profile headshot of Katheryn J. Thorson


I am a member in the BrownWinick Law Firm and the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Litigation Practice Group Co-Chair. My practice primarily consists of estate planning, real estate and corporate matters.  In my estate planning practice, I advise individuals and couples from a variety of backgrounds and family situations in developing personalized estate plans to efficiently and effectively transfer their wealth.  I also have experience with assisting individual and corporate fiduciaries and beneficiaries with probate and trust administration and the issues that may develop along the way.  My real estate and corporate practice consists of general commercial real estate and business transactions.    

My Approach

Most of my clients initiate a new engagement with the thought that their estate plan, trust or estate administration or real estate or business transaction is relatively “standard”.  However, every family has different dynamics.  Each piece of land has distinctive features.  And each business has unique characteristics.   From first time parents doing their first estate plan to protect their new baby to helping a client navigate the first somber moments of life after losing a loved one, my goal is to navigate you through a personalized legal experience that you understand.  It is important to me that we take the time to discuss the documents you are executing and items you may not have considered, and I continue to be a resource long after the closing occurs or the documents are executed.  

More About Me

I was selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers® in the area of Estate and Probate and selection for inclusion in Best Lawyers® - Ones to Watch in the areas of Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Trusts and Estates. Our Estate Planning and Fiduciary Litigation Practice Group is ranked in Band 1, which is the highest ranking award for Chambers® USA rankings. 

I received my Juris Doctorate degree from Drake University in 2013.  The highlight of my legal education was representing the United States at the International Client Counseling Competition in Scotland after winning the 2013 Regional and National Client Counseling Competitions.  I graduated from Simpson College, cum laude, in 2010, receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics with a specialization in Finance.

I am a central Iowa native that was inspired to become an estate planning and trust attorney from listening to my parents' stories from being in the financial services industry.  It is my grandparents' family farm operation that cultivated my business and real estate interests. 

In addition to my legal practice, I am active in various community and legal organizations including the following: 

  • Past President of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa,
  • Board Member of the Norwalk Student Education Foundation,
  • Board Member of the Board of Adjustment for the City of Norwalk, and 
  • Board Member of The Ashcraft Library Project. 

My Specialties

Trusts, Estates and Charitable Giving

  • Estate Planning
  • Probate, Estate and Trust Administration
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Trust and Estate Litigation

Real Estate, Construction & Environmental

  • Acquisitions and Dispositions
  • Leasing and Property Management
  • 1031 Exchanges
  • Eminent Domain

Business Transactions

  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

IRS Issues Revised Revenue Procedure for Late Portability Elections

08-8-2022 On July 8, 2022, the IRS issued a revised Revenue Procedure, Rev. Proc. 2022-32, providing for a late portability election to qualifying estates. The new procedure extends the time period in which the simplified method to make a late portability election can be filed. Rev. Proc. 2022-32 allows the simplified method to be used on or before the...
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The EPA's Rule Withdrawal Impact on Environmental Due Diligence

07-12-2022 Since our last post, “New ASTM Standard for Commercial Real Estate Phase I Environmental Site Assessments”, the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) withdrew its direct final rule to adopt the new ASTM E1527-21 standard for the EPA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” rules. The “All Appropriate Inquiry” rules provide a framework under which a...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Successfully Represent New Fashion Pork and BWT Holdings before the Iowa Supreme Court

06-30-2022 In a major development for the agricultural industry in Iowa, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a nuisance case and reversed a previous Supreme Court decision on constitutional grounds. BrownWinick attorneys James White, Jen Lindberg, and Jim Pray successfully represented New Fashion Pork and BWT Holdings before the Iowa Supreme...
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New ASTM Standard for Commercial Real Estate Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

05-17-2022 On November 1, 2021, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) International released its revised standards for conducting an environmental site assessment of a parcel of commercial real estate. The new standard updates the previous standard released in 2013. Now referred to as ASTM E1527-21, the ASTM standard is widely used to satisfy...
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BrownWinick Law Firm Attorneys Featured in 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

08-20-2021 BrownWinick is excited to announce the following attorneys were selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers directory for 2021. Seven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown - Tax Michael Dee – Business Litigation Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate James...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

07-11-2019 Eleven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown – Tax Elizabeth Coonan – Employment and Labor Michael Dee – Business Litigation Alice Helle – Employee Benefits Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate Ann Holden Kendell – Employment and Labor James Pray – Environmental Brian...
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Mollie Damos



Simpson College

B.A., cum laude, 2010


Drake University Law School

J.D., with high honors, 2013


Iowa, 2013


Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Probate, Trust & Estate Planning Section
  • Iowa Trust Association
  • Polk County Women Attorneys
  • Des Moines Estate Planners
  • Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
    Board Member
  • Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Young Professionals Connection