Iowa State Bank  

Estate Services

The responsibility of "settling an estate" is not an honor to be given to a faithful friend or a trusted relative - unless they possess the necessary knowledge, skill, time and temperament to handle the demanding requirements.

Whether acting as executor of an estate or successor trustee of a living trust, knowledge of tax law, business arrangements, property law, and investments are critical.

Settling an estate or winding up a revocable living trust at the death of the creator, both involve a number of steps.

  1. Qualifying to act. The court will formally appoint an executor by issuing Letters of Appointment.
  2. Take control of all assets. Responsibilities include locating and inventorying all assets including hard to identify and locate assets.
  3. Protecting assets. This includes their physical, secure possession, adequate insurance coverage and protection from waste and deterioration.
  4. Taxes. Filing, negotiating and settling both federal and state liabilities. Negotiating the value of assets such as real estate and closely held business interests is critical to avoid overpaying death taxes.
  5. Accounting and Distribution. A full accounting and distribution to the correct beneficiaries are the final steps in "settling an estate."

In choosing an executor or successor trustee, look for:

  • Training, experience and qualifications.
  • Needed facilities and resources to properly settle the estate.
  • Full time, day in and day out availability.
  • Financial responsibility.
  • Unbiased objectivity, yet sympathetic understanding of the needs of your family.
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