The proper administration of an estate takes time, experience, and dedication. There are several steps to the probate of a decedent’s estate:
- The estate must be opened by demonstrating to the Court that there is a valid Last Will and Testament or that the decedent died intestate. The personal representative must qualify and be appointed by the Court.
- Notice of the estate must be published. The Iowa Code requires a four-month creditors’ claim period following publication.
- The personal representative must receive Letters of Appointment to be able to act on behalf of the estate. Banks, wealth management companies, and even phone and cable providers may need to see the official court document.
- The personal representative must report the assets and debts of the estate to the court. If taxes are owed, taxes must be paid within nine months of the date of death.
- Bills, mortgages, taxes, and court costs must all be prioritized and paid from estate assets. The personal representative must properly manage each creditor to ensure compliance with the law.
- When the estate closes, the personal representative must make distributions to all of the heirs and demonstrate to the Court that all of the steps have been completed.
The experienced attorneys at Abendroth Russell Barnett Law Firm have decades of experience in estate administration and can help the personal representative manage the probate process.