Probate (Wills, Estates, Guardianships, & Conservatorships)
The Clerk of Iowa District Court is responsible for recording and maintaining all documents filed in cases involving the Probate of an Estate, Guardianships and Conservatorships.
Probate is the process by which a Last Will And Testament is legally authenticated after the Testator's (deceased person) death. The functions of probating a will are:
- To make an accounting of the assets and liabilities,
- To protect the property of the estate,
- To pay debts and clear all tax matters involving the decedent (deceased person) including income, estate and inheritance taxes,
- To determine who is entitled to share in the estate and
- To distribute the estate to the proper parties.
Through the course of Administrating an Estate, the executor or administrator is directly responsible for the proper settlement of the estate. This includes, generally speaking, collection and preservation of assets, payment of claims and debts , proper accounting, payment of taxes and distribution.
Individuals (minors or adults) that are not capable of making decisions regarding their health or legal matters may need to have someone appointed to attend to those matters for them. That person is called a Guardian.
Conservators will be appointed to handle monetary matters for children in the event of funds awarded through a lawsuit for injuries or other types of loss, or for inherited funds.
An excellent source of information regarding Wills and Estates can be found at the Iowa State Bar Association. The site includes answers to common questions such as "Do you need a Will?' What is a Will etc. There is also some wonderful information at the site regarding Estate Planning.
- Iowa State Bar Association
Publications on wills and estate planning