An Iowa small estate affidavit, also known as an “affidavit for distribution of property,” is a legal document that gives successors the right to distribute a deceased person’s estate without the court’s involvement. The form may only be used for smaller estates that contain no real estate (except for survivorships) and have a total value of $50,000 or less. The successor will also need to ensure that all of the decedent’s debts and taxes have been provided for in the affidavit or paid before executing it.
Once the affidavit has been completed and notarized, the successor will be able to use it to collect and distribute assets, such as bank accounts, insurance policies, stocks certificates, valuables, and safe deposit box contents to the inheritors.
How to Record (3 Steps)
- Step 1 – Requirements and Mandatory Waiting Period
- Step 2 – Complete and Notarize Affidavit
- Step 3 – Collect Assets
To be eligible for a small estate affidavit, the decedent’s estate must be valued at $50,000 or less and contain no real property, unless said real estate is exempt from inheritance tax through rights of survivorship. Furthermore, any debts and taxes due on the decedent’s account must be paid in advance or provided for in the affidavit.
If an estate meets those requirements, the successor will need to wait forty (40) days from the date of death before they can execute and use an affidavit.
Once the mandatory waiting period has passed, the successor can complete the Affidavit for Distribution of Property. The affidavit must be presented to a notary public to be notarized.
The notary may require a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate. Death certificates can be requested from Vital Records by mail, telephone, online, or in person.
Once the affidavit has been notarized, the successor will be able to use it to collect estate property and funds from their current custodians. This may include physical property as well as records, policies, funds, and bank accounts. The asset holder may require evidence of the decedent’s ownership before surrendering property to them.
If any party unreasonably refuses to pay, deliver, or transfer the decedent’s property or property records to the successor, legal action may be brought against them and they may be required to pay the successor’s attorney fees.