Kris L. Maser, shareholder and Elder Law Department chair for Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A. is a caretaker by nature. “I’ve been taking care of people since I was 16,” she says, adding that she helped her father through a 28 year battle with Parkinson’s disease and also assists her elderly mother in living as independently as possible.
She says it’s her caretaking trait that propelled her to work in elder law. “I started out as a teacher, but this was just a pull,” Maser says. Since co-founding the firm in 1984, she has served as a dedicated advocate for the elderly and their families, through assisting in estate planning, medical assistance planning, planning for incapacity, conservatorship and guardianship issues, and related issues pertaining to wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives.
Her dedication to clients and vigorous representation of their rights, has earned her prominent recognition. Maser has been named in statewide surveys to the Minnesota Super Lawyers list and ranked as one of the top Minnesota Women Super Lawyers by Minnesota Law and Politics and Mpls.St. Paul Magazine.
After decades of service to families, Maser says that her resolve for her work was strengthened even more when she was diagnosed with cancer. “The cancer made me realize that you can’t go through a long-term illness alone,” she says, adding that this perspective permeates her work on the job. “Nobody stands alone.”
To Maser, being connected to her clients in such a supportive way is the best part of her job. “The second best part is turning the terror into something that can be useful,” she says. In one touching case, Maser recalled that she helped a couple with their end of life planning and 17 years later, after they had passed away, the couple’s family members flew into town to thank her. “I’m not just an attorney to them,” she says.
Despite a switch to the legal profession, Maser has stayed connected to her roots in education. She has served as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law, Inver Hills Community College, North Memorial Medical Center, The North Women’s Center, and other community schools. She also participated in several continuing education seminars for attorneys, social workers, families, and others.
Maser, who is fluent in German, is also a frequent lecturer, both locally and nationally, on a variety of elder law matters. She co-authored the Minnesota Conservatorship Standards, adopted by the Minnesota Association of Guardianship and Conservatorship and in 1996, she received the Mary Alice Gooderl Award for outstanding service and active development of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s (MSBA’s) Elder Law Section.
Maser received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1982 and her undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1976. She belongs to the state, county, and national bar associations, as well as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Maser is involved with a number of charitable and community organizations. She is a board member for the National Lymphedema Network and an emeritus board member of the National Parkinson’s Foundation Minnesota. Maser is also a Rotarian.
In 2008, the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts recognized Maser as an Alumna of Notable Achievement. The college recognition saluted Maser as an early champion of elder law, who has “increased awareness of the issues surrounding legal services for the elderly” and is “widely admired for outstanding service to the community.”
When she’s not working, Maser is an avid skier and enjoys spending time with her family.