Janssen Law, PLC

Estate Planning Archives

3 ways to reduce estate tax

As someone currently working on your Iowa estate plan, chances are, one of your main objectives involves leaving as much of your hard-earned assets behind for your loved ones as you possibly can. While there are various methods you can rely on to accomplish this, one method involves minimizing the amount of taxes your loved ones will have to pay on your estate. At Janssen Law, PLC, we are well-versed in the various methods you can use to reduce estate taxes, and we have helped many clients accomplish these and related goals.

Planning to pass your business on

Major corporations have succession plans, but small business owners — especially sole proprietors — tend to overlook these essential continuity tools. Nearly any business in Iowa, regardless of the size, could benefit from its leadership considering how to enact a smooth transition of authority should a loss occur at the highest levels. 

What do you do if your income is too high for Medicaid?

Planning for posterity in Iowa could mean putting money away for your beneficiaries. It also might entail making the most of every available resource at your disposal in order to minimize the impact your own living expenses have on your estate. A Medicaid payback trust is one type of financial document that could help you reduce medical costs, in some situations.

What can an executor do to a decedent's home?

If a family member dies and there is no other close family member that will continue to live in the home of the deceased, typically an executor will be put in charge of the property until it is ready to pass to beneficiaries listed in a will or whoever an Iowa judge deems should possess the home in probate. But what if the executor alters or changes the home before the beneficiaries can take possession? While an executor holds great authority over the assets of a decedent, it is not absolute.

Can institutions reject your power of attorney?

You may believe that by assigning someone to act as your personal agent to handle your financial affairs with power of attorney, you have safeguarded your financial future in the event you suffer incapacitation and cannot make decisions for yourself. However, it is possible that an Iowa bank or other financial institution may actually reject the person that acts on your behalf. How can this happen? According to Forbes, there are a number of reasons why.

Who inherits assets as a result of intestacy?

It is important for all Iowa adults, especially those with children or heirs, to consider what will happen to their assets when they pass away. Adults can express their wishes through a last will and testament, or some other form of estate planning. However, should a person die without leaving behind any kind of a formal document that explains their post-death desires, that person is said to die intestate. In this case, Iowa courts will determine who inherits the deceased person's assets according to intestacy law.

What does the new federal estate tax law change?

As you prepare your estate in Iowa, you are likely to look for all the tax breaks you can get for your heirs. Many times people may try to make adjustments or changes to their plan to ensure their heirs are not left with a huge tax bill. After all, you want to leave behind something of value and not stick your loved ones with a tax debt. Knowing what to do with your estate, though, requires knowledge of state and federal tax laws, and federal estate tax laws have recently changed.

Is it possible to keep your estate out of probate court?

If you are currently planning your estate in Iowa, now is the time to take steps to prevent your estate from ending up in probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. According to The Motley Fool, what you do now will determine if probate is going to happen or not. You have to begin by consulting with professionals who can guide and help you with staying within legal limits and managing your finances and real property properly. 

Are prepaid funeral plans right for you?

You may have heard about prepaid funeral plans in Iowa. They sound like a good idea because you can plan your funeral and all the related things now so your family does not have to mess with it when you die. In addition, it helps ensure things go exactly how you want them to. Plus, you have probably heard you can save money by doing your funeral this way. While all these things seem like great reasons to preplan your funeral, the reality is not always so wonderful.

The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions that should not be based solely upon advertisement or self-proclaimed expertise. This disclosure is required by the rule of the Supreme Court of lowa. A description or indication of limitation of practice does not mean that any agency or board has certified such lawyer as a specialist or expert or more competent than any other lawyer. All potential clients are urged to make their independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered. This notice is required by rule of the Supreme Court of lowa. Any information provided as a result of receiving a response to this website should be considered general in nature and no personal legal advice will be provided without first establishing an attorney/client relationship.

700 Second Ave.
Suite 103
Des Moines, IA 50309-1712

Phone: 515-421-9068
Fax: 515-274-1364
Map & Directions