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Arkansas Probate and Estate Tax Laws

Going through the death of a loved one is tough. What's more, those left behind still have the task of figuring out what to do with the deceased person's "estate," which may include cash, property, or other investments. Settling the decedent’s estate after they pass is referred to as estate administration and usually occurs under the supervision of a probate court. The process may be relatively quick for uncontested estates or "small estates."

In Arkansas, small estates are valued at $100,000 or less and bypass probate proceedings entirely. The process, however, can take longer for contested estates. This is a quick summary of Arkansas probate and estate tax laws.

Arkansas Probate and Estate Tax Laws

The following table outlines probate and estate tax laws in Arkansas

Code Sections

ARK. CODE ANN. § 28-39-101 et seq.

Types of Estate Administration

Regular probate proceedings include uncontested and contested estates. Small estates can bypass regular probate proceedings.

Uncontested estates:

The executor files a petition for probate, notice is given to all interested parties of a hearing on the petition, and a judge admits the will into probate.

Contested estates:

After a petition for probate, an interested party can contest the probate by providing written grounds for contest. A judge hears evidence from both sides at a trial and then issues a decision to admit or refuse to admit the will into probate.

Small estates:

Regular probate proceedings can be bypassed by the filing of affidavit by an interested party if the estate is valued at $100,000 or less, 45 days have passed since the decedent's death, and all claims against the estate have been paid.

Family Allowances

A surviving spouse has a right to live in the house for two months in addition to reasonable living expenses paid from the estate. A monetary allowance of up to $2,000 for two months may also be paid the spouse and minor children for necessary living expenses.

What Assets Go Through Probate? A person's real and personal property at the time of his or her death.
Estate or Inheritance Taxes?


Arkansas Probate and Estate Tax Laws: Related Resources

Going through the probate process can be difficult. If you would like legal assistance with a probate or estate tax matter, you can contact an Arkansas probate and estate administration attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on Probate Basics, Estate Tax Laws, and Arkansas Estate Planning Laws for more articles and information on this topic.

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