Joan Watke

Joni Watke has been practicing estate planning and related areas of practice since 1996.

To Joni, estate planning means educating clients so they can make good decisions, then finding out about our clients and their families and what their unique goals are, in order to build a plan to reach those goals. Proper and effective estate planning includes providing legal documents to protect you (and your family) upon disability and death. Estate planning is not just for the super-rich – everyone needs some type of estate planning and Joni will make sure that you design the estate plan that is right for you and your budget.

Joni also helps her clients who have a loved one who has become incapacitated or disabled and can no longer make health care and/or financial decisions for themselves. The court process of getting appointed as a loved one’s guardian and/or conservator can be complicated and scary especially when someone you love needs help quickly. Joni makes the process as easy and painless as possible, so you can concentrate on caring for your loved one – not spending time in court.

Joni’s estate planning practice includes serving many LGBTQ+ clients who are provided with exceptional up-to-date legal documents to protect themselves and their families.

Helping clients create their forever families through adoption is Joni’s favorite part about practicing law. She helps clients with step-parent adoptions, protecting gay and lesbian couples’ families, and new placement adoptions.

Joni helps legally solidify the parental rights of same-sex couples even if both parents are on their child(ren)’s birth certificate(s.) Joni represents same-sex couples who need to protect their families from any future legislation that may threaten the legal status of their parental rights. Unfortunately, birth certificates are considered “administrative documents” and therefore may not protect a non-biological parent’s parental rights in the future. Only through adoption are both parents’ parental rights legally and permanently protected.

Joni helps clients who are experiencing a divorce. During this trying time, she guides her clients to get them through the process as quickly and calmly as possible. Realizing that divorce can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life, Joni tries to make the journey smoother for her clients and their families.

Helping clients with name changes is also a part of Joni’s practice. She enjoys helping clients navigate what can otherwise be an intimidating court process without representation. Joni is with her clients every step of the way from the filing of the first document to the final court hearing.

Joni is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Associations and is a cooperating attorney with Lambda Legal. Her volunteer work includes having served as a Board Member for PFLAG National and PFLAG Omaha. Joni is also a professional speaker who presents locally, regionally, and nationally to educate the public about the LGBTQ+ community through an organization she co-founded called Academy LGBTQ+ – which can be found at 

Call today to schedule an appointment at 402-884-7444 or email Joni at

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