FAITH, FAMILY, AND THE FARM
GREAT THINGS ARE WORTH PROTECTING

Orange City Estate Planning Blog

COVID-19 UPDATE: Tax Deadline Extended

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that the administration has moved the IRS deadline for filing taxes from April 15 to July 15 due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus.

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High Five: Mistakes with DIY Wills

Not surprisingly, online do-it-yourself legal services have a huge customer base, likely because they are cheaper and more convenient than using a local lawyer. Sites like LegalZoom say you can “get a will” that’s the same as what you get from the lawyer down the street. But, unfortunately, DIY or form wills are prone to any number of problems which cause your estate to be divided incorrectly, your probate to be administered inefficiently, or your wishes to be completely ignored. [Read More]

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How Do I Incorporate My Business into My Estate Planning?

Running and owning a business is just like raising a child: Both are investments in the future, and both require a lot of time, resources and effort to raise successfully. One can argue that you would treat your business like you’d treat a child; you’d want it to succeed even after you’ve passed on or retired.

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How Should Baby Boomers Claim Their Social Security?

Social Security benefits have long been a critical part of Americans’ retirement income plans. After all, the monthly benefits provide a stream of income that is adjusted for inflation annually and can’t be outlived. With the decline of pensions and increasing life spans, Social Security is now playing a larger role in shoring up retirees’ nest eggs.

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Watch Your Language: Income

The Medicaid definition of “income” comes from federal law and reads as follows: Income is “[a]nything a person receives either in cash or in kind that can be used to meet the person’s basic needs of food, clothing, or shelter.” [Read More]

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Ask the Elder Law Lawyer: How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

If you’re like 70% of people in the US who have a retirement plan, you still haven’t worked with a professional such as an elder law attorney in Northwest Iowa in order to determine how much money you really need to save. A recent study found that only about 30% of this group has actually sat down with a professional to come up with a realistic number. [Read More]

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101 Death Hacks [Part Four]

When you build a house, you want to do so efficiently. Pine 2x4s are cheaper than 1½” oak floor boards, so that’s what you use to frame the house. When you’re making your estate plan, you don’t want the family farm to wind up being sold to pay a tax bill, the costs of probate, or the medical expenses of your beneficiaries. Fortunately, with a little forethought and some organization, you can avoid those kinds of problems and make a plan to pay or even avoid those costs without jeopardizing your wishes. [Read More]

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High Five: The Zen Guide to Probate

Life is full of transitions, and the end of someone’s life can be the most significant transition of all. Amidst the emotional challenges that come with laying a loved one to rest, it can be intimidating to discover that you’ve been designated as the executor of your loved one’s estate. Then you find out you are a fiduciary and the heavy responsibility that imposes, and suddenly you’re feeling like a fish out of water. [Read More]

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What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

It is a great idea to hire a probate lawyer before you actually “need” his or her services so things can go as smoothly as possible when it comes to taking an estate through the probate process. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it works. Oftentimes, a person isn’t even aware of what a probate lawyer in Northwest Iowa does until he or she is in need of one. It’s very common to go looking for a probate lawyer in Northwest Iowa once a loved one has passed and help is needed immediately. [Read More]

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