Arkansas Probate Law
Probate is the court process that manages and distributes an individual’s property and assets after they pass away. In other words, it is the legal process of administering a person’s estate after they have died. A person’s estate generally includes real estate property, cash, vehicles, jewelry, furniture, and any other asset that carries value.
In Arkansas, probate is required when an estate exceeds $100,000, if the estate is being contested, and/or if creditors are seeking to collect a debt. In some instances, there are ways around circumventing the probate process. For instance, certain assets do not have to go through probate, and it may be possible to avoid probate altogether. It is essential to talk to an attorney in Little Rock, AR who is well-versed in the practice area of probate law. Since all estate matters differ, an attorney should be consulted to properly assess the circumstances to verify whether probate can be avoided.
Probate With A Will
Since probate consists of settling a deceased person’s estate, the way a person planned for their estate will significantly direct how the probate process will transpire. If the deceased left a will, the probate court will move to prove the will’s validity. If the will is found to be valid, the instructions and wishes specified in the document will be executed by the executor of the will under the court’s supervision. The executor is the person who is named in the will to oversee the assets and obligations of the will and estate. After all applicable obligations, taxes, and debts have been squared away, probate enables the remaining property and assets to be passed to the heirs and beneficiaries.
Having a valid will assures that the property and assets of the decedent’s estate go to the people and entities that he or she wishes and designates when the time comes to probate the estate. With a will in place, probate is a much smoother and quicker process.
Probate Without A Will
If an individual dies without a valid will, the court will assume control over their estate. When a person passes away without a will, he or she is known to have died intestate. It is also worth noting that if a will is present, but is found to be invalid, the estate in question is an intestate estate. The Intestacy laws in Arkansas will determine how the assets in an estate are distributed, which becomes the responsibility of the probate court. One of the first steps of getting an estate probated without a will is having an administrator appointed to manage the estate. The administer will be appointed by the court, and they are usually the spouse or adult child of the decedent.
In general, the estate administrator acts like an executor of a will. They have the task of taking care of paying off the estate’s outstanding debts and resolving any legal claims. They also have to locate the heirs of the deceased and distribute the assets according to the law and court’s authorization.
For more information about probate, it is advised to contact an experienced probate law attorney in Little Rock, AR.
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