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Basics of Probate in Arkansas

Posted by The Law Office of Paul D. White, P.A. on Jan 6, 2014 5:02pm PST

Probate is a court-supervised process that takes place to handle the estate of someone who has passed away. This is often a complicated legal procedure in which the deceased's personal representative and his or her attorney must perform certain functions. During this process, the personal representative is expected to act in a manner that is held to the highest ethical standards in identifying, valuing, and distributing the proceeds and assets of the estate. When the deceased has died with a will, then the personal representative will have been named to this role in the will. If the deceased has died without a will, then an interested party such as a relative, associate, financial institution or trust company can petition the court to act as the personal representative.

All estates are subject to probate in Arkansas unless the owner of the estate has taken legal measures through estate planning that can avoid the probate process. Even estates that have a properly executed will are subject to probate, which will validate the will and settle the estate. Two people are generally necessary to accomplish the probate process. These are the personal representative and an attorney. An attorney is necessary to ensure that costly mistakes are avoided and that the administration of the estate is done according to all state rules and regulations.

Anyone over the age of 21 can be a personal representative. His or her duties will include gathering all of the estate properties and assets, seeing that assets are valued or appraised, locating any creditors who are owed payment by the estate, paying all bills and taxes owed, determining heirs and beneficiaries, and distributing to these recipients any remaining funds or assets.

Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer in Saline County, Arkansas

If you need help with probate or with devising a comprehensive estate plan in the Saline County area, the Law Office of Paul D. White, P.A. provides experienced legal representation. Attorney Paul White has more than 21 years of legal experience in these fields and can walk you through the probate process or help you create a tailored estate plan that will fit all of your financial and health care needs. You can get started understanding these legal matters by discussing them with an attorney in a free case consultation. Contact the firm's offices to get started today.