Gardner Law Firm, PC

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Every year I count the days down to this week.  Well, not really.  But it does serve as a regular reminder about the need to address the basics of estate planning.  Despite my best intentions, there continues to be a large portion of Americans that don’t have estate plans.  Based on a 2014 survey, for those individuals age 51-64,  51% don’t have wills.  For all ages above 18, it is 64% without wills.  Wow. Many
One of the convenient & powerful changes to the Iowa Probate Code from the 2015 legislative session involved the authority of a court-appointed representative to get information or access to financial information or assets.  Iowa Code section 633.78 was revised to give both the representative and the financial institution the necessary authority and protection in dealing with assets. Okay, that was enough of a legal mouthful.  If you want a bigger mouthful, you can read
A common question that comes up in client meetings is ‘how long does it take to get through probate?’  There a lot of variables that go into that determination.  However, it is fair to recommend some patience for the process to get completed. Notice Publication – This is one of the primary delays.  One requirement is that the executor/attorney needs to publish notice in a local newspaper to run for 2 consecutive weeks.  Then, after…
When you are putting together your estate plan (and shame on you if you haven’t done so yet) one of the decisions you may face is ‘who should be the trustee?’ This question assumes that you are using a trust.  Whether it is due to young beneficiaries, special needs, or other circumstances that call for managed control of assets, a trustee is the title assigned to person/entity.  So what are the requirements? Capable – A…
A common scenario for children with special needs can arise when the child turns age 18 (age of majority in Iowa).  Once they are an adult, they are entitled to make their own decisions and healthcare information to others may be restricted. To deal with this situation as they relate to medical issues, there are a couple of different options: Medical power of attorney/HIPAA Release – If your child has sufficient capacity to execute documents,…
When I was younger, I used to love Now and Later candy, despite the “workout” it gave my mouth/teeth.  You can enjoy the candy as a hard candy, and continue to enjoy it later when it is soft and chewy. It was like having having a different piece of candy, all in one piece. When I discuss a power of attorney document with a client, one of the questions that I go through is…
When I was younger, I used to love Now and Later candy, despite the “workout” it gave my mouth/teeth.  You can enjoy the candy as a hard candy, and continue to enjoy it later when it is soft and chewy. It was like having having a different piece of candy, all in one piece. When I discuss a power of attorney document with a client, one of the questions that I go through is…
I have previously posted previously pretty much on all of these items separately, but I thought I’d commit to the “checklist-mania” and add my own checklist.  For individuals that are helping out with an aging family member, this can be a quick guide to get you started.  (If you are taking advantage of an aging family member, then you need to get a conscience and turn yourself into the authorities.) While this list can be…
I have previously posted previously pretty much on all of these items separately, but I thought I’d commit to the “checklist-mania” and add my own checklist.  For individuals that are helping out with an aging family member, this can be a quick guide to get you started.  (If you are taking advantage of an aging family member, then you need to get a conscience and turn yourself into the authorities.) While this list can be…
I have previously posted previously pretty much on all of these items separately, but I thought I’d commit to the “checklist-mania” and add my own checklist.  For individuals that are helping out with an aging family member, this can be a quick guide to get you started.  (If you are taking advantage of an aging family member, then you need to get a conscience and turn yourself into the authorities.) While this list can be…