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Susan Elizabeth Johnson-Drenth

Elder law Attorney at Fargo, ND

5.0   2 reviews

About Susan

Learn Susan’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Elder law
    20%
    Susan is the only Certified Elder Law Attorney (through the National Elder Law Foundation by testing, years of practice and peer review) in the State of North Dakota and Northern Minnesota. Elder Law means assisting the elderly and the disabled.

    24 years

  2. Estate planning
    20%
    Susan assists you with detailed estate planning: power of attorney; wills; trusts; beneficiary changes; asset protection; minimizing estate tax; and, business succession. JD Legal Planning PLLC can help you and your family understand how it works.

    24 years

  3. Guardianship
    10%
    Guardianship and conservatorship are court processes needed when an individual is unable to responsibly make their own decisions, handle finances or care for themselves. Susan and her paralegals can help your family.

    24 years

  4. Medicaid and medicare
    10%
    Medicaid planning and nursing home asset protection planning is a specialty that not many attorneys address. Susan is a Certified Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation as well as a Registered Nurse, and can help your family.

    24 years

  5. Probate
    10%
    Susan and the attorneys and paralegals at JD Legal Planning PLLC help families navigate through the legal issues at the time of loss, including probate, trust administration and the preparation of the estate tax return. We are here to help!

    24 years

  6. Trusts
    10%
    Depending on your situation, there could be many reasons why you should establish a trust: avoiding probate; minimizing estate tax; privacy from the court probate process; special needs family members; second marriage situations; etc.

    24 years

  7. Wills and living wills
    10%
    Every adult with children and/or assets should have a will to direct: who will inherit, in trust or outright; who will be the guardian of minor or disabled children; and, who will be the personal representative.

    24 years

  8. Real estate
    2%
    As part of your estate planning with Susan, she will review your real estate and make recommendations for ownership: life estate deeds; transfer on death deeds; quit claim deeds; trust deeds; and, oil and mineral deeds.

    24 years

  9. Agriculture
    1%
    Raised in the Red River Valley, Susan is very familiar with the unique estate planning needs of farming families. This is especially important in Minnesota with its unique estate tax and ag homestead status issues.

    24 years

  10. Business
    1%
    Succession planning for business, property or land interests is part of your estate planning. Susan will help you to indentify the best entity and plan to transition ownership during life or upon death. Susan can help you form the business, too.

    24 years

  11. Lawsuits and disputes
    1%
    Unfortunately, for many reasons not all family matters are amicable. Susan can help you with disputes regarding guardianship, conservatorship, will contests, trust disputes, real estate, as well as other matters.

    24 years

  12. Limited liability company (LLC)
    1%
    Susan, as well as the attorneys and paralegals at JD Legal Planning PLLC, can help you form a new LLC, address concerns with an existing LLC, and help you transition the LLC to the next generation.

    24 years

  13. Mediation
    1%
    Litigation is more costly now than it has ever been, so mediation should always be considered. Susan is a Certified Mediator, and received her training at Northwestern University in Chicago.

    24 years

  14. Oil and gas
    1%
    As part of your estate planning, Susan helps you identify the oil rights and mineral interests you own, and will recommend the best way to leave them to your family, which may include a trust or LLC.

    24 years

  15. Partnership
    1%
    Sometimes a partnership is a better plan than a LLC, especially in farming situations. Susan, as well as the attorneys and paralegals at JD Legal Planning PLLC, can help your family with a LLP, LLLP or general partnership.

    24 years

  16. Power of attorney
    1%
    Every person over age 18 should have a Durable General Power of Attorney (POA), which will allow those you trust to manage your affairs if you are unable. Without a POA in place, your family will need guardianship.

    24 years

Susan's practice areas include elder law, estate planning, probate, probate litigation, guardianships, and trust law including special needs trusts for the disabled.

Susan is the only Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in North Dakota and Northern Minnesota.

Susan is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is a former State Chair for North Dakota.

In addition to practicing law, Susan continues to hold licensure as a Registered Nurse in North Dakota.

Susan is also a certified mediator specializing in contested probate and guardianship matters, having received her training at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Susan received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and her Associate's Degree in Nursing from North Dakota State University. Susan graduated with distinction from the University of North Dakota School Of Law.

