Reuter Merkle Law Firm specializes in estate planning and elder law, but we can assist with appropriate referrals for any legal concern. We have the knowledge and experience to help you, no matter the legal issue you may have encountered. Read more about our areas of practice.


Our goal is to help you maximize quality of life. Life care planning is about helping you stay healthy, receiving appropriate medical care, and maintaining an overall safe living environment. To help formulate a plan that makes sense for you, we also stay apprised of the benefit programs that may provide additional income or reduce the cost of care, such as Medicaid and VA Aid & Attendance.  We believe this approach will help you preserve your assets by making the best use of the resources available to you.    Life Care Planning Video










With careful estate planning, a client’s property passes to the right person(s), in the right way, and at the right time. Planning avoids many of the costs associated with the distribution of these assets without an estate plan in place. While estate plans usually include wills and trusts, we will examine all the options available to best meet your needs.       Estate Planning Video










If you need healthcare services but cannot afford them, you may be eligible to receive benefits from MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program. Benefits are paid directly to your healthcare provider for the services received. Worried that you will not be able to pay for care if your health declines? Concerned that your care will consume all of your life savings? Scared that your spouse will run out of assets paying for your care? If you plan ahead, we can help alleviate your fears and make
sure you will be eligible for MO HealthNet assistance when the
time comes.
 Medicaid Planning Video










Many government benefits are available to veterans, their family members, or surviving spouses. One of the main benefits we focus on is the VA Pension, commonly referred to as Aid & Attendance, which can help pay for care in your home, a skilled nursing facility, an assisted living facility, and, at times, an independent living facility. We can help determine your eligibility for these benefits. An introductory guide to veteran’s benefits can be found in the online forms section of the site.     VA Benefits Video










Guardians are appointed for a variety of reasons. For example,
a guardian for a child under the age of 18 is responsible for the child’s education, travel, medical treatment, and general
 As an adult incapacitated due to health conditions, a guardian may be needed to make decisions for you. We will help you make sure the best individual is appointed guardian and guide you through the court process.     Guardianships Video










Even if estate planning is in place, things can be difficult after
your loved one has died. Certain procedures must be followed to settle their estate, depending on what had been prepared during their lifetime.
 Just because you have been named to handle your loved one’s estate does not mean you need to go through it alone. If there are probate assets, we can guide you through the probate court process. If your family member created a trust, we can help administer the trust to ensure that all assets are distributed according to your loved one’s wishes.   Probate Administration Video











Due to the negligence of someone else, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. The injury may cause you to incur pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost earnings. Whether the injury is caused by negligence in a nursing facility or by a medical provider, we can help advocate to protect your interests and get the compensation you deserve.       Personal Injury Video










If you or a family member has a disability and depend(s) on benefits from a variety of programs, a special needs trust may be right for you. These trusts extend more protection than other types of planning. A special needs trust may hold an unlimited amount of assets for a disabled person while still allowing that person to be eligible for benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.      Special Needs Trust Video











In 1988, Dan Reuter started a general law practice in St. Louis. Based on his clients’ experiences, Dan identified a growing need that complimented his passion for helping families take care of family. His practice soon evolved into an estate planning and elder law practice.


In 2010, Dan’s youngest daughter, Erin Merkle, joined the law firm. Erin shared her father’s passion for estate planning and elder law. In 2015, the Reuter Law Firm, LLC became the Reuter Merkle Law Firm, LLC. Erin and Dan are two of only 15 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Missouri as certified by the National Elder Law Foundation.


Dan and Erin work together to help their clients create plans to address their goals and achieve peace of mind. Dan and Erin are not just document preparers. They believe in building relationships with their clients and clients’ families. They want to understand their clients’ unique situations and create the best plans possible for them.


Many individuals do not plan ahead and schedule an appointment when they are facing a crisis. Reuter Merkle Law Firm, LLC can be the helping hand needed to guide you through difficult decisions.


