Apple Legacy Contact Designation

Apple Legacy Contact Designation

In the past it has been difficult to access a deceased individual’s iCloud account on death.  It has also been impossible to unlock a decedent’s iPhone without knowing their passcode. To solve this issue, Apple has begun a new contact legacy program allowing a person to designate up to five persons as legacy contacts.  The individuals named are allowed to access the data and personal information stored in the iCloud upon death.  The new program requires proof of death along with an access key.  The designation is available in the iOS 15.2 update.  You can find the new legacy contact

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Tortious-Interference-With-Inheritance Claim

Distribution of Property

On June 11, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of David Buboltz and Donna Reece, vs. Patricia Birusingh, Estate of Cletis C. Ireland, and Kumari Durick. Cletis Ireland died in March 2016 at age 92.  She was an only child, was never married, and had no children.  At the time of her death she owned a family century farm on which she had resided most of her life.  In 2001, the decedent executed a Will that divided her farm in equal shares to David Buboltz, a farmer who had cash rented eighty acres of the

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Beneficiary Assignment of Spendthrift Trust Interest

iowa court of appeals issued opinion beneficiary assignment

On July 21, 2001, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of A.Y. McDonald Industries, Inc. vs.  Michael B. McDonald, No. 20-0766 (Iowa Ct. App. July 21, 2021). The Defendant, Michael B. McDonald, began his employment with the Plaintiff in 1983.  During the time Michael was the manager of payroll for executive compensation, he misappropriated significant Company funds to himself.  Due to the misappropriation, he was terminated in May 2012.  Later in 2012, Michael signed a Restitution Agreement and promissory note to repay the Plaintiff the amount of $2,538,500.  Pursuant to the Restitution Agreement, Michael was

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Conservator’s Authority to Enter into Farm Leases

conservators authority farm lease iowa

On May 21, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion In The Matter and Conservatorship of Marvin M. Jorgensen, No. 18-1235 (Iowa Sup. Ct. May 21, 2021).  Marvin Jorgensen suffered a stroke in 2016 that left him unable to manage his nearly 18,000 acres of Iowa farmland.  Prior to the stroke, Marvin leased approximately half of his farmland to his children and to several grandchildren in “handshake” agreements that were never put in writing.  After the stroke, a Conservatorship was opened for Marvin and the Conservator entered into new written leases with family members which continued with Marvin’s practice

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Details on the Iowa Inheritance Tax Repeal

iowa inheritance tax repeal

In the past week, the Governor signed Senate File 619 which repeals the Iowa inheritance tax over the next five years.  Numerous attempts have been made over the past decade to eliminate or modify the Iowa inheritance tax.  Pursuant to the bill, for persons dying in the year 2021, the Iowa inheritance tax will be reduced by twenty percent.  For persons dying in the year 2022, the Iowa inheritance tax will be reduced by forty percent.  For persons dying in the year 2023, the Iowa inheritance tax will be reduced by sixty percent.  For persons dying in the year 2024,

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Iowa Court Finds Restraint On Alienation

ia supreme court on alienation of property

On April 30, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion on In the Matter of the Estate of Vera E. Cawiezell, Deceased, Phyllis Knoche, Terry Brooks, and Jill Brooks, Appellants vs. Tom Coronelli and Beth Coronelli, Appellees.   Vera Cawiezell died testate in April 2018.  Her Will was admitted to probate.  In the Will the decedent devised approximately 150 acres of farm ground to her friends, Tom and Beth Coronelli, subject to certain general restrictions in favor of Terry Brooks, the Tenant, who farmed the ground during the decedent’s life.  Item 3 of the Will provided as follows: I hereby

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Federal and State Income Tax Deadlines Extended

2021 state and federal tax deadlines

The IRS has extended the filing and payment deadline to May 17, 2021 for 2020 Federal income tax returns.  The extension applies to individuals, businesses, trusts and estates.  By extending the deadline to May 17, the IRS is automatically postponing to the same date the time for individuals to make year 2020 contributions to IRAs (Traditional and Roth), health savings accounts, Archer Medical Savings Accounts and Coverdell education savings accounts.  In addition, for tax year 2017 Federal income tax returns, the normal April 15 deadline to claim a refund has been extended to the new date of May 17, 2021. 

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Recent Judgment on Will Challenges During Lifetime

interferance with inheritance

On January 21, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of In The Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Vernon D. Radda v. Washington State Bank, as Conservator for Vernon D. Radda.  The issue in the case was whether a prospective heir can bring a declaratory judgment action under Section 633.637 (2019) of the Iowa Code, to determine the validity of wills before the testator dies.  The Ward executed wills in 1992 and 2015 while he was under a voluntary Conservatorship and without any judicial determination of his testamentary capacity.  The sister of the Ward

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Lawsuit Arising Out of Gift of LLC Interest

business and estate law llc des moines

On February 3, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Erwin v. Erwin, No. 19-1978 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2021). that involved a dispute between a father and son regarding the operation of their member/managed LLC.  In 2012, the father and his spouse transferred title of farm ground owned by them into a LLC for estate planning purposes.  The property was subject to a mortgage, however, the deed did not state that the transfer was subject to a mortgage.  The father subsequently made a gift to his son of one-half of the membership

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Can Deathbed Instructions Amend a Trust?

inheritance tax code iowa

On October 7, 2020, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a Ruling in the matter of the Sandahl Trust (2017).  Craig Sandahl executed the Sandahl Trust which was a Revocable Grantor Trust in 1993.  The Trust was funded with substantially all of Craig Sandahl’s assets.  The Trust was last restated by a document dated August 14, 2017, which was two months before Craig Sandahl passed away. The Trust distributed assets to two groups of recipients.  One group was the “Descendant’s Trust” of which Craig’s children’s lineal descendants were the beneficiaries and the other group was given to the Community Foundation

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