John H. Elder

John H. Elder

"A law firm doesn't have to be stodgy to be good. You can work in a relaxed atmosphere and still exhibit a high degree of professionalism and legal expertise."

Planning and Estate

John H. Elder brings a special degree of experience to the clients of Meyer Capel. John works with his clients to deal with the tax issues of estate planning, but has always realized that this is only one component of the planning process. It is very important that an attorney work with the family members to learn about the needs and personalities of the various individuals and to develop a plan that meets the family goals and objectives. Some of the greatest qualities of an estate planning attorney are compassion, trust, and communication skills and it is only with these qualities that the proper estate plan can be developed. John enjoys working with all of his clients and realizes that the best estate plan that can be developed for each individual is the one most important to them.

At the time of a person’s death, the estate attorney not only needs to provide legal services, but also needs to provide comfort and stability for the family members. The period of an estate proceeding is one of the most difficult times any family can face and they need to have a lawyer that can give them guidance in a caring, yet professional manner.

Prior to joining Meyer Capel in 1978, he was manager of planned services for Country Life Insurance Company (1972 - 1974) and a vice-president and trust officer for Bank of Illinois (now Busey Bank) (1974 – 1978).

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.



John received a bachelor of science in industrial management from Purdue University in 1969 and a juris doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1972. Through the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, he has attended courses in estate planning, real estate and corporate and business law.

Community and Civic Engagement

John is a member of the Illinois State and Champaign County Bar Associations and is a past president of the East Central Illinois Estate Planning Council. He has served as an instructor for several estate planning classes offered through Parkland College. John has also been moderator of his church in Champaign, Illinois and has taught an adult Sunday school class for the past 15 years.

John was a board member of the Community Foundation of Champaign County, from 1972 to 1980. He also served as captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Personal Interests

He enjoys attending athletic and cultural events at the University of Illinois and he and his wife, Lois, spend a lot of time at the family home in Michigan. Being outdoors, whether working in the yard or participating in activities, is very enjoyable for him. John is also an avid runner and runs in several half marathons each year.

He and his wife, Lois, are the parents of four children, Barbie, Mike, Susan and Patrick. They also have eleven grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 27. Having a large family helps John understand the subtle complications of estate planning and the need to develop a plan where all of the family members, with their different financial and social backgrounds, feel comfortable with the arrangement.