Summary of Iowa's Will Requirements:

Minimum Age to Make a Will 18
Written Document Required Yes
Nuncupative Wills (Oral) No
Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed) No
Number of Witnesses Required 2
Self-Proving Affidavit Allowed
Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit Yes




Statutes Governing Iowa's Will Requirements:


Disposal of property by will

Subject to the rights of the surviving spouse to elect to take against the will as provided by section 633.236, any person of full age and sound mind may dispose by will of all the person's property, except sufficient to pay the debts and charges against the person's estate.

Iowa Requirements for a Will - Code, §633.264


Signed and witnessed

1.  Formal execution.  All wills and codicils, except as provided in section 633.283, to be valid, must be in writing, signed by the testator, or by some person in the testator's presence and by the testator's express direction writing the testator's name thereto, and declared by the testator to be the testator's will, and witnessed, at the testator's request, by two competent persons who signed as witnesses in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other; provided, however, that the validity of the execution of any will or instrument which was executed prior to January 1, 1964, shall be determined by the law in effect immediately prior to said date.

2.  Self-proved will.  An attested will may be made self-proved at the time of its execution, or at any subsequent date, by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the affidavits of the witnesses, each made before a person authorized to administer oaths and take acknowledgments under the laws of this state, and evidenced by such person's certificate, under seal, attached or annexed to the will, in form and content substantially as follows: 


State of . . . . . .   )

County of . . . . . . )

We, the undersigned, . . . . . . , . . . . . . and . . .. . . , the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, being first duly sworn, declare to the undersigned authority that said instrument is the testator's will and that the testator willingly signed and executed such instrument, or expressly directed another to sign the same in the presence of the witnesses, as a free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; that said witnesses, and each of them, declare to the undersigned authority that such will was executed and acknowledged by the testator as the testator's will in their presence and that they, in the testator's presence, at the testator's request, and in the presence of each other, did subscribe their names thereto as attesting witnesses on the date of the date of such will; and that the testator, at the time of the execution of such instrument, was of full age and of sound mind and that the witnesses were sixteen years of age or older and otherwise competent to be witnesses.




Subscribed, sworn and acknowledged before me by . . . . . . , the testator; and subscribed and sworn before me by . . . . . and . . . . . , witnesses, this . . . . day of . . . . . . (month), . . . (year)

Notary Public, or other officer authorized to take and certify acknowledgments and administer oaths.


A self-proved will shall constitute proof of due execution of such instrument as required by section 633.293 and may be admitted to probate without testimony of witnesses.

Iowa Requirements for a Will - Code, §633.279


Competency of witnesses

Any person who is sixteen years of age, or older, and who is competent to be a witness generally in this state, may act as an attesting witness to a will.

Iowa Requirements for a Will - Code, §633.280


Interest of witnesses

No will is invalidated because attested by an interested witness; but any interested witness shall, unless the will is also attested by two competent and disinterested witnesses, forfeit so much of the provisions therein made for the interested witness as in the aggregate exceeds in value, as of the date of the decedent's death, that which the interested witness would have received had the testator died intestate. No attesting witness is interested unless the witness is devised or bequeathed some portion of the testator's estate.

Iowa Requirements for a Will - Code, §633.281


Defect cured by codicil

If a codicil to a defectively executed will is duly executed, and such will is clearly identified in said codicil, the will and the codicil shall be considered as one instrument and the execution of both shall be deemed sufficient witness.

Iowa Requirements for a Will - Code, §633.282


Will executed in foreign state or country

A will executed outside this state, in the mode prescribed by the law, either of the place where executed or of the testator's domicile, shall be deemed to be legally executed, and shall be of the same force and effect as if executed in the mode prescribed by the laws of this state, provided said will is in writing and subscribed by the testator.

Iowa Requirements for a Will - Code, §633.283


[Reference - Iowa Requirements for a Will]