In Arkansas, an estate can avoid the probate process if the deceased created a valid family trust prior to death. A valid will is not enough to avoid the probate process. Before you can execute the estate and pay the debts and distribute the assets, you must be appointed by the probate court as the estate executor. In most situations, this process is a formality unless someone contests your ability or objectivity to execute the estate.
Go to the Arkansas county family court branch nearest to you. Request a "Petition for Appointment" from the court clerk.
Complete the petition with your name, contact information as the potential executor for the estate of the deceased person. Include a will if the deceased left one, instructing you as the executor or nominate yourself for the job.
Submit the form with the court and send conformed court copies to all known heirs. Interested parties must file a petition against your filing in a "reasonable time." If no conflict arises after all parties have been notified, you will be appointed 30 to 90 days after the filing.
Obtain the "Notice of Appointment as Executor" in order to start acting on behalf of the estate. Once you have this notice, you can open an estate an account, liquidate property, pay debts and distribute assets.
- Free Advice: Wills
- Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. “Debts and Deceased Relatives.” Accessed March 4, 2020.
- The Judiciary State of Hawai‘i. “Hawai'i Probate Rules.” Accessed March 4, 2020.
- Virginia Law. “Code of Virginia, § 64.2-452. How Will May Be Made Self-Proved; Affidavits of Witnesses.” Accessed March 4, 2020.
- Utah Courts. “Civil Terminology for Utah Interpreters,” Pages 20-21. Accessed March 4, 2020.
- Iowa Trust Code. “Chapter 633A,” Page 20. Accessed March 4, 2020.
- Utah Code. “Employment of Appraisers,” Page 24. Accessed March 4, 2020.
- The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. “Closing and Distributing the Probate State." Accessed March 4, 2020
- Michigan Legislature. “700.3801 Notice of Creditors.” Accessed March 4, 2020
- Alaska Court System. “How Long Does a Creditor Have to Make a Claim Against the Estate?” Accessed March 4, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Filing Estate and Gift Tax Returns.” Accessed March 4, 2020.
- The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. “Closing and Distributing the Probate State." Accessed March 4, 2020.
- New York State Unified Court System. “When There Is No Will.” Accessed March 4, 2020.
With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.