Showing posts from May, 2008

Iowa Enacts Final Disposition Directives Act

Following a controversial decision by the Iowa Supreme Court and after some wrangling in the Iowa legislature , Governor Chet Culver signed SF 473 into law on April 11, 2008. Effective July 1, 2008, this new chapter to the Iowa Code (chapter 144C) authorizes an individual to designate an individual to make decisions over the disposition of their bodily remains following their death. The designation does not indicate how a person wants their body remains to be handled, only who has the authority to make those decisions that are "reasonable under the circumstances". Now, what is "reasonable under the circumstances"? Under the definitions section, consideration should be given to the deceased's financial situation, religious beliefs and cutural or family customs. Also, if the designee doesn't promptly step forward and assume their responsibility, they forfeit their rights. In fact, the designee has either 24 hours after notification or 40 hours after

Testamentary Trusts in Iowa

Joel Schoenmeyer has a good post on testamentary trusts on his Death & Taxes blog . Many clients think of estate planning in terms of either having a trust or a will. In fact, a testamentary trust plan involves both concepts. For those individuals that are not comfortable with the revocable trust plan which involves transferring all of one's assets to their trust and the cost of setting up such a plan, a testamentary trust is an alternative which gives you control from the grave over how your assets are handled. For example, if you have young children and you aren't interested in a revocable trust, a testamentary trust would control when and how your children would access those funds in the future if something should happen to you. Without such a testamentary trust and with just a simple will, your children would receive 100% of the assets at the "mature" age of 18. Not ideal, eh? While you maintain control, such a plan does require your estate to go thro