Estate & Elder Law Services
Dignity in planning your estate
Estate and Elder Law assists clients with wills, trusts, estate planning, probate, powers of attorney, health care directives, guardianship, conservatorship, special needs trusts, Medical Assistance planning, and real estate matters.
Office: 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.– 3:30 p.m.
All individuals are eligible to receive our services at private-pay rates. Individuals may qualify to receive some services at subsidized rates based on monthly income and asset levels.
Contact usPhone: 612-676-6300
Free mentoring for Minnesota attorneys
John Kantke is excited to offer free mentoring on supported decision making and guardianship matters! If you are an attorney that has questions about how to integrate supported decision making into your practice, creatively use alternatives to guardianship, craft a limited guardianship, or need advice regarding an existing client matter, this opportunity is for you. This mentorship is made available with financial support from the Minnesota Board on Aging and is available through September 30, 2021.
Who are we?
Estate and Elder Law Services (E&ELS) is a complete estate planning and probate law firm that is part of Volunteers of America-MN/WI (VOA). E&ELS has been a proud provider of legal services to the people of Minnesota for over forty years. Currently, we have three full-time attorneys licensed to practice in the state of Minnesota, serving people of all ages in the community. Our clientele ranges from individuals with a low or small fixed income to those with large estates. We offer legal services in preparing Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Guardianships/Conservatorships, as well as Probate services.
Because we are part of VOA we are a non-profit law firm falling under the 501-C3 category. This means we do charge for our services, but we are able to offer a sliding fee scale for those with financial need. By keeping our administrative costs low, we are able to provide competitive pricing for our private pay clients while offering subsidized services for low-income clients. The sliding scale is based on the U.S. Poverty Guidelines, allowing an incremental price reduction for clients in financial need, based on their income and assets.
We would be proud to assist you with any of your estate planning or probate needs. Keeping true to our mission, we constantly strive to provide high quality legal services to both private pay clients and those in financial need. When you use our legal services, you are giving back to the community.
Our office is located just north of downtown Minneapolis, at 1900 Central Ave. NE, Unit #106 , Minneapolis, MN 55418. We have a separate street-level entrance within the “Monroe Village” apartment building. There is both convenient on-street parking, as well as a small surface lot located behind the building. We are also able to provide services on a limited basis to those who are unable to travel to our office.
How we help
Estate & Elder Law is dedicated to helping clients accomplish their goals and plan for the future. Our attorneys are committed to meeting our clients’ needs with uncommon sensitivity. We assist clients with:
- Estate planning
- Powers of attorney
- Health care directives
- Special needs trusts
- Medical Assistance planning
- Real estate matters
Together, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in Elder Law practice. We are compassionate and committed to helping our clients make important life decisions.
As a non-profit agency, fees for our legal services are very reasonable and are typically billed at our hourly rate. Basic wills and trusts are available at flat-fee rates. All individuals are eligible to receive our services at private-pay rates. Individuals may qualify to receive our services at subsidized rates based on monthly income and asset levels.
Our mission and history
From the beginning, our mission has been to serve the community by providing estate planning legal services at reasonable prices. Our firm began in the 1970’s with a part-time staff as part of Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s senior services program called Minnesota Age and Opportunity (MAO). The mission was to serve seniors over the age of sixty-five, with funding largely provided by Community Development Board grants. As demand for estate planning services increased, MAO hired full-time attorneys to provide services. Eventually, grant money dwindled.MAO-Legal responded by creating a system where fees from private pay clients helped subsidize our work with low-income seniors. By continuing to keep administrative costs low, we were able to continue to serve both low income and private pay clients within the senior community.
In 1998 Abbott Northwestern ended their senior services program and MAO needed a new home. Volunteers of America-MN/WI was the perfect fit to continue the mission of providing legal services at a reasonable or subsidized price. The model of offering a sliding fee scale for those in financial need would continue. This partnership with VOA allowed our law office to branch out to the greater community and serve people of all ages seeking estate planning and probate services in 1998. MAO-Legal later renamed itself Estate & Elder Law Services in 2010 when it expanded its services to provide estate planning and probate services for the greater community at large.
Many private pay clients have come through our doors knowing that their legal fees were helping to assist those in financial need in the community. Our mission of assisting all people, regardless of income, with their estate planning, probate and guardianship needs began in the seventies and remains strongly in place today.
John A. Kantke
A lifelong Minnesota resident, John’s practice areas include guardianship and conservatorship, elder law, estate planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives), and probate. John is a member of the Elder Law Governing Council for the Minnesota State Bar Association as well as past-chair of the Elder Law Section. John spent seven years serving on the Hennepin County attorney panel for Guardianship and Conservatorship cases, nine years as a member of the board of directors for Avinity Senior Living, and five years at Bethel University teaching the “Ethics & Aging” course for the Gerontology master’s degree program Additionally, John serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law where he runs the Elder Law and Guardianship Alternatives clinic. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethel University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
Lucas B. Spaeth
Lucas is an experienced elder law attorney and a Minnesota native. He is a graduate of Bethel University and the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Lucas spent four years in solo practice before joining Estate and Elder Law Services and is experienced in estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships, and Medical Assistance planning. Lucas is intimately familiar with the unique issues facing the aging and elderly in Minnesota today, and he is passionate about helping people face those issues with grace and dignity. Lucas is a member of the Probate and Trust Section of the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Probate and Trust and Elder Law Sections of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Mai grew up in the Saint Paul area and attended Mitchell Hamline School of Law. While she attended law school, Mai worked at both the Ramsey and Hennepin Country Probate Courts, learning the ins and outs of the probate and guardianship and conservatorship systems. Mai's practice areas include estate planning, probate administration, and guardianships and conservatorships. Mai is a member of the Probate and Trust Section of the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Probate and Elder Law Sections of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
A will is a legal document that allows you to state how you would like your assets to be distributed at the time of your death. Assets distributed by your will go through the probate process after your death.
A trust is a legal entity you can create to transfer assets to a trustee either during your lifetime or after your death. Assets you transfer to the trust do not go through the probate process.
Estate planning involves considering your options and deciding on the best way to plan for transferring your assets to others after your death and planning for possible incapacity during your lifetime.
Probate is a legal process by which the court oversees the distribution of your estate after your death.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to authorize someone else to handle your financial affairs. The document can continue to be effective if you become incapacitated. It does not continue to be effective after your death.
Health Care Directives
A health care directive is a legal document that allows you to state your views and wishes regarding your health care. It also allows you to name a person to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes.Everyone over the age of eighteen should have a health care directive.
A guardianship proceeding is a legal process by which the court appoints a person to make decisions about an incapacitated person’s residence and personal care.
A conservatorship proceeding is a legal process by which the court appoints a person to manage an incapacitated person’s financial affairs.
Special Needs Trusts
A special needs trust is a particular type of trust that can be set up to benefit a person with disabilities while preserving the person’s eligibility for government programs.
Medical Assistance Planning
Medical Assistance is Minnesota’s Medicaid program, a publicly funded health care program that pays all or part of a qualifying person’s medical expenses. Medical Assistance planning advice addresses eligibility, asset preservation and gifting.
Real Estate Matters
Real estate matters may involve clearing a title, removing a deceased person’s name from a title, or transferring title via a quit claim deed, warranty deed, contract for deed, life estate deed, or transfer on death deed.
Information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice. E-mail communication or other information submitted via this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
- Contact us for more information
- Phone: 612-676-6300
- Fax: 888-657-3224