About Jim D. Sarlis

The son of Greek immigrants, Jim D. Sarlis grew up poor in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City. He was able to finance his education through academic scholarships and the jobs he maintained from the time his father died when Jim was just 12 years old. Mr. Sarlis understands, therefore, how hard families work for everything they achieve, and can appreciate the struggles his clients face. After graduating from NYC's Stuyvesant High School, Mr. Sarlis received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1980, and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1986. He has also studied taxation in the post-graduate Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program at New York University School of Law.

While studying at Fordham, Mr. Sarlis was a member of the Fordham Urban Law Journal and was invited to join the Fordham International Law Journal. He also participated in a variety of moot court competitions.

Jim D. Sarlis’ areas of concentration are in trusts and estates, elder law, contested estates, and real estate, including court litigation of these and related matters. Judges have selected Mr. Sarlis to serve on various guardianship cases as a Court Evaluator and Temporary Guardian, as a Guardian Ad Litem in estate cases, and as a Referee and Receiver in real estate and foreclosure matters. Mr. Sarlis has regularly litigated estate and elder law matters.

The Law Office of Jim D. Sarlis is located in Rosedale, NY, with convenient access to all areas of New York City and Long Island. Prior to moving his practice to Queens County, Mr. Sarlis worked in the trusts and estates departments of prominent Park Avenue law firms including as a paralegal at the multi-national law firm Kaye Scholer, and as an associate at Kurzman Karelsen & Frank, a firm which traces its roots back to before the Civil War.

Mr. Sarlis is admitted to the New York State Bar, the Federal Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the U.S. Tax Court.

Mr. Sarlis' background in Elder Law and Trusts & Estates includes:

  • estate planning (including with a view towards elder law, business succession, and tax benefit issues);

  • will and trust preparation;

  • advance directives: durable power of attorney, health care proxy, living will;

  • probate (including complex estates, ancillary probates, all kinds of assets including artwork, businesses, and collections);

  • administration;

  • accountings;

  • contested probates and other estate and trust litigations;

  • special proceedings such as turnover proceedings, kinship proceedings, Cy Pres proceedings;

  • marshaling of assets;

  • post-mortem planning;

  • guardianships, including contested guardianships;

  • court litigation to hold nursing homes liable for attorney fees for wrongfully detaining elders;

  • Medicaid planning and applications;

  • asset protection.

He has also taught Will drafting as a guest lecturer at New York Law School.

Jim D. Sarlis' background in Real Estate Law includes purchases, sales, refinances, leases, coops, condos, residential and commercial matters, and litigation in real estate disputes, including adverse possession, partition, and foreclosures. He has also taught Real Estate Law in the CUNY ABA-governed paralegal program.

Jim D. Sarlis’ litigation experience includes State (including Surrogate’s Court practice) and Federal Courts, including trials and appeals.


Mr. Sarlis is fluent in Greek and conversant in Spanish.


Jim D. Sarlis, Esq. has been a guest lecturer at New York Law School on the subject of Will drafting.


As a member of the faculty of Queens College of CUNY, Mr. Sarlis has taught paralegal courses, including "Real Property Law" and "Legal Writing", in its American Bar Association-governed Paralegal program.


As an elder law advocate, Mr. Sarlis has hosted public seminars where he addresses important topics such as Medicaid and estate planning.


Jim D. Sarlis, Esq. has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs to discuss estate planning and related topics.


Among his community activities, he has made appearances for NYS Bar Association events to the public, such as Decisionmaking Day (presentations regarding Wills and advance directives, and question-and-answer sessions concerning these and other legal topics).


Mr. Sarlis is the author of published articles in a variety of periodicals, for example:

"Assisted Signatures in the Elder Law Practice: What Constitutes Execution of a Document When the Client Needs Help Holding the Pen", NYS State Bar Association, Elder Law Attorney, Winter 2006, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 81 (view by clicking HERE);

"Use of the Constructive Trust Remedy to Enforce Oral Promises", Nassau County Bar Association, Nassau Lawyer, Focus on Real Estate section, December 2006 (view by clicking HERE);

"Beyond the Routine Advance Directives" [Deactivation of the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator], NYS State Bar Association, Elder and Special Needs Law Journal, Spring 2012, Vol. 22, No. 2, p. 15 (view by clicking HERE).

Other articles can be viewed in our Articles & Bulletins section as well as our Blog section.

Jim D. Sarlis, Esq. has earned a rating of "Distinguished" and a "Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards" from Martindale-Hubbell's confidential Peer Review Ratings, considered an objective and reliable indication of an "exemplary reputation and high professional standards"

Member of the Elder Law/Trusts & Estates sections of the NYS Bar Association

Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ("NAELA")