Arkansas Will and Testament Filing

By Beverly Bird

In Arkansas, as in most states, the probate process begins with filing the deceased’s will. It is a necessary first step before any payment of the deceased’s debts and distribution of his property to his beneficiaries can begin. The Circuit Court in the county where the testator lived when he passed away oversees probate. The court permits jury trials in the event of a dispute, and can punish anyone who doesn’t cooperate with the probate process with contempt of court.

Petition for Probate

The original will can be filed with Circuit Court by whoever has possession of it, though generally it's the person who is named as executor in the will. A Petition for Probate must accompany the will, along with a request to officially appoint the executor to assume the duties of probate. The petition includes the name, age, address, and place and date of death of the testator, and also lists her heirs. The person applying for probate must also give the court an estimate of the value of the property involved in the estate.

Admittance to Probate

If the court determines that the will is authentic and meets all state requirements, it issues an order officially admitting the will to probate and appointing the executor. The court clerk records the will and gives the executor documents confirming his role so he can act on behalf of the estate.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Objections

When the will enters probate, the executor publishes a notice with the local newspaper notifying the public. Direct notice to some heirs, beneficiaries and creditors may also be required, depending on the nature of the deceased’s estate. Anyone who wants to object to or contest the will can then file a written statement with the Circuit Court explaining their grounds or the reason the will should not be honored as it was written.

Time Limits

The Petition for Probate must be filed with the court within five years of the date of the testator’s death. Objections must be filed within three months of the newspaper notice being published, or within 45 days if the person objecting received direct notice. An exception is if a more recent will has been located that takes precedence over the one entered into probate. In that case, the person in possession of the new will can object any time up until probate is completed.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to File a Will & Testament in Florida

References

Related articles

Contesting a Will in an Illinois Probate Court

A person who is at least 18 and mentally competent may make a will in Illinois. When the will is filed in court to start probate -- the legal procedure used to settle an estate -- a person with an interest in the estate has the right to challenge the will by filing a contest. A person with an interest in an estate can include heirs, people that the deceased person, also known as the decedent, named as beneficiaries in the will and the decedent's creditors.

Requirement to File a Will After Death in Texas

On the death of a Texas resident, the laws of probate court govern the handling of wills. Probate is the process of "proving" that the will is valid, and that its instructions conform to the law. During the probate process, the court grants letters of administration to the executor, and oversees the handling of the estate. The case begins with the filing of the will in the probate court having jurisdiction in the county where the deceased lived.

Will and Probate Requirements in Kentucky

When a person dies in Kentucky, most of the property in his estate passes through the state's probate process. During probate, the executor -- the person named in the deceased's will to administer the estate -- collects the assets and dgtermines their value. The deceased's will must be authenticated before the property is distributed to the beneficiaries as instructed in the will. Certain assets, including property owned jointly, life insurance policies and any property in trust, can avoid probate and will pass automatically to the named beneficiaries.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Probate Laws in Missouri

When someone dies in Missouri or dies owning property in Missouri, Missouri’s probate laws outline the procedures for ...

The Process of Opening an Estate

Although the process of opening an estate varies from state to state, many aspects of the process are essentially the ...

Who Enforces the Execution of a Will?

In drafting your will, you may appoint a person to serve as your executor, also known as a personal representative. ...

How to Find Out If Someone Left a Will for Probate

A will is a written document that specifies how a person wishes his estate to be divided. After the testator dies, the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED