Susan E. Johnson-Drenth

Top rated Estate Planning & Probate attorney in Fargo, North Dakota

JD Legal Planning PLLC
Susan E. Johnson-Drenth
JD Legal Planning PLLC

Practice Areas: Estate Planning & Probate, Elder Law, Estate & Trust Litigation; view more

Licensed in North Dakota since: 1997

Education: The University of North Dakota School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023

JD Legal Planning PLLC

902 28th St S
Suite 2
Fargo, ND 58103 Visit website


Susan E. Johnson-Drenth serves as the president of JD Legal Planning PLLC, based in Fargo, North Dakota, with a mission to decode the complex legal planning process. She assists her clients with issues that revolve around:

  • Elder law
  • Trusts, including special needs trusts for the disabled
  • Probate
  • Real estate
  • Taxable estate planning
  • Asset protection planning
  • Guardianships
  • Mineral rights

As the only certified elder law attorney – through the National Elder Law Foundation – in North Dakota, Ms. Johnson-Drenth has been helping individuals and families preserve their legacies and plan for their peaceful future for over 20 years. She ensures that her elderly clients have enough protection in place so their loved ones won’t suffer hardships long after they are gone. A certified mediator who completed her training at Northwestern University, she aids clients with contested probate and guardianship matters.

A registered nurse in the state of North Dakota, Ms. Johnson-Drenth received her associate’s degree in nursing from North Dakota State University in 1985. She returned to her alma mater and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a particular emphasis on hospital administration. In 1997, she obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of North Dakota School of Law and was licensed to practice in North Dakota the same year. 

With a strong work ethic and positive testimonials from her clients, achievements and honors have followed Ms. Johnson-Drenth’s illustrious career. She holds a fellowship in The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a Distinguished* peer-review rating through Martindale-Hubbell for exhibiting solid legal ability and high ethical standards throughout her legal career. 

Outside her law practice, Ms. Johnson-Drenth is professionally associated with a plethora of prominent legal organizations in various capacities, including currently serving as the chair of the Elder Law Section of the State Bar Association of North Dakota. She also belongs to the Clay County Bar Association, the Red River Valley Estate Planning Council and the Cass County North Dakota Bar Association. She is a past North Dakota chair of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. 

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Estate Planning & Probate, Elder Law, Estate & Trust Litigation, Real Estate: Consumer, Tax: Consumer

Focus areas

Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Landlord/Tenant, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Probate & Estate Administration, Tax Law, Trusts, Will Contests, Wills

  • 30% Estate Planning & Probate
  • 30% Elder Law
  • 20% Estate & Trust Litigation
  • 10% Real Estate: Consumer
  • 10% Tax: Consumer

First Admitted: 1997, North Dakota

Professional Webpage:

  • Great Plains Super Lawyer for eight consecutive years
  • Named a Minnesota Law and Politics Rising Star
  • Selected as a Great Plains Super Lawyer in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022
  • Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Educational Background:
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and her Associate’s Degree in Nursing from North Dakota State University
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Susan Johnson-Drenth is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is the State Chair for North Dakota.
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Susan Johnson-Drenth is a Registered Nurse in the State of North Dakota.
  •  Susan Johnson-Drenth is the only Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA, National Elder Law Foundation) in North Dakota and in the Moorhead, Minnesota region.
Bar/Professional Activity:
  •  Susan Johnson-Drenth is the Chair of the Elder Law Section of the State Bar Association of North Dakota
  • State Chair for North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

“Susan's compassion and knowledge of the law make her an excellent advocate and resource. ”

Office location for Susan E. Johnson-Drenth

902 28th St S
Suite 2
Fargo, ND 58103

Phone: 701-402-3691


9 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023

Certificates and credentials

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