Practice Areas

ELDER LAW AND ESTATE PLANNING            Ms. Hawthorne understands your unique Elder Law needs and can help you to determine which documents and trusts best suit your needs. She has extensive experience in drafting of Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts. As a Guardian herself, and certified to accept assignments from Surrogate’s Court and Supreme Court as a Guardian, Guardian ad Litem , Attorney of the Alleged Incapacitated Person, Counsel to Guardian, Court Evaluator and Supplemental Needs Trust Trustee, Ms. Hawthorne is uniquely qualified to assist you with all guardianship needs, under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law and 17A Guardianships in Surrogate’s Court.

Her experience and knowledge of the estate planning process will assist you at any planning stage, including issues of:


Power of Attorney

Healthcare Proxy

Living Wills

Revocable Living Trusts

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts

Supplemental Needs Trusts



Nothing is more difficult than the death of a loved one. In addition to the emotions and stress, family members often are forced to navigate the Surrogate’s Court system to address complicated issues of probate and estate administration. Joanne M. Hawthorne’s years of Surrogate’s Court experience will help to insure that the wishes of the decedent are honored and that the legal complexities of the probate process are simplified. Ms. Hawthorne has handled all matters in the realm of probate and estate administration, including heirship issues, litigation and accountings, both informal and judicially settled.

Letters Testamentary

Letters of Administration

Will contests

Heirship Issues

Asset marshaling and distribution

Debt payment

Formal and informal accounting procedures.

The process may be complex, but the philosophy is simple – to achieve the best outcome for you and your family




Ms. Hawthorne is experienced in all aspects of Domestic Relations law, including divorce, legal separation, custody and child support proceedings in both Supreme Court and Family Court. Her knowledge of matrimonial law will help to guide you in determining the best path for you, whether it be through mediation, negotiation or litigation. Her personal and sensitive approach will help to minimize both your emotional and financial stress during this trying time.

Matrimonial services include



Legal separation

Child support

Pre nuptial agreements

Step parent adoptions

Qualified Domestic relations orders