profile headshot of Ingrid M. Johnson

Specialties

I'm an estate planning attorney and I focus my practice on wills and trusts, probate and trust administration, and business succession planning.

I have an excitement and curiosity for law that has led me into multiple practice areas.  I started my practice as a litigator trying cases relating to contract disputes and employment law.  I briefly tried my hand at family law and eventually transitioned into transactional law with a focus on corporate governance and negotiating contracts. While I now focus on estate planning, this work often involves the other areas of law I have practiced.  I enjoy estate planning work because it's about your life and the life of your loved ones. I enjoy getting to hear your stories and helping you create a legacy to live on for your loved ones.

My Approach

I have found that my previous experience in multiple areas of law has enriched my estate planning practice because estate planning can touch so many aspects of a client's life.  Corporate law could come into play if a farm would be best managed in an LLC. I've seen what happens when beneficiaries disagree and litigate so I know what issues can arise and how we can work to avoid them. Even my work in the employment area comes in handy when dealing with retirements accounts or other employee benefits in an estate plan.  I believe my experience allows me to give you practical and well-rounded advice.  You are doing a great service to those you leave behind by creating a plan for your estate, and I want to make every effort to make sure your legacy is protected.

More about Me

I come from a family full of lawyers so I guess you could say it's in my genes. I'm from Austin, Minnesota and went to college in Decorah, Iowa. I graduated summa cum laude from Luther College in 2014 with a B.A. in English and Political Science. I earned my J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School in 2018, graduated in the top 5% of my class, and became a member of the Order of the Coif. While in law school, I worked on the Colorado Technology Law Journal and served as a judicial extern for Justice Boatright on the Colorado Supreme Court. During my third year of law school, I moved back to Iowa and completed two visiting semesters at the University of Iowa College of Law. I was admitted to practice law in Iowa in 2018. I volunteer with the Midwest Innocence Project, helping exonerate the wrongfully convicted, and am a member of the Polk County Bar Association, Iowa State Bar Association, and American Bar Association.  

My Specialties

  • Estate Planning
  • Estate and Trust Administration
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Trust & Estate Litigation

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

09-14-2022 You may have heard that if you die without a will, your property will go to the state. For most cases, this is not accurate. Iowa has an intestacy statute which dictates where your assets will go if you die without a will. Here is a chart to explain where your property would go depending on the family members you leave behind:  If you die with: ...
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Powers of Attorney: What They Are and Why You Need Them

09-7-2022 Having a power of attorney is essential for the estate planning process. In Iowa, there are two types of powers of attorney available: medical power of attorney (also known as the health care power of attorney) and financial power of attorney (also known as the general power of attorney). Read on to learn more about the differences between these...
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Estate Planning With Pets

08-4-2022 Who will care for your pet after you die? Can you appoint a guardian for your pet? Who will pay for your pet’s care?  If you have a pet, these are questions you may have thought about. Fortunately, you can develop a plan for your pets in your estate plan.  In Iowa, pets are treated as property under the law. This means that you cannot leave money...
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Will v. Trust: What's the Difference and Which One is Right for You?

07-6-2022 You have probably heard of wills and trusts in the estate planning context, but what is the difference between the two?   Both a will and a trust are used to distribute your assets upon your death. Both allow you to name beneficiaries to receive your assets and a fiduciary to control the distribution of your assets. However, there are some key...
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Who Should I Name as Guardian for my Minor Children?

06-17-2022 Naming a legal guardian is often the most important estate planning decision for people with minor children. When you become a parent, it is a good idea to have a will in place so you can name a legal guardian for your children if anything were to happen to you. Here are seven things to consider when choosing who to name as your children’s...
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Supreme Court Decides Cheerleader’s Snapchat Profanity is Protected Free Speech

09-12-2021 The Supreme Court’s recent First Amendment decision leaves open questions for school districts regarding their ability to regulate their students’ off-campus online speech.  On June 23, 2021, the Supreme Court decided that Mahanoy Area High School could not discipline a student for her off-campus online speech criticizing her cheerleading squad....
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Representing Yourself or Your Business in a Small Claims Action

08-13-2019 A small claims action can be filed if the amount demanded is $6,500 or less. You can choose to represent yourself in a small claims action or hire an attorney to help. If you would like to represent yourself, the Iowa Judicial Branch website has some good resources for explaining the process:  Essentially, this is the process for filing a small...
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Assistant

Mollie Damos

515-242-2464

Undergraduate

Luther College

B.A., summa cum laude, English and Political Science, 2014

Legal

University of Colorado Law School

J.D., Order of the Coif, 2018

Admitted

Iowa, 2018

Memberships & Associations

  • Des Moines Estate Planners
    Member
  • Polk County Bar Association
    Member
  • Polk County Women Attorney Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Probate, Trusts & Estate Planning Section
  • American Bar Association
    Member; Real Property, Trust, and Estate Section
  • Young Professionals Connection
    Member
  • Midwest Innocence Project
    Volunteer
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Downtown Neighborhood Association Member