When someone dies in Arkansas, that individual’s estate may have to go through probate, which is the process of transferring and managing the assets that party owned during his or her lifetime. Not every estate must go through probate, and this holds true regardless of whether someone died with a will or died “intestate,” meaning without a will.
However, SmartAsset notes that there are certain circumstances under which probate may become necessary.
When an estate must go through probate
If someone dies and was the sole owner of a property, then that party’s estate must go through probate. Depending on the size of the estate, there may be a quicker, easier probate process available. Typically, estates worth less than $100,000 may go through a simplified version of the probate process. Doing so requires filing a written request asking as much within a local probate court. If the value of a deceased individual’s estate exceeds $100,000, then the probate process becomes more complex and time-intensive.
When probate does not apply
Some assets held in Arkansas do not have to go through the probate process. Any life insurance policies or assets entered into living trusts are among them. Assets held in pay-on-death accounts, 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement accounts also get to bypass the probate process. Securities or vehicles with transfer-on-death designations also skip the probate process, among other assets.
Certain things may help individuals speed up the probate process, allowing their intended beneficiaries to get what they leave behind more quickly than they would otherwise. For example, creating a self-proving will is one potential way to help streamline the probate process.