Call: 515-225-1100

Legal Resources West Des Moines

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...

Iowa’s New Elder Abuse Act

elder care abuse act iowa

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

More Legal News & Information...

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

More Legal News & Information...
Page 3 of 3123