About Us

For over the past 25 years, our firm has been successfully helping families and business owners plan for their future. Our practice is based on a collaborative approach which values and requires the integration of our client’s multiple professional advisors, namely CPAs and Attorneys, to ensure the successful implementation of client’s taxes, legal and financial planning.

With licenses as both an Attorney and a Certified Financial Planner®, Chief Executive Officer W. Ryan Zenk offers clients a holistic approach not offered by most firms that ensures the effectiveness of his client’s estate plans.

Whether you would like to create an estate plan for the first time, or simply like your existing documents reviewed, we welcome you to take advantage of the legal services our firm offers.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Our Services

Estate Planning
Wealth Preservation Strategies
Asset Protection Planning
Elder Law
Tax and Charitable Planning

Our attorneys are experts in the areas of Estate and Asset Protection Planning to achieve results for our clients not typical among other firms.

W. Ryan Zenk: Attorney, Certified Financial Planner®


Practicing Since 1989, in the areas of:
Estate Planning
Elder Law
Charitable & Tax Planning
Wealth Management

W. Ryan Zenk is a practicing Attorney with Zenk Law Offices located in Wisconsin. He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ and the Chief Executive Officer and founder of the investment advisory firm Family Wealth Advisors, LLC with offices in Wisconsin, Arizona and Illinois, as well as a Co-founder of Veteran’s Benefits, Inc.

Mr. Zenk received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Your Life Your Legacy – a Book on Estate Planning. He is member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, The Probate and Trust division of the Wisconsin Bar, The Elder Law Committee of the Wisconsin Bar and the Milwaukee Bar Association.

Mr. Zenk is a frequent speaker to professional and business groups, public and private, on the topics of estate planning, asset protection planning and successful investment strategies.

Melissa D. Robe, Associate Attorney

Elder Law Attorney Melissa D. Robe

Melissa Robe is an associate attorney with Zenk Law Offices. She has a background in estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate, tax & business law.  

Mrs. Robe received two undergraduate degrees in Political Science & International Studies with an emphasis on Global Economy, and a law degree with curricular concentrations in estate planning & criminal law, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mrs. Robe is also actively involved in charitable efforts as a justice advocate at a non-profit organization in downtown Milwaukee. She has previously worked in state government, including the state legislature.

Tara Day: Paralegal

Tara Day

Tara is an Elder Law Paralegal that has been working with Elder Law Center of WI, LLC since August 2013.  She received her Paralegal Bachelor degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Barbara Horstmeyer, Geriatric Care Manager

Barbara Horstmeyer

After 20 years working in both Acute Care Hospitals and Long Term Care Facilities, Barbara Horstmeyer realized that her experience and knowledge was valuable to families attempting to navigate the confusing and often disconnected medical health care system. Adding to the confusion was a lack of understanding of the financial impact on families along with the legal implications.

In 1999, Barbara launched the Senior Planning Group as the first and only Life-care Planning Firm in Wisconsin. For almost 20 years she has assisted families whose loved ones either have had an acute health care change or have a chronic health care need. She understand first hand the stress caregivers face when caring for an elderly parent or loved one. She takes this role seriously because there isn’t time to waste or mistakes to be made when life, health, finances and legal questions are pressing.

Barbara is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Wisconsin End of Life Coalition , Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County and Supportive Community Services, Inc. in Milwaukee. She sits on the Alzheimer’s Challenging Behaviors Task Force with the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin and is an active member of the Milwaukee & Waukesha County Adult Protective Services Interdisciplinary team.

In her free time Barbara enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time with her husband, three children, grandchildren and dogs.

Elyse Shaw, MSW, Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker Geriatric Care Manager 

Elyse Shaw

Elyse is a Certified Advance Practice Social Worker and is a Professional  level Member of the Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA).  Elyse received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work with an emphasis in Geriatrics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Along with her education, Elyse brings considerable experience in working with older adults throughout the continuum of care – from inpatient psychiatric hospitals to adult day centers, nursing homes, and sub-acute rehab facilities. In addition, Elyse has personal and professional experience in working with patients who are diagnosed with advanced dementia while providing comprehensive advocacy and education to their care givers.  During her undergraduate degree, Elyse  completed various research projects that focused on dementia informed care, early memory loss, and dementia care giver support.

Her medical, psychiatric, and long term care experience allows for Elyse’s clients to receive a full range approach that can support one’s  varied and individual needs.  Elyse’s goal is to help her clients increase their quality of life, to assist with navigating all of their care options and to work with them to determine what scenarios work best with each client’s unique situation and life experience.

Elyse lives in Sussex with her husband and her dog, Zelda. In her spare time she enjoys cooking or baking for family and friends and exploring the outdoors with her camera.

Dr. Michael Kula: Doctor of Psychology

Katherine Riester: Registered Nurse, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

We Are Problem Solvers

At the Elder Law Center of Wisconsin, LLC we are problem solvers. We help eliminate fear and keep stressful situations simple for our clients.

We are passionate about helping people who are concerned about losing their lifetime of assets to the government, a nursing home, creditors, or lawsuits. We also help families find ways to keep loved ones home as they age by utilizing Medicaid, veterans or other government benefits.

Our clients thank us for showing them options they didn’t even know existed! Our favorite part is being able to serve many clients’ families and friends because of their satisfaction of what we have done to help them.

Clients tell us they are finally able to sleep at night and the worry is gone because they are able to stay in control and, they are confident if something happens to them, what they want will happen, not what the government or other outside source wants.

Let our experience support you and your family, whatever your need is. You will be surprised at the options you have and how simple it can be.

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