“Going through probate” in layman’s terms means appointing a person to oversee the estate called an “administrator” or a “personal representative.” This person serves under supervision of the court for period of at least 6 months. It takes about 1 to 4 weeks to get someone appointed, so as a practical matter, it will take around 7 months to probate an estate in Arkansas in a best case scenario.
It takes as little a day to probate a will in Arkansas, but the will is subject to challenge for 60 days after giving notice by publication in a local newspaper of general circulation in that particular Arkansas county. Probating a will in Arkansas is completely different from administering an estate in Arkansas. That is, it is possible to probate a will in Arkansas without administering an estate in Arkansas and vice versa. If the deceased has money tied up with financial institutions or significant personal property in Arkansas, then it is likely the estate will require an administration. Administration of an estate in Arkansas has the additional benefit of barring the claims of unknown creditors. Thus, where there is real property in the estate–such as a home–and the heirs wish to sell the home immediately, estate administration will allow the home sale to close sooner than if there were no administration.
Clients often call me with a request to probate a will to transfer title to some mineral rights in one of the oil or gas producing Arkansas counties. Many times, the cost of the probate far exceeds the present value of the mineral rights. For those mineral owners, it is too late. The law requires a probate to transfer title if the deceased’s will leaves the property to someone other than the intestate heirs. This most comes up frequently because many will leave property to a spouse or to a trust, and neither are intestate heirs under Arkansas law.
If you own mineral rights, and want to avoid probate in Arkansas, then an Arkansas Beneficiary Deed is a very good option. The deed can automatically transfer your Arkansas mineral rights upon your death, much like a pay on death bank account. Also like a pay on death bank account, the designated beneficiary can be any person, company, or charity.
In my opinion, an Arkansas Mineral Beneficiary Deed is the best option to avoid probate for clients with mineral interests in Arkansas who will have a gross estate that is less than the Federal Estate Tax Exemption. Contact Law Offices of Mark Robinette for more information.
Do you have only a tract of land in Arkansas? If you live in another state and have a vacation home, rental property, timber land, or mineral interest in Arkansas, you may leave your family with a burden if you utilize a will to transfer title at your death.
Merely filing a will in the County real estate records in Arkansas is not enough. The law will require your heirs to admit your will to probate. The average probate costs around $2000.
There is a very low cost alternative to probate. Act 1918 of 2005 allows beneficiary deeds. This makes your Arkansas land or Arkansas mineral interest transfer ownership just like a pay on death bank account. The best part is that it is very flexible and low cost. The beneficiary of your land at your death can be a trust, company, person, or a charity.
Contact Law Offices of Mark Robinette to learn more.
In what Arkansas Counties can you utilize a beneficiary deed? All 72, of course! This includes Arkansas County, Ashley County, Baxter County, Benton County, Boone County, Bradley County, Calhoun County, Carroll County, Chicot County, Clark County, Clay County, Cleburne County, Cleveland County, Columbia County, Conway County, Craighead County, Crawford County, Crittenden County, Cross County, Dallas County, Desha County, Drew County, Faulkner County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Garland County, Grant County, Greene County, Hempstead County, Hot Spring County, Howard County, Independence County, Izard County, Jackson County, Jefferson County, Johnson County, Lafayette County, Lawrence County, Lee County, Lincoln County, Little River County, Logan County, Lonoke County, Madison County, Marion County, Miller County, Mississippi County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Nevada County, Newton County, Ouachita County, Perry County, Phillips County, Pike County, Poinsett County, Polk County, Pope County, Prairie County, Pulaski County, Randolph County, Saline County, Scott County, Searcy County, Sebastian County, Sevier County, Sharp County, St. Francis County, Stone County, Union County, Van Buren County, Washington County, White County, Woodruff County, Yell County
If the deceased is a resident of Arkansas, the time limit to probate a will is 5 years past the date of death. With non-residents, the time limit is more flexible. Any will admitted to probate in another state in a timely manner may be probated in Arkansas at any time. There are date restrictions. The will of anyone who died prior to the effective date of Act 166 of 1963, whether a resident or non-resident is subject to a strict 5 year statute of limitations. Prior to Act 166 of 1963 and the effective date of Act 140 of 1949, the strict 5 year statute of limitations applied. Prior to Act 140 of 1949, there was no statute of limitations. The courts have contradictory holdings on the retrospective application of Act 140 of 1949. Contact Law Offices of Mark Robinette to discuss if you face this complicated, but rare problem.
If the deceased is a resident of Arkansas, the time limit to probate a will is 5 years past the date of death. With non-residents, the time limit is more flexible. Any will admitted to probate in another state in a timely manner may be probated in Arkansas at any time. There are date restrictions. The will of anyone who died prior to the effective date of Act 166 of 1963, whether a resident or non-resident is subject to a strict 5 year statute of limitations.