It is important for all Iowa adults, especially those with children or heirs, to consider what will happen to their assets when they pass away. Adults can express their wishes through a last will and testament, or some other form of estate planning. However, should a person die without leaving behind any kind of a formal document that explains their post-death desires, that person is said to die intestate. In this case, Iowa courts will determine who inherits the deceased person's assets according to intestacy law.
As you prepare your estate in Iowa, you are likely to look for all the tax breaks you can get for your heirs. Many times people may try to make adjustments or changes to their plan to ensure their heirs are not left with a huge tax bill. After all, you want to leave behind something of value and not stick your loved ones with a tax debt. Knowing what to do with your estate, though, requires knowledge of state and federal tax laws, and federal estate tax laws have recently changed.
If you are currently planning your estate in Iowa, now is the time to take steps to prevent your estate from ending up in probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. According to The Motley Fool, what you do now will determine if probate is going to happen or not. You have to begin by consulting with professionals who can guide and help you with staying within legal limits and managing your finances and real property properly.
You may have heard about prepaid funeral plans in Iowa. They sound like a good idea because you can plan your funeral and all the related things now so your family does not have to mess with it when you die. In addition, it helps ensure things go exactly how you want them to. Plus, you have probably heard you can save money by doing your funeral this way. While all these things seem like great reasons to preplan your funeral, the reality is not always so wonderful.
After a divorce, you may think everything is settled and you can move forward with your life. However, there is one area that you should focus on right away. That is your estate planning. As an Iowa resident who has just gotten a divorce, you will need to take a few steps to update your estate plan and ensure everything reflects your current situation. Death is very unpredictable, so you cannot take any chances.
Why you need to have a will
It may seem like a silly question to ask when Iowa residents should begin estate planning. Many people mistakenly think this is something for old people to do. That is the exact reason why this question is so important because the answer may surprise you. Estate planning is not just for "old people." It is for anyone who has a solid need to control what happens with his or her future.
So, you are an Iowa resident, you have some idea as to who you want to receive what when you pass on, and you think most of the hard decisions must surely be out of the way. There is still a critical component involved in finalizing your will, however, and that involves choosing the person you would like to name as your executor. The executor, who may also go by “personal representative,” is the person tasked with seeing that the provisions set forth in your will come to fruition after your passing. Therefore, the Huffington Post notes that selecting someone with whom you have a strong degree of trust is often a wise move.
If you pass away without creating a valid will or other statement indicating what should be done with your Iowa property, your estate is consider intestate. Intestacy is not a way to avoid probate; it simply means that your wishes will have no influence on the distribution of your estate. Furthermore, it creates confusion and frustration for your grieving friends and family. Here are a few good reasons to avoid leaving your property intestate.
Once you have determined what you want to have happen with your property in Iowa if you were to pass away or become incapacitated, your estate planning is still not finished. While the hardest part may be past, you will still need to perform periodic reviews to ensure that everything is up to date. There are also many changes that could happen and force you to adjust the terms and conditions. Here are some things we at Janssen Law recommend to keep in mind when it comes to modifying your estate plan.