My condolences on your loss.
Unfortunately, Iowa law does require the use of an attorney to file for probate.
Under Iowa’s Probate Code, the executor or administrator of the estate “shall” file a “designation of the attorney employed by the fiduciary to assist in the administration of the estate“.
It’s not spelled out in the Probate Code, but it has to do with the old saying that anybody who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.
In other words, self-representation is not considered wise, but it is allowed in matters such as divorce or criminal cases because if the ‘client’ is being foolish, she is only hurting herself. The executor, on the other hand, is not representing himself or herself. Instead, the executor is a fiduciary, one charged with acting in the most responsible manner to protect the interests of others, in a fair and unbiased way. An executor who makes mistakes because he doesn’t have the advice of counsel could end up harming many people other than himself. Hence, the law requires the use of an attorney.
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