Creditor Has No Claim to Wrongful Death Claim Settlement

creditor claims

On June 15, 2022, the Court of Appeals of Iowa issued an opinion in the matter of the Estate of Kevin L. Barz, Brad Staley and Susan Staley, Appellants (No. 21-0563). The case involves Kevin Barz and his spouse who both died in a motor vehicle accident. The Barz’s were survived by three children who were the co-executors of the estate. The co-executors filed a wrongful death action against the tortfeasor and his insurance company. A settlement was reached with the tortfeasor for $622,264.15. The settlement provided that it “was paid solely as compensation for the individual loss of consortium”.

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Iowa Court of Appeals Abatement Case

iowa real estate law contract

On May 11, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of In the Matter of the Estate of Dennis R. Peterson, Deceased, Joseph Parcell, Appellant. The decedent Dennis Peterson executed a Will on August 27, 2018. The Will provided in part “I hereby give to Joe Parcell lifetime use of the 2nd and 3rd bays at 207 Collins Street… so long as he pays 35% of overhead”. The Will went on to give the residue of the estate to the decedent’s daughter, Donna Sue Peterson. The Will Appointed Donna Sue Peterson as the executor. Dennis

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Divorced Husband’s Failure to Remove Former Spouse as Beneficiary of Retirement Plan

iowa lawyer for prenuptual agreement

On April 13, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals entered its opinion in the case of University of Dubuque v. Sharon Fairchild and Robilyn G. Cowart (No. 21-0216). Richard Cowart was employed by the University of Dubuque beginning in January of 1998. His spouse at that time, Sharon Cowart, was named as his beneficiary on his TIAA and CREF Retirement Annuity Contracts. Richard and Sharon were divorced in June of 1998. In the divorce case, Sharon signed a stipulation providing that “I, Sharon Cowart, relinquish any claim to any savings accounts, securities, retirement fund, or inheritance due to or belonging

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Iowa Supreme Court Case on new Guardianship Act

iowa guardianship law

On January 14, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an Opinion in the Matter of the Guardianship of L.Y.  The case is the first interpretation of the new Guardianship Act which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The case involved young parents who consented to a temporary guardianship for the paternal grandparents to serve as guardians of their five-year-old daughter so that the daughter could be placed on the grandparents’ medical insurance and easily travel with them on vacation.  The guardianship was also to provide an opportunity for the parents to complete their divorce and to establish stable lives. 

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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

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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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