Call: 515-225-1100

Beatty & Miller News

Distribution of Property by Affidavit

Distribution of Property

Section 633.356 of the Iowa Probate Code sets forth a provision that is often overlooked by the estate planning professionals. The provision sets forth a method to avoid probate of an estate in an item of personal property involved is valued at $25,000.00 or less. For example, a person may die with a house titled in joint tenancy with their spouse and have a life insurance policy to their spouse but have a bank account in their individual name. The house passes to the surviving spouse outside of probate due to the fact that the asset is held in joint

More Legal News & Information...

The ABLE Act (acronym: Achieving Better Life Experience)

able act - saving money for college

The ABLE Act referred to in last month’s blog was signed by the Governor and becomes law effective July 1, 2016. The Act authorizes the State of Iowa to create savings accounts, similar to the 529 College Saving Plans, to be created for disabled persons prior to age 26. The income earned on such accounts are exempt from Federal income tax if the money is spent for eligible services. The Treasurer of the State of Iowa is drafting the administrative provisions for the Act and will act as the depository for the savings accounts. Also, the Governor signed the Inheritance

More Legal News & Information...

2015 Legislative Changes Regarding Probate & Trust

legislative changes for probate trust will estate

The 2015 Legislature recently adjourned for the year. I will summarize the major items of legislation which were passed by the House and Senate. Iowa inheritance tax changes were made in regard to bequests going to the children of step-children.   Prior to the passage of the act, there was no Iowa inheritance tax owed from bequests passing to the surviving spouse, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other lineal descendants. The new Act provides that bequests passing to lineal descendants of a decedent’s stepchildren will also be exempt from Iowa inheritance tax.   The bill does not

More Legal News & Information...

Planting a Tree – Iowa Tax Strategies

iowa tax law

The question was asked of a forester, “what is the best time to plant a tree?” The answer was 40 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today. So what is my point? Now that Iowa tax season is behind us, it is appropriate to take time and reflect on how we could have made the process of gathering income tax information less stressful. Gathering information on the income-side is relatively easy. That information is sent to you by a payer of interest or dividends, a K-1 from a partnership or Sub-S Corporation or some other

More Legal News & Information...

Real Estate Law – Sell Your Home By Yourself

home sales by owner des moines real estate lawyer

Spring has finally arrived and sales of homes are picking up. Most homeowners opt to list their homes with a realtor. The commission due to a realtor on the sale of a home is generally seven percent (7%) of the sales price. This can be a significant expense. For example, the 7 percent commission on the sale of a $250,000.00 home is $17,500.00. Another option is to list your home for sale by yourself and to retain an attorney to assist you with the sale. The attorney can assist by preparing the various disclosures which are required to be provided

More Legal News & Information...

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

More Legal News & Information...

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

More Legal News & Information...

Decision-Making Process – A Guide for Tax Season

legal tax help west des moines, iowa

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

More Legal News & Information...

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

More Legal News & Information...

‘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

More Legal News & Information...
Page 4 of 512345