Five Davis Brown attorneys recently shared their knowledge with legal colleagues from across the state at the Annual Meeting of the Iowa State Bar Association.
On Monday, June 18, Tim Coonan, presented, “Iowa General Assembly Review and the Road Ahead” in the Corporate Counsel Track. Tim reviewed actions from the 2018 Iowa legislative session, including some laws with July 1 implementation dates of relevance to in-house attorneys and he discussed the potential outcomes of the 2018 mid-term elections.
Also on Monday, Holly Logan presented, “Effective Courtroom Presentations,” with the Honorable Stephen Jackson, Jr. Bryan Woodward, Michael Harger, Dan Junk, and Kevin Caster in the Federal Practice Track. The presentation provided an overview of the courtroom technology available to practitioners, some basic how-to’s and best practices, and discussed the most effective courtroom presentations.
On the second day of the conference, Tuesday, June 19, Mike Gilmer presented, with Frank Comito and J. Michael Deege, “Tax Primer for Estate Planners” for the Probate Track. Mike covered estate and gift tax changes under the 2017 Tax Act. The Act brought a doubling of the lifetime exemption amount for federal estate and gift taxes from $5.49 million ($10.98 million for married couples) to $11.18 million ($22.36 million for married couples). However, the increased exemption is set to expire beginning in 2026. Wealthy individuals will want to consult their attorney to determine how to best take advantage of this window of opportunity. Those individuals with assets under the exemption amount should use this as an opportunity to review their estate plans, as certain types of estates may be indirectly affected by the new law.
Elizabeth Meyer and Jana Weiler presented “Drafting for Estate Planners: How to Make Fiduciaries Happy and Avoid Litigation.” Elizabeth Meyer is a fiduciary litigator, which means she often sees estate planning issues at their worst. In the presentation, Elizabeth and Jana, estate planning attorney, presented tips to the gathered estate planning and general practice attorneys about how to draft estate planning documents to avoid future litigation. They also covered warning signs of potential family conflict and later litigation and ways to help clients mitigate the conflict from the outset.
Breanna Young, estate-planning attorney, is co-chair of the Probate Section’s CLE Committee. With her co-chair, Breanna decided on the topics for the annual meeting CLEs and invited attorneys to present. The Probate Section is the largest in the ISBA, with over 1,000 members. Approximately 200 attorneys attended the Probate Section’s CLEs on Tuesday.