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Beatty & Miller News

Directives Often Overlooked In Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts

estate planning

Much has been written about the importance and benefits of a person having a Will or a Revocable Trust for the disposition of his or her assets, a Statutory Power of Attorney (Financial Power of Attorney), a Medical Power of Attorney, and a Declaration Concerning Life Sustaining Procedures (a Living Will). There are two other estate planning directives that often get overlooked. They are: A Testamentary Letter; Final Disposition of a Person’s Body. Iowa Code Chapter 633.276 makes provisions for a person who desires to make a specific bequest of tangible personal property may do so by signing what I

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Is It Time To Allow Post-Marital Agreements in Iowa?

post marital agreement prenuptual

Our central Iowa clients are surprised when I tell them that pre-marital agreements are allowed in Iowa but post-marital agreements are not. The Iowa Legislature is considering legislation this year authorizing post-marital agreements in Iowa. The ban on post-marital agreements goes back to the early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s, a woman upon marriage was simply presumed to be merged into her husband and become one with him. Contrary to the laws of most states, in Iowa it is impossible for a husband and wife to contract with each other after marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the ban

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Decision-Making Process – A Guide for Tax Season

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Decision making – everyday has within it many decision-making challenges. Many of those challenges have a crucial moment where action needs to be taken. How do you process the moment? How will you process these moments for the upcoming tax season? At Beatty and Miller, P.C., we help our clients through many challenges and decision-making steps needed during tax time. The process we take, while general in its application, can help tremendously in making tax-based decisions or any important decision-making moment you may face. The three stages of the decision-making process are as follows: Awareness that a decision needs to

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Attention To Detail Is Everything In Estate Planning

living will west des moines

By James D. Beatty Many clients we meet with within Des Moines, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Johnston, Ankeny, Altoona, Carlisle and Norwalk, have an incorrect belief that their Will determines who will inherit all of their assets. Many assets do not pass under a person’s Will. For example, life insurance policies and retirement accounts are typically paid on death to the persons named on the various beneficiary designations on file with the companies. Also, accounts titled as “transfer on death” or “payable on death” will also pass on death to the beneficiaries named on the accounts. Finally, assets which are

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‘Tis The Season – (TAX Season, that is)

tax season des moines iowa lawyer

“Tis the Season!” We wish you a Happy Holiday Season wherever you reside, whether it be in Adel, Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Colfax, Dallas Center, Des Moines, Earlham, Granger, Grimes, Indianola, Johnston, Mitchelville, Norwalk, Polk City, Prairie City, Runnells, Van Meter, Waukee or West Des Moines, we hope you have a joyous time with friends, family and associates. Of course, though, following the Holiday Season there is a another, more ominous season. That season is “The Tax Season”. It is not my intent to bring you “doom and gloom”, rather I am inviting you to think about what you

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Iowa’s New Elder Abuse Act

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A new Act was passed in 2014 dealing with elder abuse. The new Act defines elder abuse as any of the following: 1. Physical injury to or injury which is at a variance with the history given of the injury or unreasonable confinement, unreasonable punishment, or assault of an vulnerable elder by a person. 2. The commission of a sexual offense under Chapter 709 or Section 726.2 with or against a vulnerable elder. 3. Neglect which is the deprivation of the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, or physical or mental health care, or other care necessary to maintain a vulnerable

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The New Iowa Power of Attorney Act

revised power of attorney act iowa

Effective July 1, 2014, the Iowa Uniform Power of Attorney Act became effective. As opposed to the previous law, the new Act provides detailed provisions regarding the setup and operation of a Power of Attorney and the rights and duties of principals (the person who sets up the Power of Attorney), agents (the person who will act on behalf of the principal), and other third parties. The purpose of the Act is to further the use of a Power of Attorney to avoid the need for a setup of a formal court supervised conservatorship. Another purpose of the Act is

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