Melissa Negrin-Wiener, Esq., has been named partner in the leading elder law and estate planning firm Cona Elder Law based in Meville, LI.
An associate attorney with the firm since 2002, Ms. Negrin-Wiener has worked her way up through the firm and now manages the Government Benefits Department while concentrating her practice in the areas of Medicaid eligibility planning, asset protection planning, disability matters, guardianships and estate planning. She supervises the preparation of Medicaid Applications for nursing home care, home care and community benefits. As a partner, Melissa will be responsible for new business development, networking, seminar presentations including continuing education courses, managing personnel and more.
Although Melissa was already an attorney when she joined Cona Elder Law, the firm did not have an attorney position available. However, in order to break into the field, Melissa took a position with the firm as a paralegal in the Medicaid department. Within a few months, Cona Elder Law recognized her outstanding capabilities handling Medicaid cases and working with clients and she was promoted to an associate attorney.
“Melissa has a talent for communicating and connecting with families who are under great stress when a loved one needs long term care. She guides families through the legal process in a truly supportive way and takes care not to overwhelm families with too much technical detail at once,” explains managing partner Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. Clients rely on Melissa for more than legal advice. She will often counsel clients regarding care and placements options, such as assisted living, home care and nursing home care options and even how to handle caregiver stress and end of life decisions.
Prior to joining Cona Elder Law, Melissa was an associate attorney in a matrimonial law firm.
But her interest in elder law started as a teenager while observing the hardships her grandmother faced trying to pay for nursing home care. “I watched my grandmother struggle financially to get the care she needed. She had to sell many personal possessions, including jewelry and family heirlooms to pay for her care and ultimately had to go on Medicaid benefits. Watching her struggle to secure health care made me vow to help other people and families navigate the system more easily,” says Melissa.
Melissa is the chair of Cona Elder Law Charitable Events, a not-for-profit organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for the elderly, disabled and the underprivileged. Melissa dedicates much of her time to raising money for charitable causes including the Long Island Fight for Charity and Cona Elder Law’s annual Midnight Run relief mission to hand deliver food and warm clothes to New York City’s homeless. Melissa is also active in a variety of community outreach programs and was instrumental in initiating a theater project at an assisted living facility and social activities at nursing homes to spend one-on-one time with seniors.
Melissa is currently the co-chair of the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association Elder Law Committee. She is a member of the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations Elder Law Committees, the New York State Bar Association, the Gerontology Professionals of New York, the Senior Umbrella Networks of Suffolk County and Nassau County, the Advanced Elder Law Focus Group and the Library Connection (LBC). Melissa is a member and the past secretary of the Smithtown Lioness Club which raises money to assist the elderly, blind and physically impaired and she is the past secretary of the Senior Umbrella Network of Suffolk County. She is a State Certified Guardian ad Litem, Court Evaluator, and Counsel to Guardians and incapacitated persons and is accredited by the Veterans Administration for the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims before the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A Smithtown resident, Melissa received her Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law where she concentrated in family law and elder law. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Law from Binghamton University. Melissa is the recipient of the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award from Touro Law School.
Melissa has been featured in Newsday’s Ask the Expert column, was profiled in the Suffolk Lawyer’s Elder Law Edition, and has been featured in the Long Island Business News’ not-for-profit section for her charitable works. A frequent lecturer at professional organizations, assisted living facilities and senior citizen groups, Melissa speaks on a variety of Medicaid and estate planning issues and leads a series of seminars throughout Long Island titled Medicaid Made Simple. Melissa has also appeared as a guest on several radio programs.
Cona Elder Law PLLC, is a Melville, LI based law firm in practice for over 30 years. The firm provides a full range of elder law and estate planning services. Cona Elder Law has been featured in print and broadcast media including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Reader's Digest as well as WNBC-TV, CNNfn, News 12, WLNY-TV, News 55, WFAN and other radio programs.