Trusts & Estates Law
Dickinson’s trusts & estates attorneys handle matters in estate planning, trusts, probate, and related areas of taxation. We use a broad variety of techniques and strategies to accomplish our clients’ goals, which include protecting assets from creditors, minimizing gift and estate taxes, and motivating beneficiaries to be functional and productive citizens of their communities. Depending on each client’s needs, we can assist with just one issue or address the complex needs of a multi-million dollar estate with multiple business interests.
Owners of private and closely held companies have unique estate planning requirements. We counsel owners of these businesses on alternatives for transferring ownership and control to the next generation, and in solving liquidity concerns associated with estate taxes.
We also provide assistance to fiduciaries in the administration of trusts and estates, including providing advice about the construction of wills and trusts, complex issues of fiduciary law, and fiduciary tax issues. Our services also include the preparation of estate and fiduciary income tax returns and representation of fiduciaries in court.
If avoidance of probate is an objective, the firm’s trusts and estates attorneys are able to implement many probate avoidance methods so clients’ assets and estate plans are not made public by the probate system. If probate is necessary, we have significant probate experience with estates ranging from nominal size to many millions of dollars.
When powers of attorney are inadequate or unavailable for the care and protection of a loved one who can no longer care for himself or herself, a guardianship or conservatorship is generally required. Our attorneys are experienced in assisting guardians and conservators with the creation and administration of guardianships and conservatorships including representation of guardians and conservators before court and preparation of pleadings and annual reports. We frequently serve as attorney representatives for wards as required by Iowa guardianship and conservatorship laws.