Iowa Resources

We have written detailed reviews of Iowa law impacting agricultural producers and landowners. Access these reviews by clicking on the tiles below. You can also review Iowa cases on a particular subject by searching our list of Iowa case law reviews at the bottom of this page.

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Photo with gavel, file folder, clock and money surrounding the word Probate spelled in wooden blocks
May 10, 2022 | By Jennifer Harrington

Probate is a court-supervised process for transferring assets after death. While the term “probate” often describes the process by which the court administers a will, probate may be required for those who die without a will as well. The probate process seeks to ensure an orderly transfer of assets, all the while protecting the rights of creditors and heirs.

May 3, 2022 | Jennifer Harrington

When someone dies with a will, a surviving family member or other person close to the decedent must ensure that the decedent’s wishes specified in the will are followed. This usually requires the will to be “probated” or submitted to and administered by the court in the jurisdiction where the decedent lived.

When someone dies, another individual will need to handle the affairs of the deceased individual.

On April 27, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals determined that the district court’s grant of summary judgment was not appropriate because genuine issues of material facts existed in a case involving the priority of competing perfected security interests and agricultural-supply-dealer liens. After a dairy operation liquidated its assets, there were insufficient proceeds to satisfy all claims against the farm. A financial institution and a feed dealer each claimed to have priority to these proceeds. Because the record did not adequately provide the facts necessary to resolve the dispute under Iowa Code chapters 554 and 570A, the court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.

On March 2, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s award of three parcels of farmland to a former husband through a divorce decree. The farmland was distributed from partnership interests the husband’s parents had gifted him during the marriage. The former wife argued on appeal that the real estate was marital property because the partnership interests were compensation for the work the husband did for the family farm business. The court of appeals disagreed. The court did agree, however, that the wife was entitled to a larger alimony award.

April 5, 2022 | Jennifer Harrington

Most people die owning a vehicle, but fewer individuals know what to do with the car once a loved one passes. This guide reviews the basics. It explains the procedures under Iowa law, but those from other states may learn from the general concepts.

April 5, 2022 | Jennifer Harrington

Typically, there is no need to contact lawyer immediately after the passing of a loved one.[i] Instead, this is the time to focus on family needs and the disposition of the body. This checklist explains what should be done in the first weeks following a death until the death certificate is issued.

March 24, 2022 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On March 22, 2022, the Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue joined the IRS in granting estimated tax penalty relief to qualifying farmers who did not file their 2021 returns and pay their taxes by March 1, 2022. In Order 2022-1, Iowa waives the underpayment of estimated tax penalty for any qualifying farmer who files their 2021 Iowa income tax return and remits payment by May 2, 2022.

Iowa Code chapter 717A, sometimes referred to as Iowa’s “ag-gag” law, is once again the subject of federal litigation. On March 14, 2022, a federal judge from the Southern District of Iowa found the 2019 version of the law unconstitutional. Iowa Code § 717A.3B provides criminal penalties for those who, intending to harm an agricultural production facility, use deception to gain access to or employment with that facility. The judge held that the statute violated the First Amendment. Accordingly, she granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.

On March 2, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a district court decision finding that the transfer of a joint tenant’s interest in real property into a trust severed the joint tenancy.

On March 4, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court held that a manager of an LLC was not entitled to attorney fees incurred defending himself against claims brought by the LLC or prosecuting claims against the LLC. A manager of an LLC may recover costs incurred “in the course of the member’s or manager’s activities on behalf of the company.” Iowa Code § 489.408(1). Because the manager incurred costs litigating against the LLC, the Supreme Court reversed the district court and Court of Appeals rulings and held that the statute did not require the company to indemnify the manager.

March 3, 2022 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On March 1, 2022, Governor Kim Reynolds signed HF 2317 into law. The new tax law will reduce individual and corporate income tax rates, provide exemptions from Iowa tax for certain forms of retirement income--including retired farmer rental income--and scale back certain tax credits. 

On January 27, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a district court’s award of punitive damages in a conversion claim. On summary judgment, the trial court found that the defendants acted with malice towards the plaintiff when they refused to return a skid loader that was located on recently foreclosed property after the owner of the skid loader demanded its return. The Court of Appeals, in a split decision, overturned the portion of the judgment awarding punitive damages.

On January 12, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed that a premarital agreement prevented the surviving spouse from taking the statutory elective share against the deceased spouse’s estate. Although the premarital agreement did not specifically list the deceased spouse’s century farm as an asset, it still provided the surviving spouse “fair and reasonable disclosure” of his financial conditions. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed.