Montana Generational Justice

About Us

Assisting Estate Planning

Montana Generational Justice (MGJ) was formed in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity. MGJ was created to assist individuals needing estate planning documents or review their current documents to ensure they are updated and meet their individual circumstances. MGJ provides an opportunity for Montanans to access legal assistance using volunteer attorneys and paralegals.

Over the past six years, MGJ has provided a variety of estate planning options – Modest Means Program, Sponsorships Estate Planning Clinics, and Estate Planning grants.

Modest Means program believes everyone should have the opportunity to complete their documents. We use Zoom as a means to reach people throughout Montana. People interested in completing their documents can meet at home through Zoom and be able to follow and interact with the legal professional as their documents are created. It creates an educational opportunity to further your understanding of estate planning.

MGJ charges a modest means rate which means we charge by the document and not an hourly rate. In our many years of assisting Montanans with their estate planning documents, many individuals have stated they had been unable to complete their documents because they could not afford to pay an hourly rate. Based on MGJ evaluations, our rates are considered reasonable.

MGJ collaborates with a large group of partners to plan and deliver these services. MGJ’s Advisory Committee representing attorneys, paralegals, Veteran representatives, insurance representatives, representative from Helena College, and
representatives from the medical community have further agreed through their experiences that a reasonable cost is necessary for everyone to participate in our estate planning program.

Zoom clinics create an opportunity for each participant to design what is best for their needs and interests. MGJ ensures each Montanan has available the following documents: Will, TOD Deed (Transfer on Death – also known as a Beneficiary Deed), Declaration of Homestead, and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Finance.

Montana Generational Justice

Board Members

Montana Generational Justice is governed by a seven-member board.  The Board has a geographically diverse representation and over 100 years of experience in developing and providing direct services to Montana’s senior citizen population.

Karen Erdie

Karen retired in 2014 after serving for 35 years as Executive Director of Area II Agency on Aging serving 11 counties in central Montana. In addition to providing a wide array of Older Americans Act services in Area II, she was instrumental in developing the Area II Guardianship Program and the Representative Payee Program through Social Security.

She was a founding member of Conservator Guardian Corporation of Montana (CGCM) and has served on the Board since its inception in 2009, serving as Chairperson and Secretary. She is a founding member of Montana Generational Justice, and is the current Chairperson.

After retiring, she moved to Billings and serves in the following capacities: as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Billings Senior Citizens, Inc. at the Billings Community and Senior Citizens Center; on the Board of Directors of Big Sky Senior Services in Billings, which is a home care agency; on the Advisory Board of St. Vincent Healthcare Foster Grandparent Program; and as Secretary of the Wellington Place Homeowners Association in Billings where she owns a home.

Susan Kunda

Susan has worked with the with Area IX Agency on Aging for over 35 years. Her jobs include Local Ombudsman, State Health Insurance Program counselor, Information and Assistance Technician, Reverse Annuity Mortgage counselor, and Program Manager for in-home services. She worked with Adult Protective Services, Summit Independent Living, Northwest Human Resources, et. al., on advance directive issues, creating a legal documents brochure outlining the need and benefits of developing powers of attorney, and educating her community on different legal resources available. Out of this endeavor, the group started the Western Montana Chapter for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, which started in Kalispell and expanded into Missoula. This program was for elders who were being exploited, could no longer handle their finances or were spending money but not paying their bills.  Susan has also taught classes at Flathead Community College for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) regarding subtle abuse in nursing homes and rights of residents.  She is a founding member of Montana Generational justice and has served on the Board over 5 years.

Lisa Mecklenberg Jackson

Lisa is a lawyer and a librarian. She has served as Montana’s Legislative Librarian, a legislative attorney, a public librarian, the State Law Librarian of Montana, and the Executive Director of the Montana Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate
the wrongfully convicted from prison. Lisa is currently in private practice in Missoula. She is passionate about access to justice issues and getting people connected to the legal resources they need. She has volunteered at a number of legal document clinics as well as helped draft Indian Wills. She volunteers with Montana Legal Services regularly and serves on the Western Montana Bar Pro Bono Committee. Lisa is President of the Sentinel High School Booster Club and she volunteers for a number of Missoula-area efforts including Habitat for Humanity Missoula, CASA of Missoula, Homeless Connect and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Lisa serves on several State Bar committees including law-related education, technology, and continuing legal education.

Judy Meadows

Judy served as a professional law librarian for 35 years. She taught legal research for Providence University (formerly University of Great Falls) for 8 years. She was a visiting professor at the University of Washington, School of Law during a sabbatical. 

What she is most proud of was work she did as the Montana State Law Librarian for the Court. She chaired the Commission on Self Represented Litigants for 10 years. As part of that effort, plain language legal forms were approved for use in all Montana courts. Judy traveled around the state a few times each year with Judge Michele Snowberger, holding workshops for court personnel on customer service and the difference between legal information and legal advice. 

Judy also served on the Equal Justice Taskforce of the Montana State Bar for about 10 years. One practice she started (first in the country) was to train Vista workers and have them staff a limited legal advice clinic in the law library. She also chaired a working group for the Court that approved new rules on privacy in court documents. 

Judy’s volunteer work has included serving on the Boards of the Myrna Loy Centre, the Holter Museum, the Helena Education Foundation, the Foundation for Montana Public Libraries, and the Lewis & Clark Public Library (current.)

Since retirement, she has volunteered for Montana Legal Services (doing intake), conducted legal needs surveys around the state, and interviewed retired Montana Supreme Court Justices for their oral histories.  Finally, Judy has participated in several of the legal document clinics developed by MGJ. 

