If you are planning your estate in Arkansas, you likely have questions about whether your family members will eventually need to manage the probate process. In Arkansas, probate generally applies to estates worth at least $100,000. 

Learn more about the state’s probate process so you can plan accordingly when developing your will and other important estate documents. 

Opening probate 

When a person dies, his or her family members or another interested party must petition the appropriate county court to enter the will into probate. In addition, the family can ask the judge to appoint a personal representative, executor or administrator. You can also designate this person who will manage the administration of your estate in your will. It can be a trusted friend or family member or an attorney with experience in the probate process. If you decide to designate a representative in your will, you must include his or her name, address and age. 

Accounting for estate property 

When the administrator petitions for probate, he or she must list all known heirs along with their ages, addresses and relationships to the deceased person. The petition should also outline all personal and real property included in the person’s estate as well as the estimated value. The representative should also attach a copy of the decedent’s will to the probate petition. 

Administering the estate 

When the court gives the executor permission to wrap up the deceased person’s estate, he or she must provide notice to all heirs listed in the will. The executor has court approval to gather, inventory and seek appraisal for the estate property. He or she can also legally pay estate taxes and debts. After doing so, the administrator will distribute the remaining property to the beneficiaries as designated in the person’s will. 

As you plan your estate, consider whether your assets will likely be subject to Arkansas probate. Having a professional administrator can help ease the process for your family members. 

Crow Durbin, Attorneys at Law