Free Iowa Last Will and Testament Form

A will is a document that contains the final will of its owner (testator) and establishes precisely how and by whom their estate will be used in case of death. As a preventative measure, it is strongly recommended to make a will.

A thought-out and appropriately written will is often essential to your loved ones and relations upon your death, even when you haven’t got lots of estates.

If you are in need of a fillable and printable Iowa last will and testament form, you’ll find one on this page, together with the tips on last will writing and answers to common questions.

Iowa Last Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Signing requirement Two witnesses 633.279 Signed and witnessed
Age of testator 18 and older
Age of witnesses 16 and older 633.280 Competency of witnesses
Self-proving wills Allowed   633.279 Signed and witnessed
Handwritten wills Might be recognized if witnessed according to  state law
Oral wills Not recognized
Holographic wills Not recognized
Depositing a will Possible at the clerk of an Iowa county court office A fee is county-specific 633.286 Deposit of will with clerk

How to Create an Iowa Last Will

  1. Consider your possibilities. One thing to decide upon, first, is if you wish to write the entire document by hand or utilize a fillable last will and testament form that can be found online.
  2. Specify your information. Fill in your full name and address (the city, county, and state of residence) to establish the testator of the will. Review the information you wrote along with the remainder of the passage, including “Expenses and Taxes.”
  3. Establish the executor. Now is the time to choose the executor of your last will and testament, the person in charge of making sure that everything you lay out in this document gets done. To do that, you will need to specify the executor’s full name, followed by their residential information (city, county, and state). Ensure that you choose a person who lives in the same state as you do. If you don’t, there’ll be more paperwork and unnecessary hassle connected with the procedure resulting from different special policies every state has with regards to out-of-state executors. Although not imperative, it’s a wise idea to choose an additional person to act as your executor in the event the first one is unwilling or not capable of executing your last will.
  4. Appoint the guardian (optional). You are able to choose a trusted person as a guardian if you’ve got underage or dependent children that must be taken care of. If there are no directions regarding what person should take care of your children, the guardian will be chosen by the court.
  5. Specify your beneficiaries. This is where you indicate people who are going to receive your property. For every beneficiary, fill out these particulars: full legal name, address, and the way they are related to you.
  6. Designate property. It’s possible to indicate which of the inheritors gets this or that piece of property. If you don’t, the assets are going to be allocated evenly among the beneficiaries. Money for arrearage, real estate, shares, company ownership, cash, as well as any material items of commercial worth in your possession can be mentioned in your last will and testament. But, joint and living will assets, as well as your life insurance, cannot go in your will.
  7. Ask witnesses to finalize the document. In accordance with the Iowa regulation, for any last will to be considered valid, it needs to be signed by two witnesses. Only a person who isn’t your named beneficiary and is of 16 years or more could be selected as a witness. As an extra preventative measure against cases when the will is contested or some other problems, it seems sensible to appoint a witness who is younger than you to ensure they will still be there after you die. Now, you (and your two witnesses) must sign the paper after writing your full legal addresses and names. Make sure you review every paragraph carefully before finalizing the matter.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between 'Power of Attorney' and 'Executor'?


A power of attorney (PoA) is a legal document that assigns a person, often called your agent or proxy (doesn’t need to be a licensed professional), to handle matters for you while you’re alive. There are various types of power of attorney, the two main ones being:

  • General power of attorney – lets you name a proxy (agent) who’ll be able to take care of your financial and legal affairs on your behalf. But, this document will become ineffective if the principal passes away or becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable power of attorney – grants the same authority to the proxy as the first type but continues to be valid even if the individual on behalf of whom the agent acts becomes disabled.

An executor is someone you assign in your will to handle your matters after you pass away. Having said that, both positions can be served by the same person.

Is will notarization required by the Iowa statute?


In Iowa, you don’t have to notarize your last will. But, you can make your will self-proving by attaching an affidavit to it, and you’ll need to visit a notary in order to accomplish that. In case you make your last will self-proving, the court will not need to make contact with the witnesses to determine the credibility of the document, which will facilitate the probate.