Doug Blakley

Doug has worked in aging services and advocacy for over 35 years.  He served as the State Long Term Care Ombudsman for over 13 years, developing the foundation for a statewide program.  For the next 14 years, he coordinated data collection and reporting for Aging Services statewide.  In addition, he wrote grants and coordinated the initial development of the statewide Aging and Disability Services program, the Alzheimer’s disease services grant, the Senior Farmers’ Market program, the statewide Respite program, and the Veterans Self-Direct  program. Upon retirement, he has worked for 8 years with the on-site legal documents clinic program.

Tim Harris

Graduated from the University of Illinois in education. Master’s in Special Education from Eastern Montana College (MSU-B now). Supervised a regional special education program, establishing and providing services to rural and smaller districts in twelve counties in south western Montana. Advocated for disability rights with the Montana Independent Living Program; was a Special Education monitor for the Office of Public Instruction, assuring appropriate services were provided to students with disabilities; served as Manager of the Early Assistance Program, intervening in disputes regarding the appropriateness of special education services to students; provided consultation to schools regarding services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; was Director of Special Education for Montana with OPI. Was a member of the leadership team for a large prayer group associated with the Catholic church, with as many as 150 members at times; provided leadership with organizing a spiritual conference at Carroll College for several years with as many as 2000 attendees. Managed the Intermountain Bus depot and started the Family Taxi service in a partnership with a close friend. Sold vacuum cleaners door to door for about a year – just threw that in to show I’m just a regular guy

Chris Manos

Chris Manos has been an attorney for over 27 years in both private and government practice in Montana. He served as the director of the State Bar of Montana for sixteen years. He has worked with organizations and non-profits to assist in making accessible the delivery of legal services to all Montanans. He has worked at legal document clinics focusing on drafting the basic estate planning needs of Montanans. He continues to provide review and drafting of these documents for Montana Generational Justice and their Modest Means program.

Montana Generational Justice


The services offered by MGJ have evolved over the last five years through collaborations with a number of different programs around Montana dedicated to improving legal services provided to Montanans.

Montana Healthcare Foundation Grant Advisory Council
  • Casey Blumenthal – retired Vice President Montana Hospital Association
  • Jackie Merritt – Veteran Justice Outreach Specialist
  • Dave Ellis – Nurse Care Manager – St. Peter’s Health
  • Deb Rapport – Professor Helena College
  • Mary Kay Puckett – Senior Consultant – Leavitt Group Insurance
  • Erin MacLean – Attorney/Chair, Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Montana
  • Kayre Chatellier – Paralegal/Mediator
  • Steve Garrison – Attorney/Veteran
  • Ann Ueland – Director of Belmont Senior Center
Work Group Developing Advance Directive (2019 – March 2020)
  • Dr. Kathryn Borgenicht – Physician Hospice and Palliative Medicine – Bozeman Health
  • Kristin Juras – Attorney – BETTR Law Section (Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax & Real Property)
  • Marcia Goetting – Extension Family Economics Specialist MSU
  • Chris Manos – Retired Director State Bar Montana reviewing documents.
  • John Mudd – Director State Bar of Montana
  • John McCrea – Program Director MGJ
  • Erin MacLean – Healthcare Attorney
  • Peter Simon – Health Law Section
MGJ Statewide Professionals Supporting MGJ Clinic Advance Directive Model
  • Dr. Gilbert – Physician, St Peter’s Hospital, Helena
  • Jessie Laslovich – Vice President of network for SCL development representing St. Vincent Healthcare (Billings), St. James Health (Butte), and Holy Rosary Hospital (Miles City). 
  • Lannette Perkins – Native American Welcoming Center – Great Falls
  • Mary Kay Puckett – Senior Consultant – Leavitt Group Insurance
  • Jacque Smith – Public Relations with St. Peter’s Health;
  • Jane Eliel, Director  – Office of Consumer Protection; and
  • Eric Parsons, Investigator and Program Specialist End-of-Life Registry
Clinic Volunteers Assisting with Advance Directive Clinics
  • 6 pro bono attorneys – assist in completing documents; reviewing legal documents; and providing advice and assisting with Indian Wills
  • 3 paralegals completing advance directive documents.
  • 1 legal assistant
  • 2 notaries
  • 4 witnesses
  • 1 transitional staff to explain what participants need to do once documents are completed

Montana Generational Justice

Affiliated Partners

Over the last 5 years, Montana Generational Justice has collaborated and coordinated joint efforts with the Conservator and Guardian Corporation of Montana to achieve a common goal to improve the quality of life through a common set of objectives (providing high quality, consumer-centered legal and financial fiduciary services) to accomplish results beyond the resources of a single, stand-alone organization. As needs are identified, this consortium works together to formulate the most efficient ways for members to collaborate to meet emerging needs. One of the overarching goals of these affiliated partners is to prevent financial exploitation of its clients.

More About CGCM

Conservator and Guardian Corporation of Montana (CGCM) was established in 2009 to provide quality, flexible, client-centered guardianship and fiduciary services to clients and their families who are vulnerable, in need of support and assistance and unable to provide for their own needs.

CGCM works with other program partners to make available to its clients a wide array of wrap-around services to ensure all the client’s needs are met in a timely and efficient manner.

The array of comprehensive fiduciary and guardianship services that CGCM provides includes:

  • Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)
  • Court established Guardianships
  • Court appointed Conservatorships
  • Financial & Planning Services for people living in the community, assisted living facilities, and retirement communities
  • Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts and Special Needs Trusts

For more information on CGCM contact: (406) 422-3904

Contact us

Let us know how we can help you and your loved ones.

Address: 130 Neill Avenue – the Top Floor
Helena  MT  59601

Mailing: PO Box 1483, Helena  MT  59624


Phone: (406) 422-3904