In Arkansas, the probate process is mandatory in a few different circumstances. For example, it’s necessary if there are any outstanding creditors who are owed money from the estate (this would include mortgages on property), if the estate is contested or if it’s valued at more than $100,000.
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The probate process is just the legal court proceeding that starts the distribution of assets to named heirs and beneficiaries. There are many factors that come into play that could change the average cost of probate in Arkansas, so it’s helpful to understand a little bit about the process.
Keep reading to learn more about what could affect the cost of probate. We are covering everything from probate lawyer fees in Arkansas to when an estate can avoid the process altogether.
Common Probate Fees in Arkansas
Keep in mind, while fees can differ based on a number of things (mostly including how big and complex an estate is), most people going through probate will pay some or all of the following fees:
Court filing fees*
Business valuation fees
Executors/Personal Representative fees - Arkansas is a reasonable compensation state
*Set by state law
Since there are so many variables, it can be hard to state a definitive average cost of probate in Arkansas. This is why understanding all of the components of the probate process in Arkansas can give you a better idea of what it will actually cost.
Common Questions About Probate in Arkansas
How Long Does Probate Take in Arkansas?
The average probate process in Arkansas can take between six to nine months to fully settle. Of course, it can take substantially longer if there are any complications such as an heir or family member contests any part of the process. Another thing that may cause a delay is if there are any assets that either require special attention or weren’t set up properly.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Arkansas?
Arkansas is one of a handful of states that allow attorneys to bill a fee according to a percentage of the total value of the estate.
5% of the first $5,000
4% of the next $20,000
3% of the next $75,000
2 ¾% of the next $300,000
2 ½% of the next $600,000
2% of the value of all properties after that
How Can You Avoid Probate in Arkansas ?
Probate in Arkansas can be avoided any time assets can be transferred directly to an heir based on the property title or another designation. For example, a life insurance policy that names a beneficiary, a Transfer on Death (TOD) account or Jointly Titled property could all pass directly to a designated inheritor. The same is true for retirement accounts or IRAs.
Finally, smaller estates may be exempt from probate, or at least allow for an abbreviated process.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Arkansas?
Arkansas has what’s known as “small estate” laws that allow inheritors to get their inheritance without having to complete the often complicated, long and stressful process of probate. If any of these conditions apply, an estate might be able to avoid probate:
Total estate value is less than $100,000 (and all debts, claims and any judgments have been paid)
No Personal Representative has already been appointed
There is no petition for an appointment that is pending
It’s been at least 45 days since the estate owner passed
Who Pays Probate Fees in Arkansas
Most often, all fees, including probate attorney fees in Arkansas, are paid from the estate.