All is not lost if your loved one dies “intestate” (without a will). Arkansas has default inheritance rules in place for such an occurrence. Thus, if there is no will, or the decedent’s will is found to be invalid, the decedent’s heirs can still be determined and the decedent’s estate can still be probated.

Only assets that would have passed through a will are affected by intestate succession laws. Many valuable assets don’t go through a will, and aren’t affected by intestate succession laws. Here are some examples:

  • Property transferred to a living trust
  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account
  • Payable-on-death bank accounts, or
  • Property you own with someone else in joint tenancy
These assets will pass to the surviving co-owner or to the beneficiary named, whether or not the decedent had a will.

For real estate and other property, however, one of the following probate administrations will be necessary.

Types of Administration

  • Affadavit of Heirship
  • Small Estate Affidavit
  • Determination of Heirship
  • Court Created Independent Administration
  • Dependent Administration

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Carrie Russom Quraishi, JD, CAPP
Carrie provides personalized wealth management, tax and estate planning services to clients in AR, TX & TN.