no need to leave your home to receive legal consultations and services - Call or click to learn more about phone and videoconferencing with our attorneys

Grounds for Trust Contests in Iowa

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
December 12, 2019

In this article, we answer, “What are some legal grounds for trust contests in Iowa?” Our Iowa trust attorneys will explain reasons for trust contests in Iowa, including:

  • Invalid trusts in Iowa
  • Testamentary capacity and trusts in Iowa
  • Undue influence and trusts in Iowa
  • Fraudulent trusts in Iowa

To learn more about how to contest a trust in Iowa, read our article on How to Contest a Trust in Iowa.

Invalid Trusts in Iowa

A trust that is deemed invalid can be successfully contested in Iowa. Senate File 112 amended the requirements for certifications of trusts in Iowa and went into effect July 1, 2019. For a trust to be validated in Iowa, it must:

  • Be signed by either the attorney of an acting trustee or the current trustee
  • State that the terms of the trust have not been modified, amended, or revoked in any fashion that would result in an incorrect certification of the trust
  • Be sworn and subscribed before a notary public under penalty of perjury

A trust in Iowa must also be created for a valid or lawful purpose. A trust created to hide or shield funds from creditors is not a valid trust. Neither is a trust against public policy.

Testamentary Capacity and Trusts in Iowa

For a trust to be valid in Iowa, it must be made by a trustor who has testamentary capacity, or is of sound mind with full comprehension of their actions. A trust can be successfully contested if the trustor’s mental state at the time the trust was drafted or signed is in question. This ground to contest a trust in Iowa is common in cases where the decedent suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

When evaluating for testamentary capacity, the following questions, and their answers, are taken into consideration.

  • Did the trustor know the extent of their property distributed in the trust?
  • Was the trustor aware of their dependents and who would benefit from the trust?
  • Did the trustor understand the nature of a trust and what they were creating?

If a claimant can prove a trustor was unaware of any of the required information, they may be able to have a trust invalidated in Iowa.

Undue influence and trusts in Iowa

Undue influence is another common ground for disputing a trust in Iowa. Undue influence is defined as excessive persuasion that causes a trustor to act out of character or refrain from exercising their free will.

For example, if a child of a trustor believed they deserved more assets than their siblings, they could persuade their parent to adjust the terms of their trust through verbal or physical force. If a trustor is incapacitated, ill, disabled, elderly, isolated, or dependent on the ill-intended beneficiary, they are more likely to fall victim to undue influence.

If a trust is deemed invalid in Iowa because of undue influence, the previous trust (if applicable) goes into effect.

Fraudulent Trusts in Iowa

Our final ground for contesting a trust in Iowa is fraudulence. If a trustor believed they were signing a document other than a trust or were signing a trust with different provisions than what the document in question contained, the trust can be deemed invalid.

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

Invalid Trusts in Iowa

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Probate & Estate Administration

We offer free, paid & Online CONSULTATION in:

Probate & Estate Administration

Schedule a consultation with our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys

We offer free, paid & online consultation in nearly every area of law throughout Illinois and Iowa. We have a range of options to assist you with your legal needs.

What happens at a legal consultation?
Meet with an attorney for a free consultation to discuss what type of matter you need to discuss with an attorney.
Over the Phone Legal Consultations
Similar to In-person consultations, you discuss your legal needs with our attorneys to discuss your matter.
An online consultation is like an in-person and an over the phone online Consultation. You meet face to face with our attorneys through our online portal.
Paid Legal Consultations
While a free consultation allows us to discuss what we can do in general terms for your legal matter, a paid consultation allows us to answer direct questions.
contact us

Monday to Friday
9am - 5pm

Contact Us
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you
Schedule a

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required