Senior Citizens Law Project

Kristin Parendo

If you are 60 years old or older, the Senior Citizens’ Law Project may be able to help you!  We focus our efforts to those with the most social and economic need, but otherwise we have no income or asset eligibility guidelines.  This means that almost everyone will at least get a conversation with us about their situation.

The Senior Citizens’ Law Project is part of Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota, a non-profit law firm.  We do not charge anything for our service, but we do accept voluntary donations.  Clients must bear any costs which may arise from litigation, such as court filing fees, service fees, and recording fees.  The fees may be waived by the court if the client can’t afford them.

We have a large service area, serving older Minnesotans in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties.  While most issues can be handled by telephone, we can meet clients at our offices, at our remote office hours in the 7 counties, and/or in their homes if needed.

We help by advising clients and representing clients in court and in administrative hearings.  We can negotiate on your behalf.  We cover a wide range of civil law issues.  (We do not cover criminal law).  For example, we can help you understand long-term care and plan for incapacity.  We can help protect your income and benefits, your housing, and your safety and security.  We can help stop harassing creditor phone calls and garnishments.

Besides direct client services, we also reach out to the community by speaking to groups about topics of interest to older people, such as Medical Assistance, Healthcare Directives, Powers of Attorney, housing, and any other legal topic of interest to the group.  Further, we write a monthly advice column, “Senior Legal Line”, which appears in various local newspapers and on-line.

If you have questions about the Senior Citizens’ Law Project, please contact Kristin Parendo, Senior Citizens’ Law Project, Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota, 424 W. Superior Street, Suite 302, Duluth MN, 55802, or by email at  If you’d like to be a client, please call 218-623-8100 to do an intake.

A Legal Question & Answer Column for Senior Citizens

August 2015 - how do I change my birth certificate to show my name?
July 2015 - my son and his wife disagreed with me over an unrelated issue and now won’t let me see my grandchildren.
June 2015 - My wife lives in the nursing home and is unable to come home because of her severe dementia.
May 2015 - My car needs repairs, but I’m feeling overwhelmed.
April 2015 - I have lived in my apartment for 12 years.
March 2015 - My grandson came to my house yesterday and asked if I could be a co-signer on his new car loan.
February 2015 - I am confused about if and how I should file my taxes..
January 2015 - I am 68 years old. My income is Social Security retirement benefits.
December 2014 - The other day, my neighbor Jacob came over and cut down one of my spruce trees to use as his Christmas tree
November 2014 - I am 92 years old. My daughter Julie is my Power of Attorney
October 2014 - I am 75 years old and have the opportunity to travel to Finland this spring.
September 2014 - My wife and I are approaching retirement age and thinking of moving out of state.
August 2014 - I live in a home that I own and I also own another house that I am selling.
July 2014 - I’m a senior living on Social Security and a small pension.
June 2014 - I went to Florida on vacation with my wife
May 2014 - Recently, I hired a construction company to do work on my deck
April 2014 - I want to have all my “ducks in a row”, so to speak. What kinds of legal documents should I have
March 2014 - One grandchild is asking me to cosign on a car loan
February 2014 - I received a 1099-C form from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
January 2014 - I understand that Medicare may pay for a limited stay in a nursing home
December 2013 - In my later years, I took out a federal student loan and got my college degree
November 2013 - I had a credit card that I could not pay
October 2013 - I want to have a Will
September 2013 - I received a phone call from a man saying that I can sign up for a discount health insurance
August 2013 - I filed a lawsuit against my neighbor because of her harassing behavior
July 2013 - I am retired and I want to increase my income
June 2013 - My roof needs repair and it probably needs to be re-roofed
May 2013 - What is a Social Security overpayment?
April 2013 - I am taking care of my mother by living at home with her. She would like to add my name to her house.
March 2013 - I understand that National Healthcare Decisions Day occurs on April 16th
February 2013 - I am now housebound after my stroke
January 2013 - I want to make things simple for my children when I die


More information can be found at

The Senior Citizens Law Project Assists with Problems Involving:

  • Medical Assistance
  • Medicare
  • Medigap Insurance
  • HMO Problems
  • Health Care Directives
  • Supplemental Security Income – SSI
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Pensions
  • Social Services
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Energy Assistance
  • Other Agency Appeals
  • Public Housing Problems
  • Landlord/Tenant Problems
  • Government Rehabilitation Loans
  • Age Discrimination
  • Nursing Home Problems
  • Home Repairs
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Unfair Sales Practices
  • Creditor Harassment
  • Family Problems
  • Planning for Incapacity
  • Other Legal Problems

Find Senior Benefits in your area

National Council for Aging Care’s guide on Military Veteran Benefit Options