Spotlight on Jessica L. Kruse
The Elder Law Committee practitioner being spotlighted this quarter who is more recent to elder law practice is Jessica L. Kruse, of counsel to the Zerrer Elder Law Office, P. C., in Springfield.
Born in Newton, KS, Jessica graduated from Newton High School in 1998. She went to Kansas University to pursue a music performance major in French horn and completed a year before marrying her husband Jason and transferring to Missouri State University in Springfield. She and Jason had purchased a couple of nearby Subway franchises, and the couple moved near Springfield to operate them. She received her bachelor’s degree from Missouri State in 2003 with a major in public law and enough music courses to also receive a minor in music performance.
Jessica went to Tulsa Law School graduating in 2006. After law school, she worked with Malkmus Law Firm doing medical malpractice defense litigation. In 2010 she opened a solo practice called Kruse Legal Services, LLC, doing family law and taking appointments as a guardian ad litem.
At a continuing legal education event in January 2011, Jessica met Elder Law Committee members Dianne Hansen and Lois Zerrer and was invited to “shadow” them to learn more about and see if she would have any interest in elder law. She was intrigued by elder law practice and moved her office in to be “Of Counsel” to Zerrer Law Office in May 2011.
Jessica and her husband Jason have expanded their number of Subway franchises to nine. The couple’s family also expanded, and now they have three children ages 8, 4, and 6 months and live in Ozark, MO.
“I think that what we do for our clients is important because of so much misinformation out there,” said Jessica about working on elder law issues. “When we meet, we can plan how to move forward after a catastrophic event for that person, couple, or family. Negotiating the system is scary without our help.”
“We insist foremost upon an assurance that the frail person or person with a disability will receive high quality care and services in all that we do. With married couples, community spouses are pleased to learn that they can benefit from having moderate amounts of minimum income and assets to continue to live by themselves when their spouse goes into a nursing home,” said Jessica. “Children do not know what to do for their parents who expect them to solve problems. We can assist them to find something to meet their goals.”
Jessica said, “It is sad to hear our clients relate all of the myths that are prevalent about how to pay for long term care that they hear from their neighbors, families, and friends. We explain how fortunate it is that they live in Missouri with our much lower nursing home costs than the national average and assist them. After being so often frustrated with litigation, it has been refreshing to be a resource to guide people through the various benefit mazes.”
While raising three young children and working full time, Jessica has little time for hobbies. “When I can, I read a good book or take the family to our lake house on Table Rock Lake near Shell Knob,” she said. “We take our boat out, park in a cove, and jump in the water and swim! I still have my piano but do not have time to play it. I hope that my kids will learn to play it,” she added wistfully.
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