Probate & Administration Attorney in Little Rock and Magnolia AR
One of the greatest benefits of having a valid trust is avoiding probate administration. Individuals who die without a trust must have a probate court dispose of the decedent’s assets and property according to the laws of intestacy. By formulating a comprehensive estate plan, you can avoid the costs and delays associated with both formal probate administration and informal probate administration.
L. Jennings Law is experienced in navigating the probate process. A personal representative will have to manage the probate process. An experienced probate administration attorney can help you deal with the complexities of the probate court. One additional benefit of having an estate plan is that you can keep your financial information private. If your estate passes through probate, all of the information related to your assets and debts will be public. However, if you are trying to figure out how to navigate the probate process, then you should seek out an experienced probate administration attorney.
The Benefits of Retaining a Probate Administration Attorney
Probate administration attorneys specialize in one area of law and develop knowledge, skill, and expertise. Probate attorneys take the burden and stress off the family’s shoulders. The following are some of the tasks a probate administration attorney can perform:
- Finalizing Estate Tax Returns
- Paying the debts of the estate
- Liquidating assets
- Obtaining rights to income, dividends, and other assets
- Distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries
- Filing the will
Although exceptions do apply in some circumstances, a will needs to be admitted to probate within five years of the decedent’s death.
The Costs of Probate
Probation can be more or less expensive depending on many different variables. Some estates are more complex than others, and this can increase the costs of probate. A decedent’s real property may be in more than one state or country, and this can also raise probate costs. Sometimes creditors or family members institute contests and this can delay the whole probate administration process. Some common fees include surety bonds, appraisal costs, court fees, accounting costs, and executors’ fees.
Probate administration will apply to decedents who die with a valid will and to decedents who die without a valid will. A last will and testament guide the probate court regarding the naming of a personal representative and other matters. If the will was executed in accordance with Arkansas law, the distribution of the estate will follow the terms of the will.
Those who die without valid wills die intestate. This means that the intestacy statutes will guide how the decedent’s property is distributed to heirs. A surviving spouse is generally provided a share of the decedent’s estate, and also the children. However, many factors can influence how the probate court applies the intestacy statutes. For example, the length of a marriage and if the decedent has any surviving children are two important elements that can affect intestate succession.
Probate Courts and Guardianships
Probate courts in Arkansas have jurisdiction over guardianship cases involving people who are alive but who have lost the cognitive capacity to manage their own affairs. A guardianship is a legal relationship during which the incapacitated person’s legal rights are transferred to a guardian who will use those rights to benefit the incapacitated person. For example, a person with a severe developmental disability may be deemed a ward of the state and have their legal rights transferred to a guardian.
If you need legal assistance with probate and administration, get in touch with the professionals at L. Jennings Law.