The Basics

Wills. Executors. Estate Checking Accounts.

Everyone Should Have a Will

As the population ages and we lose our parents, we may find ourselves in a new venture of being named Executor of someone’s estate.

First and foremost, it is very important that everyone have a Will. A Will states who inherits the estate and names an Executor; which is the individual who is responsible for carrying out the terms of the Will and seeing that the estate is properly administered. An estate is created at the time of death with assets that are titled in the deceased’s name alone and would pass under the deceased’s Will.

If a person dies without a Will, state law will determine who will inherit the estate. If the deceased has enough assets, a probate court may have to appoint an administrator and supervise the settlement of the estate.

Generally speaking, a Will is filed in probate court where the court appoints the Executor that is named in the Will to carry out the distribution and settlement of the estate assets. The probate court is the county court that supervises the distributions of an estate. The Executor has numerous responsibilities, such as giving notice to creditors and family members, paying final bills for the deceased, liquidating/selling assets, filing applicable reports with the court, and filing final tax returns. The probate process is finished and the estate is closed when all expenses have been paid and distributions have been completed according to the terms in the Will.

Open an Estate Checking Account

Whatever the estate’s size, it is a good idea to open a separate estate checking account. This account is used to hold the estate cash assets of the deceased individual prior to distribution. Examples of activity passed through an estate checking account would be deposits from the liquidation of assets, refunds from canceled services, and debts owed to the deceased. Withdrawals from the account would be debts that the deceased owed and distributions to beneficiaries. The Executor must ensure checks are not issued from the estate checking account that do not pertain to the estate of the deceased individual.

This account will also serve as a great recordkeeping tool for estate activity. Beneficiaries are entitled to request a full inventory of the estate and a copy of the checking account documentation so having a separate checking account is important when completing those requests.

The only person authorized to open an estate checking account is the appointed Executor supplying the following documents: copy of the death certificate, copy of the Executor appointment papers or letter from the estate’s attorney stating the Executors, estate tax identification number from the IRS, and proper identification for the Executor opening the account.

When you need an estate checking account, the customer service staff at any United Bank of Iowa office can help you.

Choose United Bank of Iowa as your Executor


Did you know the United Bank of Iowa Trust Department can serve as Executor for your Will? We have been named Executor many times and are ready and willing to help when you need us. Why choose us as your Executor?

  • Impartial person/company that will carry out Will bequests
  • Provide accountings of all assets
  • Eliminate burden of a family member to deal with details in potentially contentious situations
  • Communicate with estate attorneys to ensure filings and tax forms are appropriately signed
If you have questions or would like more information, call or stop in at any United Bank of Iowa location.