Laura M. Brancato is a Partner in the firm’s Mental Health, Guardianship & Elder Law Litigation Practice Group who devotes her practice to complex guardianship and elder law litigation including Article 81 and 17A guardianship proceedings, Article 9 proceedings under the Mental Hygiene Law, Power of Attorney litigation and related Supreme Court fiduciary litigation. Laura also handles Surrogate’s Court litigation including contested wills, turnover proceedings, judicial accountings and related litigation.
She has extensive experience litigating in New York State Supreme Court, Surrogate’s Court and at all levels of administrative hearings on behalf of her clients. Laura’s practice group covers a broad range of mental hygiene law issues associated with cognitive impairment, mental and behavioral health, and substance use disorder.
Laura is an active member of the Part 36 Fiduciary Appointment list and is regularly appointed by Judges throughout the downstate area in Article 81 proceedings, especially in those cases that pertaining to a mental health diagnosis.
As a compliment to her practice, Laura serves as Co-Chair of the Guardianship Committee of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and Vice-Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Mental Health Committee. Laura was recently appointed to the New York State Task Force on Mental Health and Trauma Impacted Representation. As a task force member, Laura participates in legislative initiatives to improve access to and delivery of vital mental health services.
Laura frequently lectures on a wide variety of topics and has been a featured speaker throughout New York State. Most recently, Laura presented at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Educating America Tour, the New York State Women’s Bar Association, the Estate Planning Counsel of New York, the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar and the Meltzer Lippe Annual Taxation Seminar.
Laura is also an author on topics related to adult guardianship proceedings, special needs planning, mental health law and related topics. Her written work has been featured in Trusts & Estate Magazine, the New York State Bar Association Publication on Elder Law and Special Needs Planning in addition to the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Journal.
Prior to working in Guardianship and Elder Law practice, Laura held a position as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County. There she tried numerous cases in the Gam/Major Case Unit of the office. Laura received her undergraduate degree Loyola University in Maryland where she studied political science and business. She received her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, where she held an executive board position on the Moot Court Honor Society.
Laura lives in Westchester, New York with her three children. She is an active member of her community and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Flint Park Conservancy.