Iowa Living Trust Vs. Last Will

By A.L. Kennedy

Iowa residents can use a last will, a living trust or both as part of their estate planning. Iowa has specific state laws and rules that lay out how to set up a valid Iowa will or trust. You may wish to consult an Iowa attorney before making your estate plan to help you decide whether a will, a trust or a combination is right for you.

Iowa residents can use a last will, a living trust or both as part of their estate planning. Iowa has specific state laws and rules that lay out how to set up a valid Iowa will or trust. You may wish to consult an Iowa attorney before making your estate plan to help you decide whether a will, a trust or a combination is right for you.

Iowa Wills

Your will, sometimes called your "last will," leaves your property after your death to the persons you name in the will. It also allows you to appoint an executor who will manage your estate after you are gone, and a guardian for your child or children if they are under age 18 when you die. Your Iowa will must show your signature and the signatures of two disinterested witnesses who are not receiving anything from your estate, according to Iowa State University.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Iowa Living Trust

A living trust is simply a trust you make while you are still alive. It is called a "living trust" to differentiate it from a testamentary trust, which can be created by your will when you die. In Iowa, most living trusts are revocable, meaning that you can change or destroy the trust at any time. A revocable living trust does not come with any tax advantages under Iowa law, according to Iowa State University. However, it does allow you to pass on your property without the need to go through probate, which means your relatives or beneficiaries may receive their shares of your property more quickly. The saved time may be valuable if, for instance, you leave a spouse and/or children who relied on your income and need money for household expenses when you are gone.

Combining an Iowa Will and a Living Trust

Iowa law allows you to use both a living trust and a last will in your estate planning. One benefit to using both methods is that you can leave property to persons or charities without the delays of probate by putting the property in a trust, but you can also name a guardian for your minor children by making a will. If you have children, the will and trust can work together to ensure they have the guardian you choose and ensure they have an income from the trust to pay their educational, medical or daily expenses of living, according to Iowa State University.

Other Iowa Estate Planning Options

Iowa law also allows you to use other estate planning options besides those offered by your last will or your living trust. For instance, if you die without any estate plan at all, Iowa law will distribute your property to your closest living relatives, or to the state if you have no living relatives. To avoid this scenario, you may use a will, a trust, and/or certain non-probate assets like joint bank accounts, jointly held property and life insurance that lists certain chosen individuals as the beneficiaries, according to Iowa State University.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
California Living Trust Vs. Last Will

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Leave Money in a Will to Grandchildren for Education

When you bequeath property in a will to someone, she obtains total ownership over the property. While you may suggest in the will how you wish the property to be used by the recipient, once the probate process is closed, that person is not bound to follow your instructions. By creating a testamentary trust in your will, you can place restrictions on how the property you leave behind is to be used, which your beneficiaries must follow. This can be especially useful if you want to provide money for your grandchildren’s education, but want to ensure they don’t use those assets for something else.

What Is Involved in Making a Will?

Your will is a legal document that explains how you want your property distributed after your death. If you have minor children, your will may also explain how to provide for them in terms of guardianship and finances. When making your will, consider such issues as whom you trust to carry out your last wishes and/or raise your children, as well as which people or charities should receive your property when you die.

Family Trust Planning Guide

A family trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to appoint a trustee to administer assets on behalf of beneficiaries who are family members: normally, your dependents. Transferring your assets using a family trust offers certain advantages over transferring them through probate. Laws governing family trusts differ somewhat from state to state.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Ideas for a Senior's Last Will & Testament

Many people choose not to write their wills until they are well into adulthood. Seniors who are writing a will often ...

When to Use Last Wills Vs. Living Trusts?

A last will and a living trust are two methods of estate planning. Both provide a way to leave property to certain ...

Law on the Last Will & Testament in Iowa

Iowa accepts wills made in other states and countries as long as the requirements of that state or country are met. ...

Do It Yourself Last Wills & Trusts

Last wills and trusts are two ways to distribute your property after you die. A will and a trust may be used together ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED