Estate planning, which includes legal documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, is the process of preparing instructions on how to manage your assets both before and after your death. State and federal laws apply to estate planning, and so do taxes and possible probate costs. In order to protect your assets, it may be necessary to create legal entities such as revocable trusts, limited liability companies (LLCs) or family partnerships. The estate tax and other related issues are a hot political topic, and estate laws change often. It is vital to consult an experienced estate planning attorney, in order to protect your assets and meet the goals of your estate planning process.

Estate planning allows you to decide what will happen to your assets after your death. It allows you and your loved one to save time and legal costs, and avoid financial and administrative hassles. Your estate plan should include a will, financial durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney, HIPAA release and perhaps a trust and living will.

A financial durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to give directions to another person, who can then make legally binding decisions if you are unable to do so yourself.

A will is a legal document which provides instructions on how to deal with your property after your death.

Contact a Iowa Trust & Wills lawyer representing clients in Des Moines, Iowa today to schedule your initial consultation.

In addition, other legal documents such as a health care Power of attorney, a living will, and a revocable (or "living") trust can help with decisions should you become incapacitated. A revocable trust can take control of your property before you die, allowing you and your family to avoid the cost, delay and invasion of privacy of probate proceedings.

The basic purpose of estate planning is not simply to distribute property after death, but to reduce inefficiency, taxes, court costs and attorney fees and perhaps eliminate the probate process completely. Many estates are free of federal taxes, and a spouse can leave a surviving spouse an unlimited amount of money free of taxes. Chek with us regarding current law for federal estate tax exemption amount rates. Also Iowa has an inheritance tax that could affect estates. Careful planning can often avoid or minimize these taxes.

Ron did an excellent job with my personal situation that I needed legal services for. He kept me well informed, was very professional yet showed that he cared about me and my financial situation--not seeing me as just another client that is paying for legal services. Ron gave me great advice and didn't pressure me on anything. I would highly recommend Ron!"


Estate planning is vital to work towards security and peace of mind for yourself and your family. If you need help in any stage in the estate planning process, you should contact a lawyer experienced in estate planning to ensure your needs are met and your estate is protected.

If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa probate attorney, representing clients in Des Moines, Iowa at Howes & Anderson P.C. Give us a call at (515) 225-9000 or complete our inquiry form.