Probate is the legal process of where a court validates a document as the last will and testament of a deceased person. It involves conducting a comprehensive inventory of the individual’s property, having that property evaluated, paying off the individual’s creditors and other liabilities, and distributing the remainder of the property as the will or, if no will was written, as Arkansas state law provides. This involves interpreting the meaning behind legal documents through hearings, testimonies, and affidavits.
If you are an executor or a family member facing a probate issue, you should consult with an experienced estate and probate attorney. The attorneys at The Knapp Firm have years of experience in dealing with probate proceedings in Arkansas and can provide you with sound legal advice on how to move forward.
If a person dies without a will, the probate court will distribute property according to Arkansas state law. Arkansas Code §§ 28-9-214 through 215 provides a table of descents on how property will be passed to an individual’s surviving family, which provides as follows.
- Children of the individual and descendants of each child who may have predeceased the individual.
- To the surviving spouse, provided they were married continuously for three years prior to death. If they were married less than three years continuously, the surviving spouse only takes a one-half interest.
- To the decedent's surviving parents, sharing equally, or to the sole surviving parent.
- To the decedent's brothers and sisters and the descendants of any brothers and sisters who may have predeceased the decedent.
- To the decedent's surviving grandparents, uncles and aunts, making no distinction between the paternal and maternal sides. If an uncle or aunt should predecease the intestate, the descendants of same shall take the aunt's or uncle's interest.
- Same as above, except to the surviving great-grandparents, great-aunts, and great uncles, or the descendants of any of same who predecease the decedent.
- To the surviving spouse, even though they haven't been married for three continuous years.
- To the heirs of the deceased spouse of the decedent. If the decedent was married more than once, this means the spouse to whom the decedent was last married prior to death.
- To the county where the individual resided at death.
If you are need representation in a probate proceeding, you should seek experienced legal counsel who knows the ins and outs of the probate process. The attorneys at The Knapp Firm are seasoned advocates who have years of experience representing clients before probate judges in the state. You may contact us for a free initial consultation by calling (870) 338-3100.