Category Archives: Estate Planning Law

2017 Tax Reform Bill and Year End Tax Planning


The Senate and the House each passed tax reform bills, and are currently negotiating a final version of the bill.  The goal is to have tax legislation finalized and signed by the end of the 2017. While the law has not yet been enacted, it is more likely than not that legislation will pass before Continue reading

Small Estate Affidavit Allows Institutions to Transfer Property to Survivors With Ease


Financial institutions regularly confront questions on how to distribute property following the death of an account holder. A handy Iowa law creates a simplified procedure for property distribution where the decedent has a small estate. In short, the successor in interest to the decedent’s property may present a Small Estate Affidavit to the financial institution Continue reading

Federal Estate Tax Filing Deadline Extension Provides Valuable Opportunity for Surviving Spouses – Full Article


The federal estate tax exemption amount establishes a maximum limit on the value of assets an individual can pass to non-spouse and non-charitable recipients without incurring federal estate tax liability.  Although the federal estate tax exemption amount has changed frequently over the years, one constant has been the rule that the federal estate tax exemption Continue reading

Federal Estate Tax Filing Deadline Extension Provides Valuable Opportunity for Surviving Spouses


This is an abbreviated version of a longer article which can be found here. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-18, issued on January 27, 2014, grants an extension of the federal estate tax portability provisions to the estates of all decedents who: • died during calendar year 2011, 2012, or 2013; • left a surviving spouse; and Continue reading

Financial Advisor Liable to Beneficiary for Estate Plan Gone Wrong


The Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion on December 27, 2013, which confirms that financial advisors may be held liable to intended beneficiaries if the financial advisor helps the client complete an estate plan that turns out badly.  This is similar to the professional liability exposure previously extended to life insurance agents for a beneficiary Continue reading