Iowa Estate Plan

Information on estate planning and probate from an Iowa attorney.

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Way back in 2009, or whenever I started this blog, I posted about probate topics as well as estate planning.  (I’m not sure I expected to be blogging still in 2020.  My dream of retiring at age 44 and retiring to a caribbean island just didn’t materialize.)  Then one day I looked at the site address-Iowa Estate Plan–and decided maybe it made more sense to keep probate topics on one site and keep this as…
What is “elder abuse”? As provided in Iowa Code 235F, elder abuse means any of the following: 1.     Physical injury to, unreasonable confinement, punishment or assault of a vulnerable elder 2.     Sexual offense with or against a vulnerable elder 3.     Neglect by a caretaker of a vulnerable elder a.     Includes the deprivation of the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, or physical or mental health care necessary to maintain life or health 4.     Financial exploitation…
Each day gets crazier and crazier on COVID-19’s impact on our society, including in the estate planning world.  Under Iowa long-standing law (Iowa Code sec. 633.279), when an individual signs their will, it is required that they sign in the presence of two individuals.  This has been pretty strictly adhered to by Iowa courts in requiring the physical presence of the witnesses. Today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation suspending the requirement…
The recent passage of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act(SECURE Act) in December 2019 created some significant changes to retirement accounts.  One big change of SECURE resulted in changes to allowing what is commonly referred to as “stretch” IRA’s. Previously, beneficiaries such as children and grandchildren, were able to have funds withdrawn from an inherited retirement account over the rest of their expected life. That allowed younger beneficiaries to extend…
If you are (a) currently acting as the guardian and/or conservator for an Iowa resident or (b) plan to be appointed as guardian and/or conservator for an Iowa resident, bigly changes are in place for 2020 for annual reports or initial reports starting January 1, 2020. I’ll leave the procedural details out for now.  (Nobody except for attorneys really read those anyway). Maybe another post for another day.  But for the annual reports for guardians and/or…
A recent ruling from the Iowa Court of Appeals addressed gifts from a parent (now deceased) to a trusted child.  Applying the standard involving “confidential relationships” and gifts during life, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed that the recipient of the gifts was required to return the gifts received during mom’s life back to her estate. Quick facts:  Mom and dad had four kids.  Dad passed away a few years ago and one of the…
First and foremost, I don’t handle divorces and won’t go further with any divorce questions because my knowledge ends with that.  In 20+ years of practice, handling a divorce 20 years ago was good enough to put away those materials. But for those that have gone through a divorce, there is typically the question about how a divorce impacts your estate plan documents.  The Iowa legislators realize that many people don’t go through the process…
Currently in Iowa, if a decedent owns personal property that totals $25,000 or less, and that property would normally pass under a Will or the intestate statute, you can skip probate with just an affidavit.  The governor recently signed a bill that increased that figure up to $50,000 (for deaths after July 1, 2018), along with a few extra new additions to the affidavit. So…what does that mean lawyer boy?  This: If the dead…
You gotta love email.  In seconds, I can transmit a message around the globe to one person or to hundreds of people, or I can share a photo of my dog, Georgia.  Or you can email your parents’ attorney and tell the attorney what changes to make to your parents’ estate plan to exclude one of your siblings.  Whoops. In Estate of Boman, decided earlier this year, the on-going feud between two sisters and…