Practice Areas

Business Transactions

At the Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay, Fretheim, Gipp, Evelsizer Olson, Lynch & Zahasky Law Office, we know that small businesses and new enterprises are a critical part of building and maintaining a vibrant community. Since 1957, our firm has been a proud member of the Decorah community. Our team of attorneys works hard to ensure that businesses in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota have the legal counsel they need to start off on a solid foundation and thrive.

Employment Contract Attorneys

A business that gets started on the right foot is more likely to succeed down the road. Our business lawyers provide new business owners with the legal counsel they need to incorporate their new businesses. We provide tax-related legal assistance to help owners determine the most favorable accounting structures to use. For established business owners who might be considering expanding or selling their ventures, we provide legal representation for these transactions.

Our firm is experienced in handling the many contract-related disputes that arise during the course of business. We represent businesses in breach of contract claims as well as in bill collection actions. We work as zealous advocates to allow our business clients to thrive in a competitive economy.

We also handle a wide range of employment-related legal matters. These include executing employment contracts, developing employee handbooks and other HR legal materials, representing clients in employment discrimination suits and handling workers' compensation claims.

A Commitment To Iowa's Farming Communities

As lawyers in northern Iowa, we have counseled numerous farm owners regarding the legal considerations that must be taken into account when managing farm properties. We represent clients who are seeking to transfer farms to their families or other individuals; we assess and identify the tax implications of such transfers. This careful review of farm property transfers also forms a key part of our estate planning practice.

Estate Planning

As a community-focused law firm, Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay, Fretheim, Gipp, Evelsizer Olson, Lynch & Zahasky holds the long-term security of our clients in the highest regard. Our attorneys recognize that creating a careful estate plan is an essential part of taking care of oneself and one's family in the future. We provide a full range of estate planning services to our clients in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.

A Professional Law Firm, Identifying The Proper Legal Tools To Develop Your Estate Plan

A thorough estate plan goes far beyond a simple will. When you meet with our lawyers, we will listen to you in order to understand what your long-term planning goals are. We will also undertake a thorough assessment of your assets and liabilities to determine the set of legal documents that can most effectively achieve your goals. Our aim is to make the estate planning process as simple as possible while providing maximum legal security.

In addition to wills, we assist our clients with preparing trusts that designate how specific property is to be handled following death and who is to receive the property. Because the need for specific guidance regarding legal decision-making can arise at any time, we also advise our clients to consider living wills, durable powers of attorney for health care and general powers of attorney for property. These documents direct family members on actions to take regarding medical decisions and the handling of property in the event of incapacitation. We also help family members seek guardianships for their loved ones when they are unable to make legal decisions for themselves and have not prepared a living will or power of attorney.

Probate Attorneys

Our firm also represents clients in the probate process. This court process handles the identification and distribution of assets of a deceased individual whose estate is not definitely addressed by trusts. Probate also provides for repayment to creditors of any debts held by the deceased and is tasked with ensuring that all taxes owed by the individual are paid. Probate in some cases can be a time-consuming and costly process; we can help our clients navigate probate expeditiously and at minimal cost.

Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs

A well-crafted estate plan should be a part of any individual's long-term financial and legal planning. Our firm has the experience and resources to help you document your wishes for the future. Contact Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay, Fretheim, Gipp,  Evelsizer Olson, Lynch & Zahasky to discuss your goals. Send our Decorah estate planning attorneys an email or call 563-382-2959 to schedule a consultation.

Real Estate Law

There are many aspects of property ownership that can give rise to legal disputes requiring the assistance of a skilled lawyer. Legal complications can arise when purchasing property, building on property or maintaining a healthy landlord-tenant relationship. When disagreements develop in any of these areas, clients in Decorah and surrounding areas turn to the attorneys of the Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay, Fretheim, Gipp, Evelsizer Olson, Lynch & Zahasky Law Office. Our experience and commitment to serving landowners in the community allow us to provide superior legal representation to property owners in our area.

Title Insurance

Security in one's ownership interest is a top concern for any landowner. To ensure that a property title is free of defects, we provide title opinions to clients seeking confirmation of their property rights. To protect against potential losses resulting from liens or other defects, we also review title insurance policies. If defects in the form of liens, adverse possession claims or other issues are discovered, we can initiate a quiet title action to secure our clients' property interests. We work to give our clients the peace of mind that their property is entirely and unquestionably theirs.

Legal Guidance For Real Estate Transactions

Our clients who are involved in real estate sales, transfers or other transactions benefit from the careful review that we provide of all documents to ensure thoroughness and identify any potential issues. We assist with real estate closings as well as real estate auctions, such as farms that are put up for sale. When pursuing the sale or purchase of property, look to our firm to provide experienced legal advice.

Construction And Landlord-Tenant Issues

Our firm has represented clients in cases involving defective or negligent construction. There are many elements of a negligent or defective construction claim, and our attorneys assess each case individually to determine the likelihood of a favorable outcome. When a genuine case exists, we aim aggressively for compensation and remediation of faulty construction.

We also represent individuals involved in landlord-tenant disputes on residential, commercial and farm properties. We appreciate how quickly these disputes can escalate, and we always strive to provide our clients with timely resolution of their problems.

General Litigation and Mediation

There are occasions when our clients must resort to the courts to resolve disagreements. The Anderson, Wilmarth, Van Der Maaten, Belay, Fretheim, Gipp, Evelsizer Olson, Lynch & Zahasky Law Office has been part of the Decorah community since 1957 and in that time we have helped many clients effectively use litigation to achieve their legal goals. Our attorneys are committed to using the litigation process when necessary to resolve disputes in our clients' favor.

We provide a full range of litigation services in areas including:

  • Personal Injury: including automobile accidents, slip-and-fall cases and nuisance actions
  • Employment Law: including discrimination suits, wrongful termination, whistleblower suits and workers' compensation

Our firm emphasizes high-quality and efficient legal help to allow our clients to resolve their matters quickly.

Mediation Services — An Alternative To Litigation

Mediation has increased in popularity as more people seek to resolve disputes in a less adversarial environment than a courtroom. Our firm believes that individuals should have access to qualified mediation services when they want to avoid the time, stress and costs of full-scale litigation. Attorney Andrew Van Der Maaten is certified by the Iowa Association of Mediators. When people pursue mediation, they can expect that he will be a truly neutral third party, listening to each side's story and reaching a resolution that will hopefully be agreeable to both parties. When there is a spirit of compromise, mediation presents an attractive alternative to litigation.



Address : 212 Winnebago Street
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone : (563) 382-2959
Fax : (563) 382-3773
Email :