The bill had three Divisions: Division 1 provided an additional exception to the general rule regarding notice on transfer of real property of an estate. Section 633.389 of the probate code allowed notice to be waived by all interested parties where real property of an estate was to be transferred. This bill will allow another exception to the notice requirement: where all interested persons are also personal representatives and have signed the petition then notice need not be served.
Division 2 of the bill adds a new section to the Trust Code. Section 633A.1109 will be added to the “Definitions and General Provisions” of the Trust Code and provides for the “methods of Notice and Document Delivery – Waiver.” The new provision directs trustees or other individuals who might be required to give notice to a beneficiary or other interested party that notice shall be accomplished in a manner that is reasonably suitable under the circumstances. This can include first-class mail, personal delivery to a last-known address, or by correct email address. Additionally, where the notice or document is sent through the US postal service, service is complete when the mail is given proper postage, addressed to the last known post office address, and deposited in a mailbox provided by the US postal service. Where there is a judicial proceeding against an unknown person with unknown whereabouts, the court can allow for notification by publication. A person can waive his or her right to be notified. This new section will apply to all notices and documents sent on or after July 1, 2016.
Secondly, the code provides for some additional grants of authority for the general power of attorney. Unless the POA provides otherwise, the language in a POA granting “general authority” with respect to real property, Iowa Code 633B.204, will now authorize the POA to transfer or release any of the principal’s homestead rights where the POA is mortgaging an interest or selling, exchanging, or otherwise transferring real property. Another grant of authority is created in Section 633B.214: where language in a POA grants general authority with respect to benefits from governmental programs or civil/military service, the POA can create and fund a medical assistance income trust (Miller Trust) or another trust device intended to manage social security and pension benefits for medical purposes. Iowa Code 633B.214 will no longer provide a general authorization of POA with respect to estates, trust, or other beneficial interest to reject, renounce, disclaim, release or consent to a reduction in or medication of a share or payment from an estate, trust or other beneficial interest. These changes to the POA will be effective immediately and have retroactive applicability for any authority granted on or after July 1, 2014.