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Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. In Iowa, the person responsible for administering the probate is the executor or administrator of the estate. This individual is appointed by the court and has several important responsibilities, including:

  • Collecting and preserving the assets of the estate: The executor or administrator
  • When I’m discussing the probate process with a client, the discussion will get to a point where we talk about how the process may take a year or so before it is completed. And then I get the question:

    You mean I can’t sell the house for a year?!?

    Not exactly. Potentially as soon as

    That’s a common question I get.  Here’s the example:  we are handling the probate estate for a deceased individual and we are discussing the assets: house, bank account, CD, car, etc.  Then we also inquire about retirement accounts (IRA or 401(k) for example) and the client will state “oh, they had beneficiaries listed so they

    Another common question we hear is concern about “inheriting” the debt of a deceased individual.  That doesn’t happen in the probate process, but a broader explanation is necessary.
    Probate involves dealing with assets AND debts.  For example, notice is given to all creditors, potential creditors, and unknown creditors.  The creditors can then file a claim