Wayne E. Reames

What Wayne Reames does requires trust. By working closely and thoughtfully with clients on their most important family and business legacies, he has built a rare confidence as people plan the future of their estates and closely-held businesses. Wayne fully understands his area of legal expertise touches a client's most personal priorities—planning for the future.

Practice Areas

Wayne’s practice emphasizes taxation, tax controversy, trusts and estates, nonprofit organizations and charitable giving, and corporate law. Wayne advises clients regarding their business transactions, estate planning, tax planning, and ERISA. Wayne’s goal is to integrate estate planning into the client’s personal and business planning, taking into consideration special assets such as closely-held businesses, partnerships, limited liability companies, real estate (including special use valuation for agricultural property) life insurance, among other holdings.

With a background in economics and accounting, Wayne brings a multidisciplinary approach to the practice of law. Wayne is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Iowa.

Honors and Accomplishments

Chambers and Partners

  • Corporate/M&A (2006-2011; 2018)
  • Private Wealth Law (2019-2020)

The Best Lawyers in America® 

  • Lawyer of the Year - Litigation - Trusts and Estates (2021, 2017, 2015)
  • Lawyer of the Year - Trusts and Estates (2020)
  • Lawyer of the Year - Tax Law (2019)
  • Nonprofit/Charities Law
  • Tax Law
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Litigation and Controversy - Tax
  • Litigation - Trusts and Estates

Des Moines Business Record “Forty Under 40” (2014)

Community & Professional Activities

The American College Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow, 2013-present)

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Member, 1997-present)

Iowa Society of CPAs (Member, 1997-present; Taxation Committee, 2002-2004)

American Bar Association (Member, 2000-present; Real Property, Probate and Trust Section, 2002 to present; Taxation Section, 2002 to present)

Iowa State Bar Association (Member, 2000-present; Chair, Spring Tax Institute, May 9, 2015; Probate and Trust Law Section, 2002 to present; Taxation Section, 2002 to present)

Minnesota State Bar Association (Member, 2005-present)

South Dakota State Bar Association (Member, 2007-present)

Des Moines Estate Planners (Member, 2002-2019)

Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council (Member, 2003-present)

Des Moines Art Center (Trustee, 2017-present)

West Des Moines Leadership Academy (2014-2015)

Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation (member, Board of Directors 2010-2016; president, 2013-2014)

Des Moines Symphony Association (Trustee, 2013-present)

St. Mark Lutheran Church (Chair, Endowment Committee, 2005-2008)

Publications

"Beyond UTC Section 808 and the Uniform Directed Trust Act," ACTEC Law Journal, Volume 45, Number 1, Fall 2019

Section 2032A—Special Use Valuation, (BNA Portfolio Series) 833-3rd T.M., with Steven E. Zumbach and Dean V. Krishna, 2011

Section 2032A—Special Use Valuation, (BNA Portfolio Series) 833-2nd T.M., with Steven E. Zumbach and Eric M. Tausner, 2003

Presentations

"Iowa Trust Code Update," Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, May 20, 2020

"Proposed Revisions to the Iowa State Code," Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, November 1, 2019

"Proposed Revisions to the Iowa Trust Code," University of Iowa Probate CLE, September 6, 2019

"Current Issues for Trust and Estate Lawyers," Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 20, 2017

"Current Trust and Estate Topics," Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 14, 2016

“Probate and Trusts Current Affairs Panel,” Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 17, 2014 

“Probate and Trusts Panel,” Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 19, 2013

“Trust Decanting,” Iowa State Bar Association Spring Tax Institute, May 9, 2012 

“On Standards,” Des Moines Estate Planners, May 5, 2013 

“Trustees, Advisors and Protectors,” Iowa State Bar Association Spring Tax Institute, May 4, 2012 

"New Era of Estate Planning," Lorman Educational Seminar, January 19, 2012 

"Tax Practice Ethics," Iowa Bar Association December Tax School, December 2, 2011 

"Planning Under the 2010 Tax Act," Mid Iowa Estate and Financial Planners, April 19, 2011 

"Estate of Christiansen v. Comm’r, or Get Government Out of My Estate Tax!," Iowa Bar Association 2010  

Probate & Trust Law Seminar, October 22, 2010  

"Trustees, Advisors and Protectors," Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, September 17, 2010  

"Taxation and Benefits of Same Sex Unions in Iowa Post-Varnum," with Terry Hancock, Iowa Bar Association December Tax School, December 3, 2009  

"Trustees, Advisors and Protectors," University of Iowa College of Law Probate CLE, October 2, 2009

"An Estate Planner’s Toolkit in Iowa," Lorman Educational Seminar, February 12, 2008  

"Estate Planning Basics," Lutheran Services in Iowa, September 27, 2007  

"Trustees, Advisors and Protectors," Mid-Iowa Estate Planners, September 18, 2007  

"Deferred Compensation Plans," Belin Law Firm Employment Law Seminar, June 29, 2007  

"All Star Views on Estate Planning," Lorman Educational Seminar, July 28, 2005  

"Total Return Unitrusts and Related Miscellany," Iowa Trust Association Fall Conference, October 15, 2004  

"Oh, CRAT! New Forms," Des Moines Estate Planners, September 8, 2003  

"Buying and Selling a Business in Iowa," Lorman Educational Seminar, May 10, 2002