Heidi F. Friedman is chair of Becker’s Elder Law, Trust & Estate Planning, Probate practice group. She is one of only a few select Board Certified Elder Law Attorneys, with extensive experience in elder law, Medicaid programs, Veteran’s Administration programs and Special Needs Planning. Heidi is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys. She also sits on the Unauthorized Practice of Law committee, as well as the Medicaid committee for the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar. Heidi is also an accredited attorney with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and is a director for the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center in Lake Worth. In her role as an elder law attorney, Heidi has assisted hundreds of elderly individuals with obtaining government benefits to help them pay for their long-term care needs, whether at home, in an assisted living facility or in a skilled nursing home.
Heidi has dedicated herself to the elderly and special needs population, not only through her legal career, but also as the Development Director of Alpert Jewish Family & Children Services, during the years of 2009-2011, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide necessary services for the elderly and individuals with special needs within our community. During her time at AJFCS, Heidi was responsible for fundraising needed dollars to allow AJFCS to continue to provide its invaluable services to families in need at low and affordable costs. Further, she was instrumental in persuading a City Board to circumvent its ordinance restricting the number of individuals AJFCS could help in one of its homes for the disabled, allowing more individuals with special needs to have a safe and healthy place to live. Additionally, Heidi was responsible for organizing community events, such as “No Excuse for Abuse,” a luncheon dedicated to raising funds for abused women and children.
Prior to the birth of her two sons, Heidi worked for a mid-size law firm that represented several large corporations. Her responsibilities included ensuring that employees of these companies were treated fairly and without discrimination as required under federal and state constitutions and laws. In this capacity, Heidi provided seminars and workshops discussing federal and state laws and regulations governing discrimination in the work environment. Today, Heidi continues to educate the public through seminars wherein she provides valuable information on how to prepare and plan to protect private assets against the significant cost of long-term care using estate planning strategies.
Heidi is a South Florida native, sister of two Army veterans, and the mother of two sons, both with special needs. She has been a dedicated advocate for the special needs community and assisted other children with special needs to obtain necessary services within the school system. She successfully lobbied the state legislature to increase education funding and promoted healthcare issues.
Additionally, she was involved with safeguarding our schools in her role as a Hearing Officer for the Broward County School system. Using her advocacy skills, as well as her professional and personal knowledge of the special needs community, Heidi successfully ensured children with special needs were not excluded from government programs, such as summer camp, and that playground equipment was both appropriate and safe for these children.
- Assisted husband with obtaining Medicaid benefits to pay for skilled nursing home for wife with Alzheimer’s reducing the monthly bill from $7,500 to $1,864.63, protecting the husband’s assets
- Assisted son of mother with Alzheimers with obtaining $1,153 VA Aid and Attendance tax-free monthly benefit for mother as a surviving spouse of wartime veteran and qualified mother for $1,200 in Medicaid to help pay for memory unit for mom
- Created 1st Party Special Needs Trust for disabled individual who received an award of $650,000 in workers compensation matter, protecting her ability to continue to receive SSI and Medicaid
- Created a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust for 9/11 Survivor for settlement monies to allow her to protect her settlement and still be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits after look-back period, while still maintaining assets in the trust for her benefit
- Qualified Wartime Veteran and his wife for an additional $2,127 tax-free monthly VA Aid and Attendance Benefit, as well as, qualified both husband and wife for Medicaid services at home, allowing their private assets to be sheltered to pay for additional and necessary care to allow couple to remain at home.
PROFESSIONAL / COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- Member of Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar
- Veterans Administration Certified
- Director, Estate Planning Council of Broward County
- Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Member of Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys
- Member of Florida Lawyers Networking
- Professional Publication
- Florida Motions in Limine, Westlaw Publishing Company, Inc. (2007)