The passing of a loved one is a difficult and highly emotional time. Yet, often those closest to the deceased are tasked with the responsibility of distributing the loved one’s estate and managing their end-of-life affairs. In a time when grieving is strongest, these individuals are required to be thorough, exact and attentive to details.
The probate and estate administration attorneys at Nazette, Marner, Nathanson & Knoll, LLP are here to assist with these difficult tasks in such times. For over 50 years, families in Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Eastern Iowa have turned to our attorneys to ensure the proper handling of their loved ones’ estates.
We can help with:
- Initiating a probate case on behalf of the deceased
- Inventory of assets in the estate or trust
- Assisting in accurate calculation and payment of all estate and trust taxes – federal and state
- Ensuring legitimacy of creditor claims
- Minimizing loss of estate assets to creditors, taxes, legal fees and other probate costs
- Defending the deceased’s will against challengers
- Representing beneficiaries in challenging a will or probate of an estate
- Interpreting terms of a will or trust and making sure they are carried out correctly
- Finding beneficiaries named in the will or trust, contacting them, and ensuring they receive the appropriate portion of the estate
- Locating and preserving estate assets
- Maintaining accurate records
- Ensuring all required court filings are filed correctly and on time
- Managing communications with beneficiaries, creditors and other parties involved
Probate of an Estate in Iowa
In Iowa, when a person dies, all of the assets owned by the individual must be transferred. Probate is the court-supervised process of inventorying a deceased person’s assets, paying taxes and debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the person’s heirs/beneficiaries. All of this is done by an executor(s) if named in the deceased’s will or by a court-appointed estate administrator if no executor is named, the named executor is unwilling or unqualified to perform the task, or there is no will.
The job of an executor or estate administrator can be fairly complicated. Many times not all of an individual’s assets are listed in the will or obvious to family members and must be located. Not all beneficiaries are easy to find either, nor are they always cooperative or supportive of the executor/administrator. In every case, meticulous records must be kept to show the court, the beneficiaries, and the taxing authorities that probate of the estate was handled properly.
Many executors and estate administrators are relatives of the deceased and have no training or familiarity with the probate process and all its requirements, making it a difficult responsibility at a difficult time. Our probate and estate administration services are designed to ease the burden of making decisions surrounding the transfer of assets upon a loved ones death. The level of our involvement ranges, depending on your needs, from simple guidance and filing of court documents to full assumption of probate duties.
Trust Administration Services
Even more complex than probating an estate, administration of a trust requires even greater fiscal and organizational responsibilities. Terms of a trust are typically more detailed and involved than those of a will. Often, these responsibilities do not end with the initial distribution of assets to beneficiaries as they are intended to last for multiple generations and require attention to investments and important decision making year after year. Without the assistance of a trained and experienced trust attorney, successor trustees find the administration of a trust overwhelming and time consuming. Our estate-focused attorneys are trained in trust administration and have experience helping families ensure the success of their trusts.
Put Your Loved One’s Estate in Trustworthy Hands
Whether you are preparing your will or trust and looking to name a reliable co-executor/trustee to help family members manage your affairs after your gone or you have been tasked with probating the estate or administering a trust of a deceased loved one, our priority is ensuring that the estate is managed as intended by the testator/creator as completely as possible.
Call our office in Cedar Rapids at (319) 366-1000 to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help.