Important message affecting all solo practitioners
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New Iowa Court Rule 39.18 (view here), adopted on Nov. 20, requires all solo practitioners in Iowa to have a succession plan in the event of death or disability in place by March 1, 2016. In light of this new requirement, the Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel has agreed to join with the ISBA to update the 2011 Solo Practice Succession Planning handbook, and to provide sample forms in Word format for use by those affected by the new rule. President Bruce Walker has designated Immediate Past President Joe Feller to serve as the ISBA liaison for the project.

Upon completion of the updated handbook, which is anticipated to occur in early January, the ISBA will make it available to all bar members in electronic form. While the rule applies only to solo practitioners as defined in 39.18, each solo practitioner must find an attorney willing to serve as the designated attorney and also secure an alternate. The designated attorney and alternate need not be solo practitioners.

The material being prepared should substantially aid those attorneys asked to serve as designated attorneys and alternates in making a knowing assent. In addition, the ISBA will be setting up seminars on this topic to assist solo practitioners in complying with the new rule, and to provide information to potential designated attorneys. It’s anticipated that the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation, Paul Wieck II, will participate in the seminars.