News & Notes

Estate & Transition Planning 101 | Jan. 28

“Estate & Transition Planning 101: The Nuts & Bolts to Get You Started”
Program set in Elkader on January 28
Concerned about transferring family, farm or business assets, updating will or trust documents, powers of attorney and health care directives?

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers a program to answer questions about these and other transition and estate planning topics.

Clayton County Extension-Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting “Estate and Transition Planning: The Nuts & Bolts to Get Your Started” on Monday afternoon, January 28 at the Keystone AEA Center in Elkader.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program is from 6 to 9 p.m. There is a $10 fee to cover program costs including materials and light refreshment. The program cost is reduced thanks to a sponsorship from Julie Doeppke of American Family Insurance in Elkader. Pre-registration is requested to adequately plan for the seating, materials and refreshment.

Presenting at this seminar is Melissa O’Rourke, Attorney and ISU Extension Farm and Business Management Field Specialist, who will present important information on transition and estate planning. Key topics will include: property ownership, wills, federal estate tax, Iowa inheritance tax, gifting, trusts, healthcare planning, and gifting strategies.

“Families and individuals often procrastinate about planning,” says O’Rourke. “This may simply be due to confusion about how to build a plan or hesitancy to discuss and make difficult decisions.”

This seminar will answer questions and get you started on putting together a plan for lifetime transitions and estate planning.

O’Rourke will also talk about how families can start conversations about estate planning, transitioning a farm or other small business, including building a team of professionals to assist in the process.

Powers of attorney and healthcare planning will also be highlighted. “While a basic will can provide a good estate plan for many estates, a trust may be an appropriate tool for some families and individuals” says O’Rourke. The meeting will explain the current status of federal estate and Iowa inheritance tax law and provide information to assist participants to work more effectively with their professional and legal advisors.

Melissa O’Rourke earned her J.D. from the University of South Dakota School of Law. Her areas of expertise include agricultural law, employment legal issues, land and leasing issues, estate and succession planning.

Call ISU Extension at 563-245-1451 in Elkader to pre-register for the event, or email More information and a printable flyer and registration form can be found at


For more information contact:
● ISU Extension & Outreach—Clayton County (Holly Loan, Executive Coordinator)– Phone 563-245-1451
● Melissa O’Rourke – – Phone 712-395-0006 (housed at ISU Extension, Winneshiek County office) Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist for Northeast Iowa

Elkader Mini Poster 2019