profile headshot of James E. McCarthy


As your estate planning attorney, I will devote my legal expertise and compassionate spirit to developing creative solutions to achieve your objectives. My goal is to clarify your options, allowing you to make informed, confident decisions. Estate planning can be complex – meticulous attention to the details is critical to the success of your plan. A well-executed estate plan will simplify the lives of you and your family.

My Approach  

 You can count on me to listen to your concerns, ask the right questions, and communicate the legal issues. I will prepare diagrams of your plan to help you clearly understand how the process will work. Once you decide on a course of action, I will quote your fee before beginning the work. This predictable fee arrangement means you don’t have to worry about the time it takes to make phone calls, ask questions, or discuss your plan in more detail. My talented colleagues at BrownWinick can also assist you across a broad range of other legal disciplines beyond the estate planning engagement.

More About Me

I grew up on a farm in Washington, Iowa, in a family with twelve children. Growing up in small-town Iowa was such a pleasure – a good family, many good friends, learning the value of hard work, and unforgettable experiences. I live with my wife Ann in Clive. My daughter also lives in Clive with her husband and two daughters. My interests include spending time with my amazing grandchildren, traveling, golfing, coin collecting, and playing the bass guitar for my church choir and a classic rock band.

Before joining BrownWinick Law, I worked as an attorney for Iowa Farm Bureau and practiced law at the Parker & Geadelmann firm. My areas of expertise include estate planning, business and farm succession, retirement distribution strategies, and trust administration.

I received my Finance Degree from the University of Notre Dame (BBA 1972) and my law degree from Creighton University (JD 1976), serving as a Creighton Law Review staff member. I earned designations from the American College of Financial Services: CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), and MSFS (Master of Science Financial Services). I am a member of the Agricultural and Probate, Trust, and Estate Planning Sections of the Iowa Bar Association. I am also a member of the Polk County, Nebraska, North Carolina, and American Bar Associations.

My Specialties

  • Estate Planning
  • Trusts, Wills, Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney
  • Retirement Distribution Strategies
  • Farm and Business Succession Planning
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Probate and Trust Administration
  • Charitable Gifting Strategies
  •  Real Estate Acquisition and Disposition 

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Jessica Savage



University of Notre Dame

B.B.A., Finance, 1972


Creighton Law School 

J.D., 1976


Iowa, 1976

Nebraska, 1976

North Carolina, 2008

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member - Agricultural and Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Sections
  • American Bar Association
  • Nebraska State Bar Association 
  • North Carolina State Bar Association