Matthew Gardner

Gardner Law Firm, P.C.
Phone: (515) 421-4411
Fax: (800) 941-4150


While my profession is an attorney, my most important job is that of father to my daughters. With the values that I place on my own family, the work I do in helping my clients and their families is reinforced.

I was born and raised in rural southern Iowa, where I met and married my high school sweetheart. My parents were ideal role models with their strong work ethic. My dad worked for a utility company as lineman for over 40 years, and also operated a farm as a “hobby” which became much more than that. In addition, my parents acquired and managed several residential rental properties over the years. Looking back, hard work was just an expected way of life, and that is reflected in my ability to be continuously active and engaged.

Today, my hobbies include running, swinging at a white ball with stick (some call it golf), and following Iowa State University athletics. Running is an activity I enjoy tremendously for many reasons. Whether a 5K or a marathon, the competitiveness of a race motivates me and helps me stay focused.


For over fifteen years, I worked at a local, mid-sized law firm developing my practice and working with different mentors. Eventually I decided that I wanted to run a firm “my way” which led me to the decision to start my own law firm in 2013 and continued to date.

My goal is to advise and bring ideas to individuals and families regarding estate planning, wealth preservation and business planning. Through the national peer-review ranking system with Martindale-Hubbell, I have achieved the AV-rating, which is the highest ranking given to attorneys. Also, I have also been recently admitted as a fellow with the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Membership as a fellow, which is by election, is limited to the best and brightest in the trust and estate field. I’m also a member and director of the Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel.

After more than 20 years of experience in the legal field, I know what I do best, and I also know what I can’t do. If a client or potential client needs assistance in an area that I’m not familiar with, I have a network of relationships with other attorneys that allow me to best serve the client. I won’t try to be something that I’m not.


• Iowa State University (B.A. 1992)
• Drake University Law School (J.D. – with Honors 1997)

General Information

• Fellow with American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”)
• Martindale-Hubbell “AV” Rating (An AV certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.)
• “Great Plains Super Lawyers®“ (Only 5% of attorneys in the state are named to list.)
• Polk County Bar Association, Member
• Iowa State Bar Association – Probate, Trust & Estate Planning Section, Past-Chairman and Member
• Des Moines Estate Planners, Member
• Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel, Director and Member
• Urbandale Education Foundation, Director
• Lutheran Church of Hope, Member
• Leadership Urbandale (class of 2009/2010)
• #1 Dad

Presentations and Publications

• Iowa State Bar 2008 Probate & Trust Law Seminar “Equitable Adoption Doctrine” October 2008
• National Business Institute “Probate Process from Start to Finish” October 2008, October 2009
• Institute for Paralegal Education “Estate Planning and Probate for the Paralegal/Legal Assistant in Iowa” April 2002
• National Business Institute “Fundamental Probate Procedures and Practice” June 2007, June 2006
• National Business Institute “Estate Planning Basics” December 2009
• “Inside the Minds: Estate Planning Client Strategies” Aspatore (2009)
• Iowa State Bar 2011 Probate & Trust Law Seminar “Intentional Interference with Inheritance” October 2011
• Lorman Education Services “New Era of Estate Planning in Iowa” January 2012