Jana Luttenegger Weiler

Jana is a shareholder helping individuals, families, and nonprofit and charitable organizations with estate planning, administration of estates and trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships. She also assists businesses and organizations with ERISA compliance and employee retirement benefits.

Estate Planning and Administration
Jana assists individuals and families with transferring wealth in various stages of life, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. This includes assistance in nominating individuals to handle financial matters, coordinating beneficiary designations with the estate plan, determining whether probate avoidance is appropriate, and planning for an unexpected life event.

She also helps families plan for the care of children if parents die prematurely. This includes establishing and maintaining guardianships and conservatorships for minors or individuals unable to handle their own affairs. Jana regularly helps clients and their families after the death of a loved one, whether through advising during a formal probate and/or trust administration, or assisting with informal administration.

Jana also counsels beneficiaries regarding their role and rights in a trust or estate administration and collaborates with Davis Brown litigation attorneys in the event of fiduciary litigation.

Employee Benefits
Jana counsels tax-exempt organizations, governmental organizations, and private organizations on various kinds of employee retirement benefits, including pension plans and public employee retirement benefits, including 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans. Jana has assisted clients with maintaining plan qualification by calculating and correcting improper elective deferrals, improper matching contributions, errors in vesting calculations, and errors in distributions found during company audits. Jana has guided clients with the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) in both the Self-Correction Program (SCP) and the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP).

Firm Leadership
Jana is a member of the firm’s Retirement Committee, helping Davis Brown with employee benefits. She also serves on the Professional Responsibility (ethics) Committee and previously coordinated the firm’s Summer Associate program - helping the interning law students with mentorships, coordinating and reviewing their substantive legal work, and organizing networking events.

Representative Experience

  • Counseled married couple with children from prior marriages to establish trusts to ensure surviving spouse and children are provided for in the event of death of either spouse.
  • Assisted unmarried individual with minimizing income tax and Iowa inheritance tax implications upon death.
  • Counseled parent of an individual with intellectual disabilities turning age 18 in establishing guardianship to allow parent to continue to make decisions regarding the child’s care in adulthood.
  • Established limited liability company to efficiently and smoothly facilitate transition of ownership and management of family assets from parents to adult children.
  • Assisted business in making claim in estate administration for debt incurred by an individual prior to death.
  • Requested Determination Letter from the IRS regarding an Affiliated Service Group designation for a company’s qualified retirement plan.
  • Assisted client in maintaining qualified plan status through use of Voluntary Correction Program and retroactive amendment to 401(k).

Presentations & Publications

Jana is a blogger on tax law - keeping readers up to date on upcoming changes, deadlines, and explaining the how and why of specific tax laws. Her blog posts about the trust administration of the musician, Prince, clarify why a thoughtful estate plan should be put into place whether you are a millionaire celebrity or not.

Additionally, Jana presents on various tax and estate planning topics to keep local attorneys up to date.

  • Estate Planning Basics for Educators, with Christine Tomson, Ankeny School District, July 2020
  • Coping as an HR Department of One, with Michele Brott and Courtney Strutt Todd, Central Iowa SHRM Conference, February 2020
  • Funding the Revocable Trust, Completing Beneficiary Designations and Other Easily Overlooked Details of the Estate Plan, with Tom Houser, Margaret Van Houten, and Breanna Young, Iowa State University Foundation Office of Gift Planning Professional Advisor Continuing Education Conference, August 2018
  • Drafting for Estate Planners: How to Make Fiduciaries Happy and Avoid Litigation, with Elizabeth Meyer, Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2018
  • ABLE Accounts, Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2017