Jennifer L. VanderVeen, Partner, CELA

Contact Information

Phone 574.232.3538
Fax 574.232.3790


Paralegal Email: Carol Krause
Legal Assistant Email: Angela Williams

Practice Areas

  • Elder law
  • Estate planning
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Medicaid benefits
  • Special needs
  • Guardianships
  • Estate taxation
  • Probate
Jennifer VanderVeen, Member National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Jennifer L. VanderVeen named to National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Councel of Advanced Practioners
Jennifer L. VanderVeen, CELA, AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and peers for ethics and legal ability

Super Lawyers Rising Star, Jennifer L. VanderVeen, CELA

Jennifer is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation and is accredited by the Veteran’s Administration to practice before the VA. She is a member of the Elder Law sections of both the Indiana and Michigan state bars. She is a past chairperson of the Indiana Elder Law section and Past President of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

In 2016, Jennifer was elected to NAELA’s Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP). A member of CAP is an attorney who has been nominated and selected by her peers – experienced Elder and Special Needs Law attorneys – to be part of the Council as a result of their commitment and contribution to their clients and the ethical, high-quality practice of Elder and Special Needs Law.

Elder Law

As an Elder Law attorney for THK Law, LLP, Jennifer counsels clients in the areas of special needs trusts, guardianships, veteran’s benefits, Medicaid benefits, and probate. Her elder law services include:

  • creating complex long term care asset protection plans for both Medicaid and Veteran’s benefits eligibility;
  • analyzing tax implications of trusts, tax-deferred assets, and real estate transactions;
  • counseling clients on fiduciary duties as powers of attorney, guardians, and trustees;
  • drafting complex estate plans, including special needs and disability planning and defective grantor trusts;
  • completing Medicaid and veterans benefits applications for both nursing home and disability cases;
  • managing guardianship cases, probate estates, and trust administrations.

Estate Planning & Administration

In addition to her elder law services, Jennifer provides estate planning and estate administration services that include:

  • drafting wills and trusts;
  • counseling families with special needs individuals;
  • advising clients on benefits and taxation;
  • powers of attorney;
  • and overseeing the administration of estates.

Business Law

Jennifer’s significant experience as an attorney also includes extensive work in the area of business law, counseling business owners and individuals:

  • drafting corporate and limited liability company organizational documents;
  • providing extensive tax research and analysis on a variety of business related topics;
  • assisting with complex real estate and corporate financing transactions;
  • and providing ERISA and other employee benefit research and analysis.

Professional Licensure

  • Indiana State Bar Association, Elder Law Section, 1999
  • Indiana Bar Association:  Board Certified Trust and Estate Lawyer, 2021 (by the Trust & Estate Specialty Board)
  • State Bar of Michigan, Elder Law Section, 2008
  • St. Joseph County Bar Association, 2013
  • Cass County Michigan Bar Association


  • Michigan Bar Probate and Estate Planning Certificate, 2012
  • Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, 2006
  • The University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1999
  • Albion College, International Political Economy, B.A., 1996

Professional Organization Leadership

  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
    • Board of Directors, 2012-present
    • President of Board of Directors, 2019-2020
    • Treasurer, 2015-2016
    • Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP), Member, 2016
    • Tax Section Steering Committee Chair, 2009-2012
    • Co-chair, National Aging and Law Institute, 2012
    • Chair, Unprogram, 2013
    • Co-chair, NAELA Summit, 2015
    • Elder Law Section – Indiana State Bar Association, Chair, 2008-2010

Community Involvement

  • Presenter, REAL Services Boomer Bootcamp, 2009-2015
  • Former Member, Advisory Board, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana
  • CEU Presentations for Facility Staff


Jennifer has served as a faculty member for a number of ICELA and NAELA seminars on a variety of topics. As a Certified Elder Law attorney, she speaks to both professional and lay groups on a wide range of Elder Law issues, including:


  • Ethics of Medicaid Gifting, ICLEF Elder Law Institute, 2007
  • Planning for Veterans Benefits, ICLEF Elder Law Institute, 2008, 2012, 2013
  • Advising Clients on VA Benefits, ICLEF, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Ethics of Gifting, NAELA Annual Conference 2009
  • Taxation of Special Needs Trusts, NAELA Institute, 2009
  • Elder Law for the General Practitioner, Indiana Solo and Small Firm Institute, 2010
  • Tax Consequences of Settling a Estate Disputes, NAELA Webinar, 2010
  • Drafting in a Time of Uncertainty, NAELA Institute, 2010
  • Tax Primer for Elder Law Attorneys, NAELA Annual Meeting, 2011
  • IRAs and Special Needs Trusts, NAELA Webinar, 2011
  • Tax Issues for the Elder Law Attorney, ICLEF Elder Law Institute, 2011
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SNTs, NAELA Institute 2012
  • What the Practitioner Needs to Know About Medicaid, St. Joseph County Bar Association, 2012 Veterans Benefits, Indiana
  • Solo and Small Firm Institute, 2012
  • Veterans Benefits, NAELA Advanced Elder Law Review, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Going Mobile and Paperless, NAELA Webinar, 2014
  • Defense of Marriage Act, NELF Practicum, 2014
  • To Marry or Not To Marry, ICLEF Elder Law Institute, 2014
  • Estate Planning Basics, NAELA Essentials Practicum, 2015, 2016
  • Elder Law for the Non-Elder Law Attorney, St. Joseph County Bar Association, 2015
  • Elder Law Basics, St. Joseph County Bar Association, 2016
  • Health and Personal Care Planning, NAELA Essentials Practicum, 2016
  • Rolling with the Punches – 2016 Tax Update, NAELA Annual Meeting, 2016

Personal Snapshot

Jennifer grew up in Flushing, Michigan, spending summers working in the family accounting practice. She met her husband, Jay, the day they moved into the dorms their freshman year at Albion College. They moved to the South Bend area in 2006 when Jay joined the Anthropology and Sociology department at IUSB as a Professor. Jennifer and Jay have one son, Benjamin, who is in high school.

Jennifer, Jay, and Ben enjoy traveling, especially to the Disney theme parks. They are all avid readers, although they each enjoy different genres. The whole family enjoys musical theatre and weekend visits to Chicago. Jennifer is a self-professed tech geek, always looking for the latest and greatest gadgets, and can frequently be found using multiple devices at the same time. Friday nights are British television nights in the VanderVeen house, with Top Gear and Dr. Who being particular favorites.