Iowa Small Estate Affidavit Form | Affidavit of Administration

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The Iowa small estate affidavit, also known as the ‘affidavit of administration’, can be used to bypass the probate process if the value of the assets left by a decedent is less than $50,000. In Iowa, this is considered a “very small estate” that may avoid the probate process altogether. Note that Iowa also has a simplified probate process available for estates not exceeding $200,000; this procedure, however, involves certain civil proceedings and the appointment of a representative depending on the nature of the request. The affidavit of administration allows an heir or beneficiary to collect and distribute a “very small estate” easily and efficiently without the need for probate.


  • Days after Death – Forty (40) days. According to I.C.A. § 633.356(1), forty (40) days must pass between the date of death and the use of a small estate affidavit.
  • Maximum$50,000. I.C.A. § 633.356(1) defines a very small estate as having a gross value of $50,000 or less, and it must not contain any real property.
  • Social Security Number (SSN) – The decedent’s Social Security Number (SSN) must be included in the form. (I.C.A. § 633.356)
  • Signing – The affidavit must be signed and sworn before a notary public.
  • Statutes – A successor as defined in subsection 2 of § 633.356 may, by furnishing an affidavit prepared pursuant to subsection 3 or 8, collect property owned by the decedent.

How to File (4 steps)

Step 1 – Wait 40 Days

Per state law, a successor must wait forty (40) days before using a small estate affidavit.

Step 2 – Gather Documents and Information

You’ll need a certificate of death, which you can obtain from a county health office. (You can find your local office using this locator.) You’ll also need a general description of the property the decedent owned that is to be paid to each successor (excluding real estate), as well as information about each successor.

Step 3 – Prepare Affidavit

Download the Affidavit of Administration and use the information you have gathered to fill it out.

Step 4 – Collect the Assets

Present the affidavit to a third party that possesses the property of the deceased, such as a bank or company, in order to gather and distribute it to each named successor. This does not have to be filed in court.

How to Write

Download: Adobe PDF

(1) Petitioner For Iowa Decedent Estate. Produce your full name as the Individual filing to take over an Iowa Decedent’s estate.

(2) Relationship To Iowa Decedent.  The relationship you have with the Iowa Deceased should be explained. This will aid in establishing your right to claim his or her remaining estate.

(3) Iowa Decedent Name. The first and last name of the Iowa Decedent must be produced to the first declaration made.

(4) Iowa Decedent Date Of Death. Furnish the calendar date noted on the Deceased’s death certificate as the day he or she died.

(5) Iowa Decedent State Of Residence. The State or States where the Iowa Decedent maintained a residence should be recorded in Statement A of Section 1.

Estate Status

(6) No Will – No Administration. If the Iowa Decedent did not have a will made by the time of his or her death and no probate or administration proceedings were engaged then Statement A in Section 2 must be initialed. To aid the claim of the Iowa Affiant, the death certificate and a copy of the Iowa Decedent’s obituary should be attached.

(7) Value Of Estate. Define the amount of money the estate is worth.

(8) No Will – Administration. Initial Statement B if the Iowa Deceased did not have a will but some administration regarding his or her estate was started. In such a case, additional paperwork should be attached. For instance, a copy of the Iowa Decedent’s death certificate and an obituary naming his or her Survivors should be furnished. Additionally, if the Iowa Decedent’s estate is currently in probate, then a Letter Of Appointment As Administrator should be attached while if the estate has been probated then a formal copy of the Final Report and the Order Approving The Final Report should be furnished.

(9) Will – No Administration. Select Statement C if the Iowa Decedent did have a will in place at the time of his or her death and no administration tasks were began regarding the estate. It should be mentioned that this form does not deal with real property or real estate. If the Iowa Decedent did own real property (i.e. house, land, etc.), then the probate process may be needed and the Affiant is encouraged to seek consultation from a Probate Attorney.

(10) Value Of Decedent Estate. Furnish the monetary worth of the Iowa Decedent’s estate. Bear in mind for the Iowa Decedent’s estate to be eligible for this process, the total value of his or her estate may not exceed $50,000.00.

(11) Will – Administration. If the Decedent passed away with a will in place and it has been filed with the court, then select Statement D. This requires the name of the court where the will was filed to be documented. 

(12) Trust – Open. If the Iowa Decedent’s estate is held and distributed through an open trust, then Statement E must be initialed. This will need some additional proof of the existing paperwork. The Letter of Appointment As Trustee, documentation of the trust instrument, a financial statement of the trust, and the trusts’ Federal Tax ID must all be attached to this document if Statement E accurately defines the status of the Iowa Decedent’s estate and personal property.

(13) Trust – Closed. Initial Statement F if the Iowa Decedent’s estate is held in a closed trust. This means that the property of the Decedent has already been dispensed thus closing the trust that held it. To show this as the current status of the Iowa Decedent’s estate, the final tax statement of the trust, the Federal Tax ID of the trust, and a copy of the trust instrument must be attached to this paperwork.

(14) Claimant Signature. As the Claimant behind this document, you must provide a notarized signature to formally file it. Sign your name under the direction of the Notary Public overseeing this process.

(15) Notary Public. The Iowa Notary Public that has to watch you sign this paperwork will then provide several items to verify that you are the Claimant signing this form.

(16) Names Of All Beneficiaries/Heirs. This paperwork will need to account for every Heir to the Iowa Decedent’s estate. To this end, utilize the worksheet at the end of this document to produce this information before signing it. Furnish the name of each Beneficiary or Heir to the Iowa Decedent’s estate in the first column.

(17) Relationship To Owner. The relationship between the Beneficiary and the Iowa Deceased should be documented in the second column.

(18) Beneficiary Status. Indicate if the Beneficiary is alive or deceased in the third column.

(19) Beneficiary Address And Phone Number. The address and telephone number of every living Beneficiary or Heir to the Iowas Decedent’s estate should be produced on the same row as his or her name in the fourth column.

(20) Date Of Beneficiary Death. If the Iowa Decedent’s Beneficiary is not alive, then his or her date of death must be displayed.

(21) County Of Late Beneficiary Death. In cases where the Beneficiary is deceased, then a record of the County where the Beneficiary passed away must be produced in the final column.