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When it comes to managing an estate in Arkansas, no stone can be left unturned. Being an executor or administrator is quite the undertaking and can be daunting - not something to take lightly! That's why it's paramount to understand your duties before embarking on your journey as an executor or administrator. Without further ado, here are the crucial responsibilities you'll need to take on:

1. Notifying Beneficiaries and Creditors: It's important to provide notice of the death and the estate administration to certain parties such as beneficiaries, creditors, and other individuals who may have a claim against the estate.

2. Paying Debts and Expenses: Executors or administrators are expected to pay off any existing debts of the estate, such as taxes and other expenses associated with the administration of the estate.

3. Gather Assets: This can involve collecting bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real property titles, vehicles, and other assets.

4. Valuating Estate Assets: This involves valuing, pricing, and appraising the estate's assets.

5. Filing Tax Returns: Executors or administrators must file the necessary tax returns on behalf of the estate with all relevant government bodies.

6. Distributing Assets to Beneficiaries: Once all debts, taxes, and other expenses have been paid off, the executor must distribute the remaining assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.

7. Closing Estate Accounts: It's important to close out any accounts that were opened for the estate administration process. This includes closing bank accounts, canceling credit cards, and other accounts that may have been opened.

Being an executor or administrator is no small task! It's important to be mindful of all the duties you'll need to fulfill when managing an estate in Arkansas. With a clear understanding of your responsibilities as an executor or administrator, you can set out with confidence to ensure a successful estate administration process.

Happy administrating!

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as legal advice. Please consult a qualified Arkansas-based attorney before engaging in any estate administration activities. Thank you!

If you're like most people, the basic terminology of probates and estates probably sounds pretty confusing. But don't worry - we're here to help! In this blog post, we'll break down some of the key terms you need to know, and explain what they mean in plain English. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in!

  1. Probate: The legal process of administering a deceased person's estate, which includes distributing their assets and settling any debts.

  2. Estate: All the property and assets owned by a person at the time of their death.

  3. Executor: The person named in a will who is responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will, including managing the estate during probate.

  4. Administrator: The person appointed by a court to manage an estate if there is no will or if the named executor is unable or unwilling to serve.

  5. Beneficiary: A person or entity that receives property or assets from an estate or trust.

  6. Intestate: When someone dies without a valid will, their estate is distributed according to state law, rather than their wishes.

  7. Will: A legal document that outlines how a person's assets should be distributed after they die, as well as naming an executor to manage the estate during probate.

  8. Trust: A legal arrangement where a trustee holds and manages assets for beneficiaries according to specific instructions outlined in the trust document.

  9. Estate tax: A tax on the transfer of property and assets after someone dies that exceeds certain thresholds set by law.

  10. Letters Testamentary/Letters of Administration: Legal documents issued by a court that give authority to an executor or administrator to act on behalf of an estate during probate.

  11. Personal property: encompasses all of the possessions that a person may own and can be moved around or transferred. This includes tangible objects like cars, jewelry, antiques and art pieces as well as intangible assets like stocks and bonds, money, and intellectual property. For tangible items to be considered personal property, they must be moveable and transferable without damage to the object itself. Many people are unaware that their possessions can also include digital content such as domain names, website content, photographs and films. In addition to tangible objects and digital content, personal property may also refer to rights or contracts such as life insurance policies or copyrights.

  12. Real property: used to describe immovable items that are considered to be owned by an individual or organization. These include land, the structures and buildings attached to the land (i.e. houses, garages, barns etc.), any fixtures on or in the structure (i.e. lighting fixtures, appliances etc.), minerals or natural resources located on the property (i.e. water, oil reserves) and any other rights associated with owning said property (such as hunting, fishing or grazing rights). Real property can also refer to things growing on the land such as trees, crops and plants as well as any personal property included in the sale of the real estate like furniture. Any assets that have been attached to a piece of real estate become part of it and remain with it until it is sold unless otherwise stipulated in a contract of sale.

Probate terms and definitions can be tricky to understand. Luckily, there are a variety of online tools, such as legal dictionaries and forums, that can help make the process easier. As you navigate through the complexities of probate terminology, remember to take your time, ask questions when needed, and review any contracts carefully. Fortunately, with the right resources and understanding of these terms and definitions, you can ensure that the estate is managed in a way that best supports your loved one’s wishes.

Do you live in Arkansas and have a loved one who recently passed away? We know it’s difficult, but probating their estate is an important way to honor them. If you’re not familiar with probate laws in Arkansas, don’t worry — We’ve got your back! This article will provide an overview of probate process in the Natural State so that settling an estate is a little less daunting.

Probate is a legal process required when someone passes away, regardless of whether they had a will in place. It’s the court-supervised process that helps manage the deceased person’s debts and distribute their assets to the right people or organizations. In Arkansas, probate is handled by probate courts located in each county throughout the state.

In order to start probate proceedings in Arkansas, an application must be filed by the executor of the estate in probate court. If a will was left, then it should be included with this application. The probate process begins once the probate court approves and admits the will to probate, which is known as “probating” or “proving” the will.

Once probate is opened, the probate court will appoint an administrator to oversee the estate. This person serves as a legal representative and is responsible for managing all assets of the estate, notifying creditors and potential heirs, and filing all necessary paperwork with probate court throughout the probate process.

The probate court will also require the administrator to inventory and appraise all assets of the estate, pay outstanding debts and taxes, and distribute assets according to the instructions in the will. If there is no will or if it was not probated, then Arkansas law dictates how assets are distributed.

The probating process can take some time and involves distributing the deceased’s property as per their will. It is advisable to contact probate attorneys who can help with probate rules and regulations in Arkansas. It's possible to handle the steps yourself, but working with an attorney will save you a lot of headaches. Also, it is easy to make mistakes if you are trying to handle probate yourself which can delay the process even further.

The probate process also involves calculating taxes, filing an inventory of assets and liabilities, resolving any disputes among heirs or creditors and closing out the probate estate. Once all these steps are completed, a probate judge will issue an order to close the probate and the heirs can then receive their inheritances.

At the end of probate proceedings, the probate court will issue a document that states that all of the deceased person’s assets have been distributed and their debts paid. This document is called a “Final Decree of Distribution” or “Ancillary Probate Order”.

Below is an overview of the probate steps in Arkansas:

1. File a probate petition: To get started, you'll need to open up your probate case by filing a probate petition with the local probate court. This document states that you're the executor or administrator and explains why probate is necessary for this particular estate.

2. Notify creditors: Once probate is opened, you must notify any of the deceased person's creditors that probate has begun and give them an opportunity to file a claim against the estate if they choose.

3. Prepare an inventory of assets: Next, you'll need to create a list of all of the deceased person's assets and debts. This step is important for probate purposes, as the probate court will need to know what property is in the estate before it can move forward with probate proceedings.

4. Appraise assets: Once you have a list of all of the deceased person's assets and debts, it's time to get them appraised. This will help you figure out the true value of each asset, which is necessary for probate purposes.

5. Pay any debts: Now it's time to pay off any outstanding debts that the deceased person had at the time of their death. The probate court will usually require you to get a court order before you can pay off any of the deceased person's debts.

6. Distribute remaining assets: Once all of the debts have been paid, you can then distribute the remaining assets to their rightful owners according to the terms of the will or probate laws if there is no will.

7. Close probate process: Finally, once all of the assets have been distributed and probate is complete, you can then close probate by filing a final probate report with the probate court.

So there you have it: an overview of the probate process in Arkansas. While probate can seem daunting, understanding the basics will make it much easier to navigate and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Don't hesitate to reach out to a probate attorney if you need assistance during this process. Good luck and happy probating!

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