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Margaret Van Houten headshot.jpg

I enjoyed a long, successful career as a transactional attorney helping individuals, business owners, farmers, executives, and other professionals with tax-effective estate planning. This includes helping clients with:​

  • Revocable living trusts

  • Transitioning investment ownership and managing within family-owned entities

  • Trusts for long-term management and protection of family-owned assets

  • Life insurance planning

  • Sophisticated wealth transfer techniques

  • Retirement planning

  • Diverse family estate planning (LGBTQ+, adoptive and foster families, blended families, etc.)

  • Premarital agreement

Personally, I currently live in West Des Moines, Iowa, and enjoy traveling (often on my partner's Harley Trike) and spending time with my daughter Rachel and her family. I have been active on many community and church boards over the years and enjoy gardening, golfing, hiking, knitting, and weaving.

Margaret Van Houten


  • Wills, Trusts (Estate Planning and Probate Law)

  • Tax/Transaction

  • Employee Benefits and ERISA Law

  • Non-Profit Organizations and Charities

  • Business Organizations and Transactions

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)

  • Iowa State Bar Association

  • Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel

  • Polk County Bar Association

  • Iowa State University (B.A., 1974, Phi Beta Kappa)

  • University of Iowa College of Law (J.D., with distinction, 1979)

  • New York University School of Law (LL.M., Taxation, 1984)

  • Chambers High Net Worth, Private Wealth Law, Band 2, 2020

  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell

  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2021, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates

  • Best Lawyers® 2015 Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law “Lawyer of the Year” in the Des Moines metro

  • Best Lawyers® 2010 Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in the Des Moines metro

  • 2018 Great Plains Super Lawyers, Estate Planning & Probate

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