Dera Johnsen-Tracy Estate Planning Attorney Madison WI

Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy

Position: Attorney
Phone: (608) 829-2525

To learn more about estate planning, you can find Dera’s book, Wills, Trusts, and Probate: An Insider’s Guide to Estate Planning in Wisconsin, on

Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy

Attorney Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy is a shareholder and co-founder of Horn & Johnsen SC. Dera is a 2008 graduate of Marquette University Law School and focuses her legal practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and adult guardianship. Prior to completing law school, Dera gained 14 years of legal experience as a paralegal in Texas and Wisconsin. Further, after graduating from law school, Dera taught as an adjunct professor in the paralegal studies program at Globe University, an extension of the University of Minnesota School of Business, for over 5 years. Dera’s extensive experience provided a strong education-based, practical and client-centered foundation for her legal practice. She strives to meet the needs of her clients in a personal and efficient manner.

Dera is licensed to practice in Wisconsin. She is an active member of WealthCounsel, a national consortium of estate planning professionals. She is also licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court for both the Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin. In furtherance of her passion for helping families plan, she was an active participant in the Wisconsin Wills for Heroes program and the Basic Estate Planning Clinic for Seniors and Veterans for which she was awarded the 2015 Individual Attorney Pro Bono Award by the Dane County Bar Association and for which she was also awarded the 2016 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award by the State Bar of Wisconsin. Dera was selected by Super Lawyers to the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Wisconsin Rising Stars list, which is an exclusive list recognizing no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Wisconsin. In addition, she was selected in 2016 as a member of the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, a professional honor also limited to 2.5% of attorneys in Wisconsin. In 2023, she was an ATHENA Award Nominee, honoring outstanding individuals who demonstrate excellence and initiative in their careers, community involvement and support of women.

Dera has been invited as a special guest on a number of radio shows such as Ginger Martin of Magic 98 and Hawke’s Radiothon for the Veterans of WJJO, and she has been invited to speak as a featured presenter at various conferences throughout Wisconsin and nationally, including WealthCounsel and ElderCounsel's 2018 Symposium in San Diego, Investor Conferences in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) in Las Vegas and Orlando, the Midwest Horse Fair, Recalibrate Your State retreat by Kirsty Blattner, Women Inspiring Change luncheon sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, Future Lifestyles Expo in Madison, All Things Senior Expo in Baraboo, Money Smart Women Conference, Asset Builders Madison Money Conference, estate planning classes through the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) Wisconsin State Convention and "Ready, Set, Retirement!" sponsored by Madison College Paralegal Program in cooperation with WPS, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR), Dane County Bar Association and the State Bar of Wisconsin. Further, Dera has made numerous presentations, both public and private, about estate planning and living trusts including special issues applicable to realtors, small business owners, farmers, pet owners, young families, LGBTQ families and families with children who have special needs. She is a frequent contributor to Your Family Magazine and to the national AAII Journal, and she has taught a variety of CE classes to financial professionals and CLE seminars to attorneys through PINNACLE (State Bar of Wisconsin's Continuing Legal Education Department) and the National Business Institute (NBI).

In her personal time, Dera enjoys travel, theater, live music, vegetarian cooking and spending time with her two daughters, her husband Brandon (who owns and operates Superhero Martial Arts, working primarily with children and young adults with disabilities) and her cats.

To schedule a consultation with Dera, contact her paralegal Sarah.

Estate Planning for People with Special Needs

Downloadable PDF

Planning Essentials for Small and Modest Estates
by Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy, J.D.

Downloadable PDF