Probate

When a loved one passes away in Iowa, his or her estate often goes through the court supervised process called probate.  This is the government process where assets of the decedent are managed and distributed to beneficiaries.  If your loved-one had a will, an executor will be named.  The executor will be in charge of managing the estate during the probate process.  If a person dies without a will (intestate), then the court will appoint an administrator. The administrator has the same responsibilities as an executor.

Steps for Probate

Every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:

  • Filing of a petition with the proper Iowa probate court.
  • Petition to appoint executor (in the case of a Will) or administrator for the estate.
  • Notice to creditors.
  • Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists).
  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by executor or administrator.
  • Payment of estate debts to rightful creditors.
  • If necessary, the sale of estate assets.
  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
  • Final distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
  • Final Report filed to close the estate.

Contact one of our probate attorneys to learn more about the probate process and how we can assist the executor or administrator to ensure all of the probate steps are followed and the decedent’s estate is closed in a timely fashion.