Whether you have a family member that needs guidance or you want to make sure your own affairs are in order, help is only a phone call away.







We encourage you to take advantage of our 30-minute free consultations. We can discuss your specific needs, review existing documents, or discuss any questions you may have.




We present to groups interested in learning more about elder law, benefits, and planning. Call us to learn more about this free service, schedule a presentation, or RSVP for the next in-office workshop: 314.729.0200



*Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor the Missouri Bar reviews or approves specialist designations or certifying organizations.


Dan graduated from St. Louis University School of Law and has been practicing law since 1978. He is a lifelong resident of south St. Louis County, a member of Assumption Catholic Church, and has been active in numerous church, community, and professional organizations.


Dan is also a member of the Missouri Bar Elder Law Committee, Missouri Bar Trust and Probate Law Committee, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and numerous local chambers of commerce. He also is a past president of the Missouri chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.



Dan is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)* and has been certified as a Mediator by the University of Missouri School of Law Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution.


Dan currently lives in south St. Louis County with his wife of over 40 years, Pat, and spends much of his free time with his grandchildren.




Erin graduated from the University of Missouri−Columbia School of Law and began practicing law in 2010. She is a member of St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church and involved in many church, community, and professional organizations.


Erin serves on the boards for Heartland Industries, Inc., a sheltered workshop in St. Louis County, Nazareth Living Center Foundation, and the Missouri Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.


She is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Missouri Bar Trust and Probate Law Committee and Elder Law Committee, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and numerous local chambers of commerce.


Erin is the youngest attorney in Missouri to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA).*


Erin lives in south St. Louis County with her husband, Mike, and their dogs.





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Here you will find important documents and information that you need for your first appointment or soon after. Complete the "Welcome to the Office" form and bring it with you to your first appointment. If you are contemplating other services listed below, complete the pertinent forms and bring them along as well.




12300 Old Tesson Road, Suite 100-H | St. Louis, MO 63128

(Clubs Centre Building @ I-270 & Tesson Ferry)



The information you obtain at this web site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice;

nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.



© 2016. Reuter Merkle Law Firm.





    My assets are nominal, why do I need a will?



    A will is a letter of instruction and is one way to ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes after death. If an individual does not have a trust or a will, the probate court will oversee distribution of the estate in accordance with state laws. A written will or a trust ensures your wishes are properly carried out.


    Why do I need a power of attorney?



    A power of attorney allows you to choose someone trustworthy to manage your affairs if you are incapacitated or unable to do so, thus avoiding a guardianship and/or a conservatorship.


    How do I pay for long-term care and still leave an inheritance for my children?



    A well constructed long-term care and/or estate plan prepared by an elder law attorney allows you to preserve your assets for future generations and ensure that your needs are taken care of as long as you live.


    Does dad need to sell his home if mom goes into the nursing home?


     No, it is best to consult an elder law attorney before selling or transferring any property when mom or dad have entered a nursing home or may need nursing home care.


    What will happen to our adult child with Down Syndrome after my spouse and I pass away?


    With a properly prepared trust, assets can be set aside and your child can remain eligible for government sponsored benefits such as housing and medical care so their needs will be met even after your death.


    My mother died, but I have a power of attorney. Can I continue to sign her name and pay her bills?


    No, your authority to sign as attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney ceases at the time of her death.


    Will the nursing home put me out on the street if I am unable to pay?


    A nursing home may discharge you for failure to pay for services. However, if you have an application for MO HealthNet (Medicaid in Missouri) benefits pending, the nursing home will not discharge you.


    Can the state force us to sell real estate before we apply for Medicaid?


    An applicant's personal residence is an exempt asset in most situations. However, the state may attempt to recover payment of benefits paid after death.


    Dad doesn’t get around too well. Will an attorney come to his home/hospital/nursing home?


    Yes, just contact Reuter Merkle Law Firm and we will be happy to meet with you and your family.