Susan gives frequent presentations on all areas of elder law and has written numerous articles on elder law topics for newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Susan was selected as a Great Plains Super Lawyer for exhibiting excellence in her areas of practice. Susan was also named a Minnesota Law and Politics Rising Star.

Susan is licensed to practice law in Minnesota and North Dakota, and is a member of the Probate & Trust Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, North Dakota State Bar Association and is also a member of the Red River Valley Estate Planning Council.

Susan is the Chair of the Elder Law Section of the State Bar Association of North Dakota.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 25 years
State MN
Status Authorized to Practice
Acquired 1997
Updated 10/28/2022
State ND
Status Authorized to Practice Law
Acquired 1997
Updated 11/22/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Susan

JD Legal Planning PLLC
902 S. 28th St.
Suite. 2
Fargo, ND, 58103

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  2 customer reviews
5 Star
 
100%
4 Star
 
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3 Star
 
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2 Star
 
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1 Star
 
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Posted by Phil | January 16, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Organized, Experienced, Solid
We have a special needs daughter which requires unique trust documentation. Sue is the only elder care attorney in the region with that qualification. Always organized and responsive to our many questions over the years.
Posted by Dan | January 2, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Top of her field in Elder Care, Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, and Farm Succession Planning
I have worked with Susan personally and professionally for over 10 years now. I have seen first hand her knowledge and capabilities in helping families plan, prepare, protect, and preserve their legacies. Her knowledge of options and the law are second to none. I highly recommend Susan and her team at JD Legal Planning!

Cost

We have not found any cost information for this lawyer

Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner Attorney and President
  • JD LEGAL PLANNING PLLC
  • 2012 - Present
  • Partner
  • Vogel Law Firm, Ltd. (Formerly Gunhus Law Firm)
  • 1997 - 2012

Education

  • University of North Dakota School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1997
  • North Dakota State University
  • BS - Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
  • 1994
  • North Dakota State University
  • Associates Degree in Nursing (R.N.)
  • 1985

Associations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Fellow
  • 2012 - Present
  • North Dakota State Bar Association, Elder Law Section
  • Chair
  • 2008 - Present
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Elder Law Section
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • Cass County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • Clay County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • Red River Valley Estate Planning Council
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • North Dakota Board of Nursing
  • Registered Nurse
  • 1988 - Present
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Former North Dakota State Chair
  • 2013 - 2020
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • Certified Elder Law Attorney
  • National Elder Law Foundation
  • 2002
  • Certified Mediator
  • Northwestern University
  • 2002

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (12)
Elder law Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Susan has assisted me on numerous occasions. She is thorough, professional and client focused. She's my go to for Elder law issues. I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 13
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Susan, is experienced, professional and uniquely qualified. I would recommend her to any of my clients who need assistance in her areas of expertise."
Trusts Attorney | Jan 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Susan has assisted me on numerous occasions where I need a Trust to protect my clients' settlement proceeds. Susan is thorough, professional and always focused on my clients' best interest. She explains the terms of the Trust well so my clients are comfortable with the process. I am very fortunate to have Susan's help in my cases."
Probate Attorney | Jan 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Susan is a wonderful resource for wills, estates, trusts, all things elder law, and probate. She generously provides advise and I have worked with her and her office for different clients in a cooperative manner. Great friend, advisor, and colleague!"
Trusts Attorney | Jan 03
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse Sue. She is extremely knowledgeable on special needs trusts, Medicaid planning and elder law. Sue communicates well and is reliable."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 02
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Sue is very skilled and experienced in elder law matters. She provides her clients with straightforward advice, and has an exceptional work ethic."
Elder law Attorney | Jan 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. She is experienced, capable, smart, and well deserving of your business."
View more endorsements
General practice
Corporate and incorporation
Criminal defense
Litigation
Estate planning
Estate planning
Personal injury
Estate planning

Avvo Contributions

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Fargo Elder law Lawyer Susan Elizabeth Johnson-Drenth
Susan Elizabeth Johnson-Drenth
Elder law Attorney
Fargo, ND
Licensed for 25 years