Estates & Trusts

Cedar Valley Estate Planning Attorneys

Are you ready to address long overdue estate planning goals or see to the updating of your existing estate plan?
Are you a farm family seeking to preserve your farm estate and guide it smoothly to the next generation?
Are you a young couple concerned about care of your children and management of their inheritance in the event of your untimely death?
We offer comprehensive services in estate planning and probate administration, working with individuals seeking to put an effective estate plan in place, as well as with executors and trustees who need assistance settling the estate of a loved one.

Estate Planning

Estate planning solutions are never one-size-fits-all. Neither are they do-it-yourself projects. When you hire us to assist you with estate planning, we will start by gathering as much information as we can about your financial situation, as well as your goals. We will carefully explain the different strategies you can employ to meet your objectives, including the use of wills or trusts, the re-titling of assets to avoid probate, and lifetime gifts. We will make certain you understand the tax implications of each approach. Once you have determined how you want to proceed, we will prepare and execute all documents necessary to put your plan in place.

Careful attention will be given to:

  • Strategies to help avoid or minimize federal estate tax and state death taxes
  • Preparation of wills and trusts
  • Use of revocable living trusts
  • Entity formation and business succession planning
  • Drafting of powers of attorney, living wills and healthcare powers of attorney
  • Gifting strategies
  • Use of irrevocable life insurance trusts and charitable remainder trusts
  • Preservation of the farm estate or business estate
  • Addressing elder law concerns, long-term care planning and Medicaid eligibility
  • Trusts for minor beneficiaries, to insure funds are properly managed and utilized
  • Achieving your goals in the most efficient and cost-effective manner

Estate and Trust Administration

If you have been named as an executor or administrator of the estate of a loved one, we will help you complete all the steps necessary to properly administer the estate. We will help you get officially appointed to handle the estate and will assist you with all matters, including:

  • Preparation and filing of reports and accountings of the assets of the estate
  • Notification of all creditors and other interested parties
  • Valuation of estate assets, if necessary
  • Preparation, filing and payment of estate, inheritance and income tax returns
  • Payment of all final debts and expenses of the estate
  • Orderly distribution of assets in accordance with the provisions in the will
  • Funding and administration of trusts

Estate Litigation

Has your Iowa family's estate administration failed to proceed as smoothly as you had hoped? Is a dispute over an estate threatening to divide your loved ones in costly lengthy litigation?

When a problem presents itself that affects the estate of a loved one we can help in a wide variety of ways. We will review the actions of executors, administrators, trustees and attorneys-in-fact to confirm that they have acted appropriately with the estate or trust assets. We pursue will contests, challenges to the actions of fiduciaries and general estate litigation when disputes arise. We will strive to resolve disputes by settlement but will vigorously pursue estate litigation where appropriate.