BW INSIGHTS

Do You Need to File a Gift Tax Return?

The holidays are upon us and even though the holidays may mean more than packages, boxes, and bags, gifting during the holidays can put a twinkle in your eye and thaw your heart as the world slowly freezes over for the winter.     But have your dreams of sugar plum fairies been interrupted by the unwelcome thought of gift taxes?  No need to bah... Read More

BrownWinick Hosts Second Wills for Veterans Event

In honor of Veterans Day,  BrownWinick held its second “Wills for Veterans” event to benefit Iowa veterans. Several attorneys and staff partnered on this event to provide complimentary basic wills and powers of attorney documents for 30 Iowa veterans and their spouses.   “These Veterans and their spouses have served our country with honor. Finding... Read More

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

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: ... Read More

Powers of Attorney: What They Are and Why You Need Them

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... Read More

IRS Issues Revised Revenue Procedure for Late Portability Elections

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... Read More

Estate Planning With Pets

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... Read More

Will v. Trust: What's the Difference and Which One is Right for You?

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... Read More

Estate Planning Considerations with Your Vacation Home

With Memorial Day in the rear-view mirror and the July 4th holiday quickly approaching, many of us are enjoying weekends or longer stays at a family vacation property on the water. The gathering spot may be known as a lake house, beach house, cabin, camp, cottage, lodge, or condo (depending on the location and use). In addition to waterfront... Read More

Who Should I Name as Guardian for my Minor Children?

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... Read More

How the 2020 Presidential Election Could Impact Your Succession Plan

  Like many other things this year, uncertainty reigns supreme for tax planning as we approach the end of 2020. Barring successful litigation by President Trump’s legal team, the Biden-Harris Administration will assume control of the executive branch of the Federal Government in early 2021. With that said, the focus for tax planning is control of... Read More