In general, when someone dies, the estate must go through probate which can be a complicated and lengthy process. But many states provide less complicated options for smaller estates.

Iowa law provides for simplified probate when the value of the gross probate assets of the decedent subject to the jurisdiction of this state less does not exceed $100,000.  Then an authorized petitioner may file a petition for the administration of a small estate.

Another option in Iowa for heirs or beneficiaries to inherit property is the use of an affidavit. The heirs or beneficiaries prepare an affidavit identifying the assets they are entitled to inherit. This option may be used when the decedent’s estate does not exceed $25,000.  The decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries may collect the property with an affidavit after a waiting period of 40 days from the decedent’s death.