IMPORTANT: Even though notarization is not required for last wills in Illinois, signing a will in front of a notary public usually helps facilitate the probate.

What is better: an attested or holographic will?


A holographic will is handwritten. For it to be effective, this document has to be fully in the handwriting of the testator, dated and signed by him or her, and witnessed according to the state law. Such last wills are more normally chosen in situations of emergency and/or up to the point when more formalized documents can be put in place (whether by an attorney or with a will template such as the one you can download from our site). A suitably defined will would be much better for the future probate process since holographic last wills might have ambiguous conditions that can impede probate and make it more costly and/or more challenging to impose.

An attested will is usually typed since it is often made by a legal professional or is based upon a last will template, like the one you may get here. For it to be regarded as valid, it has to be signed by the testator and two credible witnesses over the age of 16 in the testator’s presence, which can also be exercised in the presence of a notary. But, the latter isn’t required in Iowa.

What does it mean to be testamentary capable?


In order to create your will and alter it (to be testamentary capable), you must fulfill certain requirements relating to your legal and mental abilities (sound mind) first.

There are usually two requirements to fulfill: soundness of mind and age. In most states, you’ve got to be over 18 years to create a last will. Being of sound mind translates that you’re conscious of your property as well as the beneficiaries of your possessions and have an understanding of the outcomes of your actions.

Is it needed (in Iowa) to add a self-proving affidavit to my last will and testament?


No, in Iowa, there’s no such prerequisite. Still, adding one can be very beneficial because it removes the demand for witnesses testimony in the course of probate, which facilitates the procedure significantly.

Is child or spouse disinheritance possible?


In Iowa, there isn’t such a thing as community or marital property. The concept suggests that all the property and assets gained or improved while in the marriage are to be equally distributed between both of the spouses. In line with Iowa law, it is possible to disinherit your spouse, but the latter will have the right for a particular minimum number of your assets.

According to Census.gov, in 2018, the Iowa divorce rate was 7.1 per 1,000 women over 15 years old. It is a bit lower than the average US divorce rate which was 7.7.

Except for your marriage partner, Iowa law permits you to disinherit any other family members. By adding certain disinheritance sections to your will, you can leave your adult children or other relatives out of getting any of your properties and assets.

Is it possible to amend my last will without my assent?


Only the testator can change his or her will. A 3rd party can only sign the last will in case you’re physically unable to do so.

In Iowa, can I alter a typewritten last will after I sign it?


Yes, you’re allowed to alter it.

According to Iowa law, you are allowed to adjust or revoke the last will and testament if you are not bound by a legal contract stating otherwise.

It may also be a wise decision to amend your last will and testament on such occasions:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • You got married or divorced
  • Real estate or considerable piece of property has been bought or sold
  • Important changes in your finances

What will be the costs of having lost a last will and testament?


In Iowa, the law indicates that the court can accept a will if it’s destroyed or lost. However, only the original of the last will would be admitted by the probate court.

Iowa law offers a presumption that the absence of the will means it was repealed. That places the responsibility on the proponent of the will to provide proof of the mentioned last will.

For holographic last wills, the process can become more complicated since sworn witnesses and testimony will be required. Moreover, you have also to prove why the will and its details can’t be produced in ways that will also show it was not canceled.

How can a physically impaired person sign his or her last will and testament?


Iowa Estate Code allows another person to sign your last will and testament only per your directive and in your presence. The person who wrote the will can communicate their wishes in words, by way of giving a positive answer to a query, or with gestures.

A notary public can sign the testator’s name in case the latter cannot do so on account of a physical disability. The notary public must be directed to perform it with a witness present. It is important to note that such witnesses aren’t allowed to have an interest (equitable or legal) in any of the assets being the issue matter or that might be affected by this document (the last will).

Related documents When to make it
Codicil There are a few minor changes you want to make to your will.
Self-proving affidavit You want the probate to be quicker when it’s necessary.
Living will You would like to state what health care you want if you cannot communicate that yourself.
Living trust You want to skip probate by putting your assets in a trust.
Published: Sep 15, 2020