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Trust Accounts in Iowa


Almost all Iowa lawyers in private practice need to have a trust account for the proper handling of client funds.  

Click here for a copy of the Trust Account Outline.

Do you need assistance with triple reconciliations? Click here for a triple reconciliation form with combined tips and FAQs.

What follows is a list of frequently asked question regarding all aspects of trust accounts. 


  • What does "IOLTA" stand for?
  • Where can I find Trust Account Authority and References?
  • Am I Required to Have a Trust Account?
  • What Kind of Trust Account is Required?
  • What Kind of Institution May Hold My Trust Account?
  • What Deposit Insurance is Available for Trust Account Deposits?
  • What About Client Deposits Over $250,000?
  • What Kind of Bank Account is Required?
  • How Should the Account be Titled?
  • Am I Required to Give Anyone Notice When I Establish a Trust Account?
  • What Instructions Should I Give an IOLTA Depository?
  • Can the Institution Where My Trust Account is Located Charge a Service Fee?
  • Am I Allowed to Maintain More than One Trust Account?
  • May I Give a Trusted Staff Member Signature Authority?
  • What About Signature Authority for a Stand-by Lawyer?
  • What Funds Must I Deposit in My Trust Account?
  • What Funds Must NOT Be Deposited in My Trust Account?
  • What Payments Can I Make from the Trust Account?
  • When Can I Make Disbursements Based on a Deposit to My Trust Account?
  • How Do I Disburse from My Trust Account?
  • What Notice Must I Give a Client Regarding Disbursements?
  • How Are Flat Fees Handled?
  • How Should Advance Fees in Probate be Handled?
  • What Books and Records Do I Need to Maintain?
  • How Should I Implement the Record-Keeping Duty?
  • What is a Monthly 3-Way Trust Account Reconciliation?
  • May I Use a Computer Program to Perform Trust Accounting?
  • How Do I Handle Retainers Paid by Credit Card?
  • How Should Electronic Payment of Court Fees be Handled?
  • What Should be Done with Funds of a Client Who No Longer Can be Located?
  • What Steps Should Be Taken When I Move My Trust Account to a New Bank?
  • What Steps Should Be Taken to Close My Trust Account?
  • How Often Will My Account Be Audited? And Who are these Auditors?
  • How Prevalent is Trust Account Fraud?
  • What Steps Can I Take to Protect My Trust Account From Fraud?
  • What Should I Do if I Discover There Has Been Embezzlement from My Trust Account?
  • What Irregularities Are Commonly Revealed by Audits?
  • What Factors Contribute to Trust Account Irregularities?
  • Regarding Federal Deposit Insurance and Large Client Balances in the Trust Account
  • Requirement for Trust Account in Iowa
  • Monthly Reconciliations Required
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