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