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I. Overview IV. Asset Protection
II. Wills and Trusts: Wills V. Estate Planning and Elder Law
III. Wills and Trusts: Trusts VI. Powers of Attorney
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Overview

Estate planning, which includes legal documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, is the process of preparing instructions on how to manage your assets after your death. Iowa, Illinois and federal laws apply to estate planning, and so do taxes. In order to protect your assets, it may be necessary to create legal entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs) or family partnerships.

The estate tax and other related issues are a hot political topic, and estate laws change often. It is vital to consult an experienced estate planning attorney, in order to protect your assets and meet the goals of your estate planning process.

Estate planning allows you to decide what will happen to your assets after your death. It allows you and your loved ones to save time and legal costs, and avoid financial and administrative hassles. Anyone with children should have a detailed estate plan in place. Particularly if you have become divorced and have children, estate planning allows you to avoid the unintended consequence of having control of your property taken over by a former spouse. Your estate plan should include two vital documents; a will and a durable power of attorney.

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to give directions to another person, who can then make legally binding decisions if you are unable to do so yourself.

A will is a legal document which provides instructions on how to deal with your property after your death.

In addition, other legal documents such as a health care proxy, a living will, and a revocable (or “living”) trust can help with decisions should you become incapacitated. A revocable trust can take control of your property before you die, allowing you and your family to avoid probate proceedings.

The basic purpose of estate planning is not simply to distribute property after death, but to reduce inefficiency and taxes throughout the probate process. Most estates are free of federal taxes, and a spouse can leave a surviving spouse an unlimited amount of money free of taxes. Under current law, all estates over $2 million in size will be charged with the federal estate tax. In 2009, the cap will be raised to $3.5 million. In 2010, no estate taxes at all will be charged. However, in 2011 the estate tax will return at the $1 million amount set in 2002. Unless Congress enacts additional tax cuts, this will be the permanent amount. Many states also charge an inheritance tax.

Estate planning is vital to work towards security and peace of mind for yourself and your family. If you need help at any stage in the estate planning process, you should contact a lawyer experienced in estate planning to ensure your needs are met and your estate is protected.

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If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa wills and trust attorney, representing clients in Davenport, Iowa at the Teitle Law Offices. Give us a call at (563) 345-4100 or email us at info@teitlelaw.com.
  Estate Planning / Probate
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  Family Law
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       For Sale By Owner

  2550 Middle Road,
Suite 604
  Bettendorf, IA 52722
  Phone: (563) 345-4100
  Fax: (563) 345-4111
   

Davenport, Iowa Attorneys offering a broad estate planning / probate, criminal law, family law, guardianships and adoption, juvenile law, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, real estate, for sale by owner, trucking accidents, and wrongful death. Lawyers at the Teitle Law Offices office are dedicated to represent clients in Eastern and Central Iowa, including the cities of Bettendorf, Davenport, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine, Clinton, Maquoketa, Tipton, Dubuque, Ottumwa, Wapello, Burlington, Waterloo and the communities that make up Scott, Johnson, Linn, Mucatine, Clinton, Jackson, Cedar, Dubuque, Wapello, Louisa, Des Moines and Blackhawk counties. We also represent clients in Central Illinois, including the cities of Rock Island, Aledo, Cambridge, Moline and Morrison and the communities that make up Rock Island, Mercer, Henry and Whiteside counties.

Home l Firm Overview l Attorneys l Practice Areas - Estate Planning - Business Law - Family Law - Personal Injury - Real Estate l Resources l Contact l The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Photos courtesy of the Davenport Public Library Special Collections.
© MMIX Teitle Law Offices Address: 2550 Middle Road, Suite 604, Bettendorf, IA 52722 Phone: (563) 345-4100 Fax: (563) 345-4111 Email: info@teitlelaw.com
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