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When people make their wills, one major consideration to make is who will be named as the executor. The executor is the person who will protect your property following your death, ensuring any liabilities such as debts and taxes have been paid, then will transfer what is left to those entitled to the property. In this article we answer some questions about who can serve as an executor in Iowa, including:

  • What are the requirements for serving as an executor in Iowa?
  • What are the rules for naming corporations as executors?
  • Out of state executors

Who can serve as an Executor in Iowa?

When people make their wills, one major consideration to make is who will be named as the executor. The executor is the person who will protect your property following your death, ensuring any liabilities such as debts and taxes have been paid, then will transfer what is left to those entitled to the property. In this article we answer some questions about who can serve as an executor in Iowa, including:

  • What are the requirements for serving as an executor in Iowa?
  • What are the rules for naming corporations as executors?
  • Out of state executors

What are the requirements for serving as an executor in Iowa?

The rules in Iowa for who can be an executor are fairly straightforward. If you are at least 18 years old and of sound mind (not ruled to be incapacitated by a court), then you can be an executor. Unlike many states, you can be an executor in Iowa even with a felony conviction.  

Iowa courts will, however, reject potential executors if they are found to be chronic alcoholics, spendthrifts (incapable of properly handling money and property) or otherwise unsuitable. Should the question arise as to whether the named executor is fit to be one, there will be a formal hearing with any parties of interest in the estate and the judge will determine there if the executor named is unfit, and, if so, who should be the executor.  

See Iowa Code 633.3 and 633.63 for more information regarding this issue.

What are the rules for naming corporations as executors?

For complex estates or ones with significant assets, sometimes people ask banks or trust management companies to act as the executor of estates. Corporations must be authorized to act as a fiduciary in Iowa in order to act as executors, pursuant to Iowa Code 633.63. This option, as previously noted, is not for most people and it is recommended that an individual you trust, typically family, is named the executor. However, there are some instances where the complexity of the estate is such that a professional would be best to act as the executor.  

Out of state executors

In Iowa, non-residents can serve as executors only if you appoint an in-state coexecutor. If this is impossible, a court may permit a non-resident to serve alone. See Iowa Code 633.64.

In an ideal situation, you want an executor that lives near you, the property, and the assets. Handling an estate can take weeks or months and will require being in Iowa.

Posted 
March 27, 2021
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