Practice Area: Estate Planning & Probate

ESTATE PLANNING FOR THE UNINITIATED

May 20, 2019

When one spouse stays hands-off on the finances, it’s easy to get caught off-guard by a death or illness. Here’s how to get up to speed. By Anne Tergesen Gary Altman, an estate-planning attorney in Rockville, Md., recently had a client turn to her brother-in-law to cover bills after her husband died. The client had […]


IRAS OFFER TEACHABLE MOMENTS FOR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN

February 21, 2019

Investors may be excited to learn that annual contribution limits to IRAs increased this year for the first time since 2013. Last fall, the IRS announced that beginning in 2019, the annual contribution limit to IRAs would increase to the lesser of one’s earned income for the year or $6,000 ($7,000 for individuals age 50 […]


HOME-EQUITY DEBT LOSES SOME APPEAL

December 5, 2018

One of the many changes that went into effect with the tax overhaul earlier this year was the deductibility of interest accruing from home-equity debt. Previously, homeowners could deduct the interest from up to $100,000 of home-equity debt borrowed for any purpose. For example, if you borrowed $20,000 against your home to pay for a […]


HOW MUCH, IF ANY, LIFE INSURANCE DO I NEED?

Life insurance might be something you spend a lot of time thinking about – or it might be something you don’t think about at all. If you do think about it, you have probably questioned whether you have enough or whether you pay for too much of it. While no one can say for certain […]


IOWA’S ELDERLY WAIVER PROGRAM ALLOWS IOWANS TO STAY HOME

A difficult question many Iowans face is whether they should consider, or whether they can even afford, to place themselves or a loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living center. Iowa responded to this question by creating the Home-and-Community-Based-Services (HCBS) program. Iowa designed this program to provide disabled or elderly Iowans with additional options […]


BUYING REAL ESTATE WITH AN LLC?

July 25, 2018

A growing trend among prospective homeowners is to purchase a home, especially rental homes, in the name of a limited liability company, or “LLC.” Business owners favor LLCs for the liability protection they provide in the event of a lawsuit. For example, if someone is injured at John Smith’s pumpkin patch, John Smith’s personal assets […]


YOU CAN LIMIT DEATH’S FINANCIAL COSTS, IF NOT THE EMOTIONAL ONES

By Warren Kozak I pride myself on keeping meticulous financial records. But since my wife died on Jan. 1, I discovered I had made some real rookie mistakes that led to hours of extra work and substantial fees. The transfer of assets between spouses can be fairly simple—if you learn from my mistakes. Dr. Lisa […]


THE RIGHT FINAL RESTING PLACE

October 16, 2017

The best funeral and resting place is often the one that you plan before you die.  Preplanning your funeral is a way to ensure your wishes are met and spares your family the stress of making these decisions under the pressure of time and strong emotions.  A few questions to consider: 1) Do you want […]


ARE YOU IN NEED OF AN ESTATE PLAN CHECKUP?

February 2, 2017

All of us at Grefe & Sidney want to wish you and yours a happy New Year. As the year begins, many people go about scheduling their yearly checkups. This year, besides making sure to visit the doctor and dentist, you should consider doing an “estate plan checkup.” As life changes, it is important that […]


Kelsey Leppert Joins Grefe & Sidney’s Corporate Division

November 18, 2016

  We are pleased to welcome Kelsey R. Leppert to our Corporate Division.  Kelsey joined the firm in September 2016, following her admission to the Iowa Bar.  Her practice areas include Estate Planning & Probate, Business Law, Real Estate Law, and Taxation.  She lives in Pella and divides her time between the firm’s Des Moines […]