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New Law Regarding Distribution of Decedent’s Property By Affidavit

The Governor recently signed Legislation which amends the Iowa Code Section 633.356 which allows distribution of a decedent’s property by Affidavit in lieu of a formal probate proceeding.

death benefits insurance The previous Section applied when the gross value of a decedent’s personal property was valued at $25,000.00 or less.  The new Section increases the dollar amount to $50,000.00 or less.  The new Act, like the previous Act, requires 40 days to pass from the death of a decedent before the Affidavit can be utilized.  The new Act becomes effective July 1, 2018.  The new Act requires that an Affidavit state that no debt is owed to the Department of Human Services for reimbursement of Medicaid benefits or if a debt is owed, the debt will be paid to the extent of funds received pursuant to the Affidavit.  In addition, the new Act requires that an Affidavit state that no inheritance or other taxes are owed to the Department of Revenue or if taxes are owed, that the taxes will be paid to the extent of the funds received pursuant to the Affidavit.  Finally, the new Act requires an Affidavit state that creditors, if any, will be paid to the extent of funds received pursuant to the Affidavit.

The new Act will be extremely beneficial by avoiding formal probate matters for estates with $50,000.00 or less in personal property.  Our office can assist you in drafting an Affidavit to meet your specific needs.

By – James D. Beatty