Special Needs Practice

    On November 15, Trusts & Estates Partner Robert M. Freedman will present “Ethical Considerations for Representing an Elderly Population” as a part of the New York State Bar Association CLE program, “Basics of Elder Law & Special Needs Practice,” which will be chaired by associate Alexis Gruttadauria.

Education
  • New York University School of Law, J.D. 1980
    • Fiorello LaGuardia Award for Distinction in Urban Law
  • Tufts University, B.A. 1976
Admissions
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Awards and Honors
  • New York Super Lawyers, 2006-2019
  • Best Lawyers in America, Elder Law, 2008-2020. Lawyer of the Year, 2013, 2017, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America, New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016
  • Elder Law Attorney of the Year, Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program, 2013
  • Trustee Award, Council of Senior Centers and Services, 2010
  • Advocacy Award, Council of Senior Centers and Services, 1999
Memberships
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc., Founder, Fellow
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Elder Law Section: Founder, Past Chair, Executive Committee
    • Trusts and Estates Section: Executive Committee, Chair Special Committee on Powers of Attorney
  • Alzheimer's Association, Board of Directors emeritus
  • Calvary Hospice Services, Professional Advisory Committee
  • Carter Burden Network for the Aging, Board of Directors

Robert Freedman

Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. Click here to view.

I agree