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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Insights On The New Stimulus Package

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The US House and Senate have passed a new stimulus bill which has been signed by the President.  The new stimulus bill is over 5,500 pages in length.  This article will deal with the provisions involving the PPP (Paycheck Protection Plan).  The new bill contains provisions dealing with the deductibility of expenses paid with PPP funds.  There is little coverage in the press regarding such provision.  When the PPP program was first approved, it provided that the loans would be eligible to be forgiven by the SBA and that the forgiveness would not create taxable income.  Soon thereafter, the IRS

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Navigating Probate Cases with Joint Tenancy Bank Accounts

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It is not unusual in probating an estate to find that the decedent’s checking account is held in joint tenancy with one of the decedent’s children. The joint account was usually set up to allow said child to pay the bills of the decedent. The question that arises is whether the funds in said account pass to said child at the time of death due to the joint tenancy ownership of the account. In many cases, said child does not want the account to be transferred to the child and would prefer that the funds be divided among all of

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Final Regulations on Deductibility of Expenses of Estates and Non-Grantor Trusts

business taxes, business tax deductions, deduction limits, business expense threshold limits, De Minimis Safe Harbor Expense Threshold

On September 21, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations in regard to the deductibility of expenses of estates and non-grantor trusts.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was passed previously, bars individuals from claiming miscellaneous itemized deductions for the years 2018 through 2025.  After the passage of the TCJA, there are questions on how such barred itemized deductions would impact estates and non-grantor trusts. The final regulations state that deductions for costs which were paid or incurred in connection with the administration of an estate or trust and which would not have been incurred if the

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New Iowa Supreme Court Case – Estate Planning & Statute of Limitations

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On June 12, 2020, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of In The Matter of the Estate of Sandra R. Franken, John E. Rottinghaus and Dessie Rottinghaus vs. Lincoln Savings Bank, Fiduciary of the Estate of Sandra R. Franken.  Said Ruling was amended on August 17, 2020. In 1973 the Rottinghauses sold real property of Dessie to Sandra and James Kipp, as joint tenants with full rights of survivorship.  The deed granted the Rottinghauses a first right of refusal which stated as follows: Grantees hereby agree that they will not sell or otherwise convey the premises

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Insights from a Recent Living Trust Case

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On July 22, 2020, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling in the matter of the Inman Family Living Trust (No. 19-1045).  Leland and Ella Mae Inman executed the Inman Family Living Trust in 2014.  In 2016, Leland passed away.  The Trust provided that the trustees possessed the powers, rights and discretion set forth in the Iowa Code; that the trustees are authorized to determine fairly and equitably the manner of ascertainment of income and principal and the allocation of all receipts and disbursements to income and principal accounts; and that the Trust shall be governed in accordance with

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Estate Planning in the Covid-19 Crisis

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Estate planning has changed dramatically during the Covid-19 crisis.  The majority of our clients are older individuals who are at a higher risk of being infected with the virus and who have an elevated risk of serious complications from the virus.  Many of our clients are concerned about contracting the virus and have reached out to us about their desires to update their estate planning documents as soon and safely as possible. The challenge facing all estate planning attorneys is how to safely perform estate planning for vulnerable clients in the Covid-19 environment.  From the middle of March to the

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New Iowa Supreme Court Probate Case – Harold Youngblut vs. Leonard Youngblut

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On June 12, 2020, the Supreme Court of Iowa issued a decision in the Harold Youngblut vs. Leonard Youngblut case.  The case involves two brothers, Harold and Leonard Youngblut.  Their parent were Earl and Agnes Youngblut.  Earl and Agnes were the parents of twelve children, three of whom predeceased them.  Earl and Agnes formed a corporation, Youngblut Farmland Ltd. in 1980 and transferred most of their farm assets into the corporation with the exception of farm ground in Tama County known as the “South Farm”.  Both Harold and Leonard worked for the corporation until Leonard left in 1988 over a

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Payout of EIP Stimulus Checks to Deceased Individuals

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There has been much discussion among lawyers as to the payment of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) stimulus checks to deceased individuals.  The checks are generally in the amount of $1,200.00 for each taxpayer.  The Internal Revenue Service has recently addressed the issue on the Question and Answer section of its website. The IRS states that a person who died before receipt of the payment does not qualify and the payment should be returned to the IRS.  The entire payment should be returned unless the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse was alive at the time of receipt

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Information on Protecting Yourself From the COVID-19 Crisis

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This month’s Blog comes to you at a time when our country is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued the following recommendations to protect yourself. Know How it Spreads There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land

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