Monday, January 21, 2013

Gardner Law Firm, PC - Open for Biz

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Well, it was 15 years in the making but the time has come...Gardner Law Firm, PC, located in Urbandale, Iowa, is created, established and the doors open (except I close for lunch and occasional golf).  While the struggles that I will likely have as a solo attorney pale in comparison to those of Martin Luther King, Jr., I find his quote inspirational as I open the door on the day we celebrate his birthday. 

I will be doing the same work that I did previously at my previous firm: estate planning (wills/trusts), probate administration (handling final matters for deceased people), real estate, and business planning (setting up business entities, helping individuals buy or sell businesses, succession planning, etc.) 

Check out www.gardnerlawpc.com for more information (when the site is completed).  

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

FINALLY...Estate Tax Rules Updated for 2013

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I blogged on the updated federal estate taxes for 2011 and 2012 and noted that the rules put in place then were just punted down the road.  That "punt" finally landed when the "Fiscal Cliff" doomsday of 1-1-13 approached.

Finally, today we received some updated rules on the federal estate tax system for 2013 and beyond.  (Can I say "permanent"?).  I'll update more on the details of the statute after it is digested, but essentially most of the rules from 2012 will remain in place.  (Slightly more than $5 million exemption per person and continued portability options for spouses.) The Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel have a quick summary of the tax bill here.

I expected this to happen, but I'm often wrong when it comes to predicting what Congress will do.  At least we have a better set of rules to work with and estate planners will know what to tell clients for the future.