In my last blog post, I discussed what to do immediately upon a loved one dying. In this article, I am going to discuss what to do later, after the funeral.
Locate Will or Trust Agreement. The Will or … Read more
My mother died recently, so I know what to do when a loved one dies. But she was 92 years old and had been in a nursing home for more than a year. Two weeks before her death, she was … Read more
In the last month, two clients have received letters regarding sweepstake winnings – and each showed signs of a well-conceived scam. One for $850,000 and the other for $600,000. Both clients are in their mid 80’s; both deny being elderly.… Read more
What is probate?
Probate is the court supervised procedure for transferring ownership of an individual’s assets after death.
Why not go through probate?
First of all, it is slow (1 to 3 years). Second of all, it is costly – … Read more
On January 13, 2016, several Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA) leaders met with State Representatives to discuss upcoming bills for the new legislative year. One bill, SF 376/HSB 37, proposes to limit the property used to calculate court costs during … Read more
For 2016, the estate and gift tax exemption is $5.45 million per individual, up from $5.43 million in 2015. That means an individual can leave $5.45 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax.… Read more
More than five years ago, I set up a revocable trust for one of my clients who I will call “Carol” (because that’s her name). She transferred her condo to the trust. That was the only asset in her trust.… Read more
Continually I have clients ask me “What happened to my inheritance?” Here are a few answers to that question:
There is a Will, but the assets do not pass under the Will. My client’s mother died last month and, before … Read more
As stated in a new Iowa Supreme Court case, under Iowa law, you have no rights whatsoever as to what happens to your bodily remains. So even if you go to the funeral home and make arrangements, and even … Read more
Section 633.198 sets the ceiling for probate fees in the state of Iowa. The maximum fee is as follows:
For the first one thousand dollars, six percent;
For the overplus between one and five thousand dollars, four percent;
For all … Read more
If your Medicare drug plan denies coverage for a drug you need, you don’t have to simply accept it. There are several steps you can take to fight the decision.
The insurers offering Medicare drug plans choose the medicines — … Read moreRead More
While the execution of wills requires formalities like witnesses and a notary, the reality is that most property passes to heirs through other, less formal means.
Many bank and investments accounts, as well as real estate, have joint owners who… Read more
My wife and I drafted our wills with an attorney when our two children were young. We would now like to make some minor tweaks to the will. The attorney who drafted it kept a copy, and we have… Read more