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Probate is the process of administering the estate of a deceased individual. This process includes tasks such as: obtaining the appointment of an executor, publishing notice of the executor’s appointment, obtaining financial information for all of the decedent’s assets, ensuring that all of the debts of the decedent have been paid and any claims against the decedent’s estate have been satisfied, and making distributions in accordance with the decedent’s valid will or under the Iowa’s intestacy statutes (if the decedent died without a will). The probate of a person’s estate can be a very complex process which will take a minimum of four months to process and may take even longer. The majority of estates we assist our clients with are opened and closed within six months to a year, however, on rare occasions it may be necessary for us to keep an estate open longer due to complications that may arise during the administration of the estate.
The probate process may appear very confusing to those unacquainted with it. Probate is a very technical area of the law filled with rules, requirements and restrictions that the executor or administrator of the estate must closely follow in accordance with the Iowa Code. An executor or administrator may face personal liability for the mismanagement of the assets of the estate. The complex nature of the process and the potential for intentional, and even unintentional, management of the assets in the estate, requires the assistance of an experienced attorney and staff familiar with the probate process. If you have concerns regarding your own estate and the probate process, or if you have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, please contact one of our attorneys so that we may help guide you through the probate process and ensure that your or your loved one’s estate is handled professionally and properly.