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2020 Changes to Iowa Estate, Probate and Wealth Transfer Law Make it a Little Easier and Cheaper

Posted by Joseph C. Creen | Jul 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

Changes to the Iowa Small Estate Statute

A person with up to $200,000 can now be transferred through the probate process a little easier because of the changes to Iowa Code Chapter 365 which is the new Small Estate Statute. Recently passed legislation significantly changes the Chapter so that it applies to more of the population and hopefully simplifies the process. It goes into effect July 1, 2020 for those decedents passing on or after this date.

The statute in effect currently, applies to an estate if the probate assets are valued at $200,000.00 or less. This major change because the old law was for gross probate value of a person estate's with assets iof $100,000.00 or less.

The Affidavit of Distribution is another method to transfer assets of a decendent, if the non real estate assets are of a value of $50,000 or less 

Changes to Iowa Probate Fees

Iowa legislators recently passed Senate File 604 which is a new 2020 law related to court charges for probate. The Bill provides allows the clerk to charge a rate of 0.2%. This charge is based on the listed probate assets in the inventory report only for services performed in a decedent's estate administered by Iowa Code Chapters 633 or 635.

The Bill excludes a costs all non-probate assets, such assets in a living trust. The clerk will charge and collect court costs for other services performed in a conservatorship, based on the gross value of the assets listed in the inventory minus the value of the life insurance. The took effect January 1, 2020.  which relates to court-administered trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, and estates of decedents for which the petition is filed on and after January 1, 2020. It is presumed that this law will reduce the overall estate value subject to fees by an average of 50.0%.

We recommend that You Have a Last Will and &Testament inorder to save even more fees and charges: If Your Last Will or Trust is done properly,  you can avoid the costs of bonds (that otherwise add to the costs of probate), and can you can waive the need for Court approval on Fiduciary actions, which will save on fidcuciary and attorney fees, and you can name your own Executor or trustee.

Iowa does not collect for inhertiance or estate tax if  the beneficary is from the protected class of persons: Your Will or Trusts names  as your beneficiaries your spouse, children (natural born and adopted), your step-children,  grandchildren, great grandchildren, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and of course qualified non profit charities. However other persons, such as friends and siblings will owe an inheritance tax. Depending on how the Will or Trust is written, either the specific beneficiary or the residual beneficiaries will pay for an inheritance tax if the benficairy is outside of the group of lineal heirs

About the Author

Joseph C. Creen

Professional License and Admitted to practice in these Courts: Iowa Supreme Court (since 1975) Illinois Supreme Court (since 1975) Federal Court Southern District of Iowa (since 1975) Federal Court Northern District of Iowa (since 1982) Federal Court Central District of Illinois (since 1989) Federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (since 1989) Education: Drake University Law School (JD 1975) University of Notre Dame (BA 1971) National College of Trial Advocay 1989 Professional Memberships: Iowa Association of Justice (since 1975) American Association of Justice (since 1975) American Bar Association (since 1975) Iowa Bar (since 1975) Illinois Bar (since 1975) Scott County Iowa Bar Association Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law of American Bar Tort Trial and Litigation Section of American Bar American Arbitration Association (prior arbitrator) Community Involvement: H.E.L.P Legal Aide board member (current member) Our Lady of Victory Foundation Inc (founding board member, current board member and Secretary) Our Lady of Victory Parish Pastoral Council and Board of Education (past member and past President) Scott County Catholic School Advisory Council (current member and Secretary) Scott County Bar Assoc Executive Council (past member) A founder board member and coach on of Future Lady Knights (current board member and VP) Iowa Coaching Authorization (current) Areas of Practice: Personal Injury Litigation: Brain and Body Injury Contract , Construction & Commercial Litigation Real Estate Litigation Consumer Protection Real Estate Transactions Business Planning and Transactions Estate Planning and Asset Protection Wills, Trusts and Probate Non-Profit Law

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