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About me

I have practiced law since 1979, with a focus on estate and tax planning for larger estates, complex trust and estate administration matters, charitable organizations and retirement planning. 


I am an active member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and currently serve as a member of its Board of Regents and Executive Committee.  I have also served on several college committees and as chair of the Technology in the Practice Committee and as current vice-chair of the Communications Committee.  I am an active member of the Iowa State Bar Association, both in its tax section and the probate and trust law section.  I am a member of the board of directors of the Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel. 




Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 40%
    38 years
  2. Business: 20%
    38 years
  3. Tax: 20%
    38 years
  4. Probate: 20%
    38 years



Hourly ($330-350/hour), Fixed (sometimes)

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Robert B Fleming

    Margaret is a national leader in estate planning and the technology needed to do it well. Plus she's a delightful person to know.


    Robert Fleming Trusts Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

The Davis Brown Law Firm

215 10th Street, Ste. 1300
Des Moines, IA, 50309


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
2015 Des Moines Lawyer of the Year Employee BenefitsBest Lawyers in America2015
2010 Des Moines Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the YearBest Lawyers in America2010
2010 to Present Super Lawyers, Trusts and EstatesGreat Plains Super Lawyers2005
AV Preeminent RatedMartindale-Hubbell1994
1991-present Tax Law, Employee Benefits and Trust and EstatesBest Lawyers in America1991
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Senior ShareholderDavis Brown Law Firm2007 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate CounselMember, Board of Directors2012 - Present
American College of Trust and Estate CounselBoard of Regents; Executive Committee1995 - Present
Iowa State Bar AssociationMember, Probate and Trust Law Section1984 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Farm Estate PlanningSuccessful Implementation
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
LISI Asset Protection Planning Newsletter 3285Canadian Anti-Money Laundering Act held Unconstituional for Lawyers2015
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
New York University School of LawTaxationLL.M - Master of Laws1984
University of Iowa College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1979
Iowa State UniversityEnglishBA - Bachelor of Arts1974
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Wealth PlanningDigital Assets and the Estate Plan: Who gets Grandma's iTunes?2014
The New Iowa Uniform Power of Attorney ActThe New Iowa Uniform Power of Attorney Act2014
Professional Advisors SeminarDigital Assets and the Estate Plan2014