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Margaret Van Houten

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Margaret is a senior shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm. She practices in the areas of wills, trusts, estate planning and probate law, taxation, charitable organizations and employee benefits. Margaret is the former chair of the firm's Business Division. 


Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning

Margaret assists individuals with their tax, retirement and estate planning, including the succession of closely held businesses.  She works with clients to transfer wealth to their intended beneficiaries with the least amount of tax and administrative expense.  Some of the tools and techniques that she has used to help her clients include:

  • revocable living trusts
  • family-owned entities, such as limited partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations  
  • trusts for the long-term management and protection of family-owned assets, including generation skipping transfers 
  • life insurance planning 
  • sophisticated wealth transfer techniques, such as Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Installment Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts; Charitable Trusts and Foundations

Margaret also has experience planning for individuals with large retirement plans and has assisted individuals in non-traditional families to achieve all of their estate planning goals.


Davis Brown Tax Law Blog


Premarital Agreements

Margaret was instrumental in passage of the Iowa Uniform Premarital Agreement Act in the early 1990's and is currently working on amendments to that Act which would allow spouse's to enter into "pre-nups" after the date of the marriage.